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Monmouth University Polling Institute

Trump has Narrow Lead But Clinton and McMullin are Hot on His Heels

Thursday, October 13, 2016

West Long Branch, NJ  - The Republican presidential nominee is ahead in the race for Utah's electoral votes - which wouldn't be a headline except for the fact that his lead is a relatively meager 6 points.  The Monmouth University Poll  finds Donald Trump staving off a challenge from both Hillary Clinton and independent candidate Evan McMullin.  More than 2-in-3 voters in one of the nation's most reliable Republican states say Trump does not share their values and he lacks the temperament to serve as president.

Among Utah voters likely to cast ballots in November's presidential election, 34% currently support Trump, 28% back Clinton, 20% back McMullin, and 9% support Libertarian Gary Johnson.  Green Party candidate Jill Stein has 1% of the vote and another 6% are undecided.  Historically, the GOP nominee tends to enjoy a winning margin in the 30 to 50 point range.  The only time in more than 50 years when the Republican margin of victory was less than 20 points occurred back in 1992.  That election saw Utah's vote divided among three candidates - 43% George H.W. Bush, 27% Ross Perot, 25% Bill Clinton.

"While this race is close, it is unclear whether Clinton or McMullin has the better opportunity to upset Trump," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.  [Note: nearly all the interviews for this poll were conducted before news of sexual assault allegations against Trump received wide coverage on Wednesday.]  

The last Democrat to win Utah's electoral votes was Lyndon Johnson in 1964.  Since then, no Democrat has done better than about one-third of the vote and, more often than not, has barely been able to top one-quarter of ballots cast.  Among the few Beehive State polls that have been conducted this cycle, Clinton has been stuck at about one-quarter of the vote in all the telephone polls, although she has attained one-third support in a number of online surveys.  The more volatile number has been Trump's level of support.

"It is likely that some Republican voters are looking for cues from their state's party leadership, who have pretty much abandoned Trump en masse," said Murray.

Self-identified Republicans support Trump over McMullin by a 55% to 26% margin, with 6% supporting Clinton and 5% supporting Johnson.  Among independent voters, 29% back Trump, 23% back Clinton, 21% back McMullin, and 16% back Johnson.  Nearly all Democrats (92%) support Clinton.

Male voters tend to stick with the GOP nominee - 42% Trump, 26% Clinton, 14% McMullin, and 10% Johnson.  Women, however, narrowly prefer the Democrat - 31% Clinton, 27% Trump, 26% McMullin, and 8% Johnson.  In 2008, the most recent year with a Utah exit poll, GOP nominee John McCain enjoyed an identical support level of 63% among both men and women.

About 6-in-10 Utah voters identify their religious affiliation as Mormon.  Among this group, Trump leads McMullin by 38% to 32%, with Clinton at 13% and Johnson at 8%.  Among those with another religious affiliation or no religious identity, half back Clinton (50%), with Trump at 29%, Johnson at 9%, and McMullin at 4%.  In 2008, McCain defeated Barack Obama among Mormon voters by a 78% to 19% margin according to the exit poll, while Obama won the support of voters with another or no religious identity by 62% to 31%.

The Monmouth University Poll  finds that Utah voters have an overwhelmingly negative opinion of both major party nominees while the independent candidate is not particularly well-known.  Just 19% have a favorable view of Trump and 71% have an unfavorable opinion of him.  Only 25% have a favorable view of Clinton and 69% have a negative opinion of her.  McMullin gets a 28% favorable and 6% unfavorable rating, but two-thirds (66%) do not know enough to form an opinion of the candidate who is positioning himself as the principled conservative option in the race.

Furthermore, 73% of voters say Trump does not share their values, including 61% of Republicans and 73% of Mormons.  A similar 70% of voters say that Clinton does not share their values.

"Utah's large number of Republican voters could never support the Democrat, but they are having an awfully hard time coming to terms with their own nominee. This may provide an opening for McMullin, especially if the national picture continues to point toward a Clinton victory and they become less worried about 'wasting' their vote," said Murray.

Only 25% of Utah voters feel Trump has the right temperament to be president while 70% say he does not.  They are more evenly divided on Clinton, with 49% saying she has the right temperament and 48% saying she does not.

Nearly all Utah voters are aware of the graphic recording of Trump released on Friday, including 52% who have watched or listened to it and another 41% have read or heard about its contents.  About 2-in-3 voters (67%) say they were not really surprised by what they heard come out of Trump's mouth.  Only 6% say they were shocked and 18% say they were surprised but not shocked.  Nearly 4-in-10 voters (39%) feel what Trump said in that tape makes him unfit for office while 50% say his words were inappropriate but not necessarily disqualifying.  Seven percent are not familiar with the recording.

The presidential race aside, Republicans are enjoying a typically large advantage in other statewide contests.  In the election for U.S. Senate, first-term incumbent Mike Lee has a 60% to 31% lead over challenger Misty Snow.  In the race for governor, incumbent Gary Herbert has a 63% to 30% lead over challenger Mike Weinholtz.

The Monmouth University Poll  was conducted by telephone from October 10 to 12, 2016 with 403 Utah 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, Jill Stein of the Green Party, or independent candidate Evan McMullin?  [ 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 ]

34%     Donald Trump

28%     Hillary Clinton

  9%     Gary Johnson

  1%     Jill Stein

20%     Evan McMullin

  1%     (VOL) Other candidate

  6%     (VOL) Undecided

3.      If the election for U.S. Senate was today, would you vote for Mike Lee the Republican, Misty Snow the Democrat, or some other candidate?  [ IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward - Mike Lee or Misty Snow?] [ NAMES WERE ROTATED

60%     Mike Lee

31%     Misty Snow

  3%     Other candidate

  6%     (VOL) Undecided

4.      If the election for governor was today, would you vote for Gary Herbert the Republican, Mike Weinholtz the Democrat, or some other candidate?  [ IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward - Gary Herbert or Mike Weinholtz?] [ NAMES WERE ROTATED

63%     Gary Herbert

30%     Mike Weinholtz

  2%     Other candidate

  5%     (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?  

19%     Favorable

71%     Unfavorable

10%     No opinion

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

25%     Favorable

69%     Unfavorable

6%     No opinion


7.      Is your general impression of Evan McMullin favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?  

28%     Favorable

  6%     Unfavorable

66%     No opinion


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

25%     Does

70%     Does not

  5%     (VOL) Don't know

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

49%     Does

48%     Does not

  3%     (VOL) Don't know


10.    Do you think Donald Trump does or does not share your values?

24%     Does

73%     Does not

  3%     (VOL) Don't know

11.    Do you think Hillary Clinton does or does not share your values?

29%     Does

70%     Does not

  1%     (VOL) Don't know

12.    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?]

52%     Watched/listened to actual recording

41%     Heard/read reports about it

  7%     Not aware of recording

13.    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?

39%     Makes him unfit for office

50%     Inappropriate but not necessarily unfit

  2%     (VOL) Neither

  2%     (VOL) Don't know

  7%     Not aware of recording

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

6%     Shocked

18%     Surprised but not shocked

67%     Not really surprised

  2%     (VOL) Don't know

  7%     Not aware of recording



The Monmouth University Poll  was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from October 10 to 12, 2016 with a random sample of 403 likely Utah voters.  Interviews were conducted by a live caller in English, including 353 drawn from a list of registered voters (201 landline / 152 cell phone) and a random digit dial supplement of 50 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 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 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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- Monmouth University Polling Institute