By Bonnie K. Goodman
Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s lead over presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has narrowed. A new McClatchy-Marist poll published on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, shows the presidential race is getting tighter, with Clinton leading Trump by only three percentage points. Meanwhile, a Quinnipiac University poll also published Wednesday indicates that Trump is leading Clinton in the all important swing states of Florida and Pennsylvania and ties his rival in Ohio. Winning these battleground states are essential to winning the election.
According to the McClatchy-Marist poll, Clinton leads Trump 42 percent to 39 percent. Independents are key to the close race, 36 percent support Clinton, 33 percent Trump with 23 percent undecided. In a four-way match with third party candidates Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein, Clinton’s leads increases, with a five percent advantage over Trump 40 percent to 35 percent support.
According to the Quinnipiac University poll looking at crucial battleground states, Trump has a three-point lead over Clinton 42 percent to 39 percent. Trump has a two percent lead over Clinton in Pennsylvania, 43 to 41 percent. The two tie in Ohio 41 percent each. When third party candidates are factored in Trump’s lead grows and he also leads in Ohio. In Florida, Trump leads Clinton by five percent, 41 to 36. In Pennsylvania Trump leads by six percent, 40 to 34 and in Ohio, Trump get a marginal one point lead, 37 to 36 percent.
Demographically the two nominees are divided as well. Clinton has the support of “African-Americans, 81 to 6 percent; Hispanics, 52 to 26 percent; and women, 51 to 33 percent.” Additionally, Clinton has the support of college graduates, millennials and Americans who earn “less than $45,000 a year.” Trump on the other hand has the support of white voters, “49 to 34 percent, and men, 47 to 33 percent.” Additionally, Trump leads in support from “non-college graduates and those ages 60 and older.”
Both candidates are very unpopular, with high negative favorable ratings. Clinton has a 60 percent unfavorable rating, while Trump has 64 percent. Voter support of each respective candidate has a lot to do with voting against the rival candidate. With 48 percent of Clinton supporters backing her because they oppose Trump and 56 percent of Trump supporters opposing Clinton.
Clinton’s tumble in the polls is because of the FBI’s harsh non-indictment against Clinton over her usage of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State. Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll analyzed, “While there is no definite link between Clinton’s drop in Florida and the U.S. Justice Department decision not to prosecute her for her handling of e-mails, she has lost ground to Trump on questions which measure moral standards and honesty.” Meanwhile, momentum is increasing for Trump as he is set to name his vice presidential running mate.