Skip to main content
11609
Monmouth University Polling Institute

Trump Hurt by Misconduct Claims as Clinton Lead Widens

Monday, October 17, 2016

Voters divided on whether most guys use same language

West Long Branch, NJ  - Hillary Clinton is currently ahead of Donald Trump by 12 points among voters likely to cast ballots in November.  This is up from the 4 point lead she had last month and marks a return to the large advantage Clinton held shortly after the Democratic convention.  The latest Monmouth University Poll  finds more than 6-in-10 voters believe claims of unwanted sexual advances by Trump are likely to be true.  Voters differ on whether language used by Trump in an Access Hollywood video is typical "guy talk" or not - mainly depending on which candidate they support.  At the same time, recently leaked information about Clinton's speeches to Wall Street makes some voters less likely to support her, but has had a negligible impact on the race overall.

Currently, 50% of likely voters support Clinton and 38% back Trump, with 5% supporting Libertarian Gary Johnson and 2% backing Jill Stein of the Green Party.  Clinton held a much slimmer 46% to 42% lead just three weeks ago.

The vote choice among all registered voters is 47% Clinton and 38% Trump.  Clinton has a larger likely voter lead because only 5% of her potential supporters are considered unlikely to vote while twice as many possible Trump voters (10%) are unlikely to cast a ballot next month.  This marks a change from Monmouth's prior poll when 10% of registered voters supporting Clinton and 7% of registered voters supporting Trump were deemed unlikely to cast ballots.

"Clinton has increased her lead among all registered voters, but the main difference between this month and last month is that her supporters have become more enthusiastic, and thus more likely to turn out while Trump backers have become less likely to vote," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Clinton's personal rating has held stable since last month while Trump's rating has slipped.  Currently, 38% of voters have a favorable opinion of Clinton and 52% have an unfavorable view of her.  This compares with a 36% to 54% rating last month.  Only 26% of voters have a favorable opinion of Trump, though, while 61% have an unfavorable view of him.  This is down from a 32% to 57% rating last month.  Recent allegations of sexual misconduct seem to have played some role in the drop in Trump's support.

More than 6-in-10 voters (62%) say claims of unwanted sexual advances by Trump that were made public by a number of women in the past week are credible, including 22% who believe these allegations are definitely true and 40% who believe they are probably true.  Not surprisingly, more Clinton voters (87%) and undecided or third party voters (60%) put stock in these claims compared to the number of Trump voters (29%) who find them credible.  There is no appreciable gender difference among those who say these charges are likely to be true, either among all men (60%) and women (62%) or among men and women specifically in either the Clinton or Trump camps.

These charges may have become more plausible because of the Access Hollywood recording that emerged days earlier.  Most voters (58%) say they were not surprised to hear what Trump said in that tape about his encounters with women.  Only 7% were shocked to hear Trump say these things and 17% were surprised but not shocked.  Another 16% were unaware of what he said in the recordings.  The lack of surprise comes from Trump voters (61%), Clinton voters (58%), and undecided or third party voters (53%) alike.

Voters are divided on whether what Trump said in that recording is, as he put it, "typical locker room talk."  About 4-in-10 (39%) agree with Trump that most men say these kinds of things while a similar 40% say few men actually engage in this type of "banter."  There is a huge split in opinion based on which candidate voters are supporting.  The vast majority of Clinton backers (66%) say that few men use this type of language, including 69% of men and 64% of women who support Clinton.  This result is flipped on its head among voters who support Trump - 69% say most men actually talk like this, including 69% of men and 69% of women who back Trump.

"This is a chicken and egg problem. Is Trump's base really comprised almost entirely of voters who engage in or condone the kind of sexually aggressive language he used?  Or are his voters constructing a post hoc defense of Trump to rationalize their continued support of him?  It's really not clear, but either way it speaks to the divisiveness that has characterized this election," said Murray.

Voters are also split down the middle on whether what they have learned about Trump in the past week undercuts his soundness to be president.  Just under half (45%) say the new revelations show him to be unfit for office while a similar number (46%) say his behavior may be inappropriate but it is not necessarily disqualifying.  Of course, the vast majority of Clinton voters (81%) say what they have learned recently makes Trump unfit to serve while a comparable number of Trump voters disagree (88%).  Among undecided and third party voters, 38% say the new revelations show Trump to be unfit for office while 48% say they do not.

Among the many controversies emerging in the past week, Wikileaks published documents that show Clinton in a potentially poor light.  They do not appear to be having much impact.  Specifically focusing on speeches Clinton gave to Wall Street firms and other businesses, just 25% say what they learned about her speeches makes them think less highly of Clinton, 45% say this has had no impact on their opinion of her, and 28% are unware of the Wikileaks revelations.  While 45% of Trump supporters say the Wikileaks release of Clinton's Wall Street speeches makes them think less highly of her, only 10% of current Clinton supporters and 23% of undecided or third party voters say the same.

Another campaign issue that has come to a boiling point is the GOP nominee's relationship with the Republican Party itself.  Among all voters, 41% say the party is not giving Trump enough support, 27% say it is giving him too much support, and just 23% say the party is giving Trump the right amount of support.  Among Trump voters, fully 81% feel the Republican Party is not giving their candidate the support he deserves, with 2% saying it gives too much support and 14% the right amount.

On the other hand, nearly half of all voters (47%) say Trump is not giving the Republican Party enough support, just 7% say he is giving it too much support, and 29% say Trump is giving his party the right amount of support.  Among Trump supporters, most feel their candidate is giving his party the right amount of support (52%) or too much support (8%), but 30% say he is actually giving the GOP too little support.

In other poll findings, 60% of American voters say Clinton has the right temperament to be president, while only 31% say Trump does.  Clinton also continues to hold an edge on the "lesser of two evils" metric.  Nearly half of voters (47%) say it is very important to them to make sure Trump does not get elected.  Somewhat fewer voters (40%) feel the same about Clinton.  These results have not changed significantly since September.

The Monmouth University Poll  was conducted by telephone from October 14 to 16, 2016 with 805 registered voters in the United States.   The results in this release based on all registered voters have a margin of error of +  3.5 percent.  Results based on likely voters only have a margin of error of ± 3.6 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 ]

Registered voters (with leaners)  

38%       Donald Trump

47%       Hillary Clinton

  5%       Gary Johnson

  3%       Jill Stein

  1%       (VOL) Other candidate

  4%       (VOL) Undecided

  2%       (VOL) No one

   

Likely voters (with leaners)  

38%       Donald Trump

50%       Hillary Clinton

  5%       Gary Johnson

  2%       Jill Stein

  1%       (VOL) Other candidate

  3%       (VOL) Undecided

  0%       (VOL) No one

HEAD TO HEAD - TRUMP v. CLINTON  [Johnson/Stein/Other supporters reassigned to major party nominee they lean toward]:  

Registered voters  

41%       Donald Trump

50%       Hillary Clinton

  3%       (VOL) Other candidate

  4%       (VOL) Undecided

  2%       (VOL) No one

Likely voters  

41%  Donald Trump

53%       Hillary Clinton

  3%       (VOL) Other candidate

  3%       (VOL) Undecided

  0%       (VOL) No one

[ QUESTIONS 3 & 4 WERE ROTATED ]

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

26%       Favorable

61%       Unfavorable

13%       No opinion

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

38%       Favorable

52%       Unfavorable

10%       No opinion

Regardless of who you may support for president…

[ QUESTIONS 5 & 6 WERE ROTATED ]

5.      How important is it to you to make sure that Donald Trump does NOT get elected president - very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important?

47%       Very important

10%       Somewhat important

  8%       Not too important

33%       Not at all important

  2%       (VOL) Don't know

6.      How important is it to you to make sure that Hillary Clinton does NOT get elected president - very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important?  

40%       Very important

  9%       Somewhat important

  7%       Not too important

41%       Not at all important

  3%       (VOL) Don't know

[ QUESTIONS 7 & 8 WERE ROTATED ]

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?

31%       Does

64%       Does not

  5%       (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?

60%       Does

37%       Does not

  3%       (VOL) Don't know

9.      The text of some of the speeches Hillary Clinton gave to Wall Street firms and other businesses was recently revealed by WikiLeaks.  Have you read or heard anything about this? [ IF YES : Have you actually read or heard some of the things she actually said in those speeches, or did you just hear that WikiLeaks had released the speeches?]

44%       Read/heard things she said

28%       Only heard WikiLeaks released speeches

28%       Not aware of release

10.    Did what you hear about those speeches make you think more highly or less highly of Hillary Clinton, or did it have no real impact on the opinion you already had of her?

  1%       More highly

25%       Less highly

45%       No real impact

  1%       (VOL) Don't know

28%     Not aware of release  

[ QUESTIONS 11 & 12 WERE ROTATED ]

11.    Is the Republican Party leadership giving Donald Trump too much support, not enough support, or the right amount of support?

27%       Too much support

41%       Not enough support

23%       Right amount of support

  0%       (VOL) Depends

  8%       (VOL) Don't know

12.    Is Donald Trump giving the Republican Party too much support, not enough support, or the right amount of support?

  7%       Too much support

47%       Not enough support

29%       Right amount of support

  1%       (VOL) Depends

17%       (VOL) Don't know

13.    Have you heard the recent news about allegations that Donald Trump made unwanted advances on different women over the years, or were you not aware of these reports? [ IF HEARD:  Have you been paying close attention or just a little attention to this news?]

63%       Close attention

32%       A little attention

  5%       Not aware of news

14.    Do you think these allegations are definitely true, probably true, probably not true, or definitely not true?

22%       Definitely true

40%       Probably true

19%       Probably not true

  7%       Definitely not true

  8%       (VOL) Don't know

  5%     Not aware of news  

15.    Before these allegations were made public, a recording of Trump talking about some of his sexual encounters had already emerged.  Have you heard about this recording 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?]

56%       Watched/listed to recording

28%       Heard/read reports about it

16%       Not aware of recording

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

  7%       Shocked

17%       Surprised but not shocked

58%       Not really surprised

  2%       (VOL) Don't know

16%     Not aware of recording  

           

17.    Do you think that many other men say the kinds of things that Trump said or do you think that very few men say the kinds of things Trump said?

39%       Many men say this

40%       Few men say this

  4%       (VOL) Don't know

16%     Not aware of recording  

18.    Does what you have learned about Trump over the past week make you see him as unfit for office or do you see what he said or did as inappropriate but not necessarily something that makes him unfit for office?

45%       Makes him unfit for office

46%       Inappropriate but not necessarily unfit

  3%       (VOL) Neither

  3%       (VOL) Don't know

  3%     Not aware of news/recording  

METHODOLOGY  

The Monmouth University Poll  was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from October 14 to 16, 2016 with a national random sample of 805 registered voters.  Interviews were conducted by a live caller in English, including 400 drawn from a list of registered voters (200 landline / 200 cell phone) and 405 using random digit dial (201 landline / 204 cell phone). Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The final sample is weighted for age, gender, race and partisanship 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 3.5 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

Get Poll Reports in Your Inbox

If you would like to join our mailing list and receive the latest poll results the day they are released, please enter your contact information in the fields below.

Would you like to submit a question or comment?

Back

Any Questions?

Thank You!

Your email has been submitted to our mailing list. You will receive an email to receive future polls the day they are released.

- Monmouth University Polling Institute