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Monmouth University Polling Institute

Trump Holds Lead; Blunt Clings to Narrow Senate Edge

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Governor’s race tightens

West Long Branch, NJ  - Donald Trump is ahead of Hillary Clinton by 5 points in Missouri.  A prior Monmouth University Poll found the presidential race here in a virtual tie in August.  Republican U.S. Senator Roy Blunt now has an insignificant 2 point lead in his bid for a second term, which is down from his 5 point advantage two months ago.  The biggest voter shift, though, has come in the race for governor, where Republican Eric Greitens has cut Democrat Chris Koster's 11 point summer lead down to a narrow 3 point edge now.

Among Missouri voters likely to cast ballots in November's presidential election, 46% currently support Trump and 41% back Clinton.  Another 5% intend to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson, 2% back the Green Party's Jill Stein, and 5% are undecided.  In Monmouth's August poll, Trump had 44% support and Clinton had 43% support.

White men prefer the GOP nominee by a 62% to 26% margin while white women are evenly divided at 42% for Trump and 42% for Clinton.  Trump's current lead among white men is larger than in August when it was 45% to 37%, but he is doing worse among white women compared to his 54% to 36% advantage in August.  Clinton leads by 68 points among non-white voters (81% to 13%), which is basically unchanged from August (78% to 13%).

"The gender difference among white voters in Missouri is pretty much in line with Trump's support in other states now," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.  [Note: about one-third of the interviews were conducted before Sunday night's debate.]  

Missouri voters give nearly identical ratings to the two major party nominees and these results are largely unchanged since August.  Just 32% have a favorable opinion of Trump and 56% have an unfavorable view, compared with his 33% favorable and 53% unfavorable rating two months ago.  Similarly, 30% have a favorable opinion of Clinton and 59% have an unfavorable view, compared with her 32% favorable and 56% unfavorable rating in the prior poll.

"Voter opinion of these two candidates has been baked in for some time.  The Access Hollywood revelation does not seem to have had an impact.  That's probably because few voters were actually surprised to hear Trump say these things," said Murray.

A majority of likely voters (57%) have watched or listened to the graphic recording of Trump released on Friday and another 33% have read or heard about its contents.  More than 2-in-3 voters (70%) - including 75% of Clinton voters and 66% of Trump voters - say they were not really surprised by what they heard come out of Trump's mouth.  Only 5% say they were shocked and 14% say they were surprised but not shocked.

One-third of voters (35%) feel what Trump said in that tape makes him unfit for office while 51% say his words were inappropriate but not necessarily disqualifying.  Ten percent are not familiar with the recording.

Still, Clinton has an advantage when it comes to being seen as having the right temperament to serve as president.  A majority (52%) say she does while fewer (38%) say the same about Trump.

"The recently released tapes and Trump's temperament in general are not disqualifying factors for a significant chunk of Missouri voters," said Murray.

The Show Me State's U.S. Senate race has tightened since the summer, but it is not clear if Roy Blunt's support of Trump has been a factor.  The Republican incumbent holds a narrow 46% to 44% lead over his Democratic challenger, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander.  Another 3% say they will vote for Libertarian Jonathan Dine and 7% are undecided.  Blunt held a 48% to 43% lead over Kander in August.

Blunt decided to stand by his endorsement of Trump in the aftermath of last week's controversy.  It does not appear to be having much impact on his support because only 30% of likely voters are aware of Blunt's endorsement in the first place - and those aware of the endorsement are more likely to be Democrats (40%) than either Republicans (27%) or independents (25%).

Taking into account that the vast majority are not aware of Blunt's endorsement, just 20% of all likely voters in Missouri say the senator has been too supportive of Trump, 12% say he has not been supportive enough, 24% say he has given Trump the right amount of support, and 44% have no opinion on Blunt's level of support.

More Missouri voters say Blunt should stand by his endorsement of Trump (46%) than say he should take it back (35%).  This opinion is reversed, however, among the one-third of voters who are considered to be moveable - including those who are currently undecided, those who prefer a third party candidate, and those who support either Blunt or Kander but say they could change their minds before the election.  More of these "soft" voters actually say Blunt should retract his endorsement of Trump (43%) than say he should stand by it (31%).  At the same time, the vast majority of Blunt's "firm" supporters (80%) want him to stick with Trump, while a smaller majority of Kander's "firm" supporters (61%) think Blunt needs to recant his endorsement.

"Blunt is in a bit of a Catch-22 here.  Many voters who could swing this election take a dim view of his Trump endorsement.  On the other hand, a significant portion of his base would not react well if the incumbent turned his back on their party's presidential nominee," said Murray.  "The question is whether Kander can take advantage of this since his first step would be educating voters that Blunt endorsed Trump in the first place."

Blunt earns a positive job rating from Missouri voters - 42% approve and 37% disapprove, which is slightly less positive than his 45% approve and 35% disapprove rating two months ago.  Voters are more divided on their personal opinion of Blunt - 32% have a favorable view and 33% hold an unfavorable opinion, compared with August's 33% favorable and 28% unfavorable rating.  The challenger Kander is less well-known, earning a 33% favorable and 14% unfavorable personal rating, compared to his 29% favorable and 9% unfavorable rating in Monmouth's prior poll.

The Monmouth University Poll  finds the contest to replace outgoing governor Jay Nixon has tightened since the summer.  Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster now holds a narrow 46% to 43% lead over political newcomer and former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens.  Another 2% say they will vote for Libertarian Cisse Spragins and 8% are undecided.  Koster enjoyed a much larger 51% to 40% advantage in August.

Koster has slightly stronger support among Democratic voters (88%) than Greitens does among Republicans (80%), but independents are divided at 42% for Koster and 41% for Greitens.  In August, independent voters preferred Koster by a sizable 49% to 37% margin.

The Monmouth University Poll  was conducted by telephone from October 9 to 11, 2016 with 406 Missouri residents likely to vote in the November election.  This sample has a margin of error of ±4.9 percent.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

QUESTIONS AND RESULTS                                                               

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)         

1/2.      If the election for President was today, would you vote for Donald Trump the Republican, Hillary Clinton the Democrat, Gary Johnson the Libertarian, or Jill Stein of the Green Party? 

[ IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward - Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?] [ NAMES WERE ROTATED ]

46%      Donald Trump

41%      Hillary Clinton

  5%      Gary Johnson

  2%      Jill Stein

  1%      (VOL) Other candidate

  5%      (VOL) Undecided

3.      If the election for U.S. Senate was today, would you vote for Roy Blunt the Republican, Jason Kander the Democrat, or Jonathan Dine the Libertarian?  [ IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward - Roy Blunt or Jason Kander?] [ NAMES WERE ROTATED

46%      Roy Blunt

44%      Jason Kander

  3%      Johnathan Dine

<1%      (VOL) Other candidate

  7%      (VOL) Undecided

4.      If the election for governor was today, would you vote for Eric Greitens the Republican, Chris Koster the Democrat, or Cisse Spragins the Libertarian?  [ IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward - Eric Greitens or Chris Koster?] [ NAMES WERE ROTATED

43%      Eric Greitens

46%      Chris Koster

  2%      Cisse Spragins

  0%      (VOL) Other candidate

  8%      (VOL) Undecided

Regardless of who you may support for president…


5.      Is your general impression of Donald Trump favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?  

32%      Favorable

56%      Unfavorable

13%      No opinion

6.      Is your general impression of Hillary Clinton favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of her?  

30%      Favorable

59%      Unfavorable

11%      No opinion


7.      Regardless of whether you would vote for him, do you think Donald Trump does or does not have the right temperament to be president?

38%      Does

57%      Does not

  6%      (VOL) Don't know

8.      Regardless of whether you would vote for her, do you think Hillary Clinton does or does not have the right temperament to be president?

52%      Does

43%      Does not

  5%      (VOL) Don't know

Turning to the Senate race…


9.      Is your general impression of Roy Blunt favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?  

32%      Favorable

33%      Unfavorable

35%      No opinion

10.    Is your general impression of Jason Kander favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?  

33%      Favorable

14%      Unfavorable

53%      No opinion

11.    Do you approve or disapprove of the job Roy Blunt is doing as U.S. senator?

42%      Approve

37%      Disapprove

21%      (VOL) No opinion

12.    Is Roy Blunt too supportive of Donald Trump, not supportive enough, or does he give the right amount of support to Trump?

20%      Too supportive

12%      Not supportive enough

24%      Right amount of support

44%      (VOL) Don't know

13.    Have you heard that Roy Blunt endorsed Donald Trump for president, or were you not aware of that?

30%      Heard

70%      Not aware

14.    Should Blunt take back his endorsement of Trump or not?

35%      Should

46%      Should not

19%      (VOL) Don't know

15.    A recording of Trump talking about some of his sexual encounters emerged on Friday.  Have you heard about this or not?  [ IF HEARD :   Have you watched or listened to the actual recording or did you just hear or read reports about what he said?]

57%      Watched/listened to actual recording

33%      Heard/read reports about it

10%      Not aware of recording

16.    Does what Trump said on this recording make him unfit for office or is what he said inappropriate but it does not necessarily make him unfit for office?

35%      Makes him unfit for office

51%      Inappropriate but not necessarily unfit

  2%      (VOL) Neither

  2%      (VOL) Don't know

10%      Not aware of recording

17.    Would you describe your reaction to Trump saying these things as shocked, surprised but not shocked, or not really surprised?

  5%      Shocked

14%      Surprised but not shocked

70%      Not really surprised

  0%      (VOL) Don't know

10%      Not aware of recording



The Monmouth University Poll  was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from October 9 to 11, 2016 with a random sample of 406 likely Missouri voters.  Interviews were conducted by a live caller in English, including 355 drawn from a list of registered voters (204 landline / 151 cell phone) and a random digit dial supplement of 51 cell phone interviews.  Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The final sample is weighted for age, gender, race and voting history based on voter list and U.S. Census information.  Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field), Aristotle (voter list sample), and SSI (RDD sample).  For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design).  Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below).  In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.

Download this Poll Report with all tables

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