by Ashley Medina and Nicole Sandelier
Monmouth University Polling Institute graduate assistants
A Monmouth University Poll (Sept. 26, 2016) released the morning of the debate suggested that the vast majority of voters (87%) did not expect to learn anything that would change their minds based on the first presidential debate. With the majority of voters already set on their presidential candidate selection, Trump and Clinton have shifted their attention to gaining the support of undecided voters. Presidential temperament may be one of the factors that helps sways undecided voters.
The national Monmouth University Poll that came out on debate day found that nearly 6-in-10 voters believe Hillary Clinton has the right temperament to sit in the Oval Office, while just 35% feel the same about Donald Trump’s temperament. A FOX poll conducted just after the event mirrors pre-debate findings on presidential temperament stating that 67% of likely voters say Clinton has a presidential temperament while only 37% say Trump has the temperament to be president.
The most recent Monmouth University Polls in the battleground states of Colorado (Oct. 3, 2016) and Pennsylvania (Oct. 4, 2016) appear to be reflective of national views concerning both Clinton’s and Trump’s temperament. A majority of likely Colorado (61%) and Pennsylvania (64%) voters feel that Hillary Clinton has the right temperament to be president. Meanwhile, only 31% of likely Colorado and Pennsylvania voters feel that Donald Trump has the temperament to be president. With Election Day just around the corner, the candidate’s presidential temperament will continue to play a key role in swaying undecided voters in battleground states.
According to Nielsen, an estimated 84 million people watched the first presidential showdown between candidates. Recent polls have expressed voters’ opinion showing Clinton as the clear winner of the first debate (ABC/ The Washington Post & Politico/ Morning Consult).
The latest Politico/Morning Consult Poll (Sept 28, 2016) confirms Monmouth’s pre-debate findings, with approximately 8-in-10 voters (81%) stating that the debate did not change their ballot decision. About 1-in-10 (9%) voters said that the debate has influenced their selection for president. Nonetheless, post-debate findings are confirming what pre-debate polls suggested. The first presidential debate reaffirmed many voters’ ballot selection and did little to sway voters’ minds.