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Monmouth University Polling Institute

Clinton Holds Narrow Lead Over Trump in General Election

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Voters have different views on Christie, Booker as VP picks

West Long Branch, NJ  - Hillary Clinton holds a narrow lead over Donald Trump in an early read of New Jersey registered voters five months before the general election.  The Monmouth University Poll  finds that neither candidate has solidified support among core constituent groups.  With the top of the ticket taking shape for both parties, speculation has turned to a couple of Garden State office holders as potential running mates.  The poll finds that one name in particular - the state's own governor - may actually put New Jersey electoral votes further out of reach for Trump.

In a head-to-head contest, Clinton currently has the support of 38% of New Jersey registered voters and Trump has the support of 34%.  Another 11% volunteer that they will vote for a third party or independent candidate even though the poll question did not include that option, and 15% say they are undecided.  The poll also presented registered voters with a four-way race including Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein.  In this matchup, Clinton leads Trump by a slightly wider margin of 37% to 31%, with Johnson at 5% and Stein at 4%.  Another 6% say they will vote for some other candidate and 14% remain undecided.  New Jersey has voted for the Democratic presidential nominee in every election since 1992.

"Blue Jersey doesn't appear quite so blue at this stage of the campaign, but we should keep in mind that neither major party candidate has fully locked in the support of their partisan bases.  When and if that happens, the benefit should accrue more to Clinton than to Trump simply because Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

In the two-candidate contest, Clinton has the support of 72% of self-identified Democrats and Trump has the support of a similar 73% of Republican voters.  Trump holds a 44% to 29% lead among non-Hispanic white voters, while Clinton holds a 54% to 14% advantage among black, Hispanic, and Asian voters. Of particular note, 68% of black voters in New Jersey say they will vote for Clinton while only 1% back Trump, but 21% say they are undecided about their vote choice for November.

"Based on historical precedent, these undecided minority voters should break strongly for the Democratic nominee.  On the other hand, not much about the 2016 race has followed historical precedent," said Murray.

In other demographic findings, Clinton leads among women 44% to 28% and Trump leads among men 40% to 31%.  Voters under age 35 prefer Clinton (41% to 27%), while older voters are divided.  Among those age 35 to 54, 36% support Clinton and 32% support Trump, while among those age 55 or older, 40% support Trump and 37% support Clinton.  These demographic dynamics hold when the contest is presented as a four-way race with Johnson and Stein included.

The Monmouth University Poll  also asked about whether adding a fellow New Jerseyan to the ticket would sway voters.  Gov. Chris Christie was the first major establishment figure to endorse Trump, but the poll suggests that tapping him as the vice presidential nominee could put New Jersey out of play for the Republican slate.  More than 4-in-10 Garden State voters (42%) say they would be less likely to vote for Trump if Christie is his Number 2.  Only 8% say they would be more likely to vote for a Trump-Christie ticket and nearly half (48%) say picking the governor would have no impact on their likelihood to support Trump.  Among voters who are undecided about their choice, fully 51% say Christie as V.P. would be a turn-off, just 8% say his presence on the ticket would make them more likely to support Trump, and 33% say it would not influence their vote either way.

"Trump claims he can turn New Jersey competitive in November.  These results suggest he probably needs to look elsewhere for a running mate if he wants to make that a reality," said Murray.

On the Democratic side, the state's junior U.S. Senator, Cory Booker, has been touted by the media as a potential V.P. pick for Clinton. This choice would do little to sway New Jersey voters, with 67% of voters saying it would not influence their choice either way. Of the remainder, 18% say they would be more likely to support Clinton with Booker on the ticket and 11% would be less likely.  Among undecided voters specifically, 50% say Booker as running mate would not impact their vote in November, 26% would be more likely to support Clinton with the senator as her running mate and 13% would be less likely.

"Tapping Booker would be a no harm, no foul call for Clinton as far as New Jersey's electoral votes are concerned," said Murray.

The Monmouth University Poll  was conducted by telephone from May 23 to 27, 2016 with 806 New Jersey adults.   This release is based on a sample of 703 registered voters and has a margin of error of ±  3.7 percent.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

 

DATA TABLES

The questions referred to in this release are as follows:

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

 

[ Q1 held for future release ]

2.     If the election for president was today, would you vote for Donald Trump the Republican or Hillary Clinton the Democrat? [ NAMES WERE ROTATED ]

TOTAL

PARTY ID

GENDER

AGE

RACE

Rep

Ind

Dem

Male

Female

18-34

35-54

55+

White, non-Hispanic

Other

Trump

34%

73%

37%

7%

40%

28%

27%

32%

40%

44%

14%

Clinton

38%

5%

25%

72%

31%

44%

41%

36%

37%

29%

54%

(VOL) Other candidate

11%

11%

16%

8%

14%

9%

13%

13%

8%

11%

10%

(VOL) Undecided

15%

10%

21%

11%

12%

17%

15%

18%

12%

14%

17%

(VOL) Refused

2%

0%

2%

2%

2%

2%

4%

1%

3%

1%

4%

3.     And who would you vote for if the candidates were Donald Trump the Republican, Hillary Clinton the Democrat, Gary Johnson the Libertarian, or Jill Stein of the Green Party? [ NAMES WERE ROTATED ]

TOTAL

PARTY ID

GENDER

AGE

RACE

Rep

Ind

Dem

Male

Female

18-34

35-54

55+

White, non-Hispanic

Other

Trump

31%

69%

33%

7%

36%

26%

21%

30%

38%

41%

12%

Clinton

37%

6%

23%

71%

30%

43%

39%

37%

37%

28%

55%

Johnson

5%

5%

9%

1%

7%

3%

7%

5%

4%

5%

4%

Stein

4%

2%

5%

4%

5%

4%

9%

3%

2%

4%

4%

(VOL) Other candidate

6%

6%

9%

4%

9%

4%

6%

9%

4%

5%

8%

(VOL) Undecided

14%

12%

19%

9%

11%

17%

13%

16%

13%

14%

14%

(VOL) Refused

2%

0%

1%

3%

3%

2%

4%

1%

3%

1%

3%

 

[ QUESTIONS 4 & 5 WERE ROTATED ]

4.     If Donald Trump chooses Chris Christie as his running mate, would you be more likely or less likely to vote for the Trump ticket for president, or would this not influence your vote either way?

TOTAL

PARTY ID

GENDER

AGE

RACE

Rep

Ind

Dem

Male

Female

18-34

35-54

55+

White, non-Hispanic

Other

More likely

8%

14%

7%

5%

9%

7%

2%

10%

10%

10%

4%

Less likely

42%

23%

47%

47%

39%

44%

49%

40%

38%

40%

44%

Not influence vote

48%

63%

43%

45%

48%

48%

47%

47%

50%

49%

47%

(VOL) Don't know

3%

0%

3%

3%

4%

2%

2%

3%

2%

1%

5%

 

5.     If Hillary Clinton chooses Cory Booker as her running mate, would you be more likely or less likely to vote for the Clinton ticket for president, or would this not influence your vote either way?

TOTAL

PARTY ID

GENDER

AGE

RACE

Rep

Ind

Dem

Male

Female

18-34

35-54

55+

White, non-Hispanic

Other

More likely

18%

7%

16%

27%

14%

22%

21%

21%

13%

13%

26%

Less likely

11%

17%

15%

5%

12%

11%

8%

11%

14%

15%

4%

Not influence vote

67%

76%

65%

65%

71%

64%

66%

66%

70%

69%

65%

(VOL) Don't know

3%

0%

4%

3%

3%

4%

5%

2%

3%

2%

5%

 

[ Q6-27 held for future release ]

The Monmouth University Poll  was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from May 23 to 27, 2016 with a statewide random sample of 806 adult residents, including 566 contacted via live interview on a landline telephone and 240 via live interview on a cell phone, in English.  Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey questionnaire design, data weighting and analysis.  Final sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on US Census information.  Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field) and SSI (RDD sample). The results in this poll release are based on a subsample of 703 registered voters.  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 3.7 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.

POLL DEMOGRAPHICS

Registered Voter Sample (weighted)

22% Rep 47% Male 23% 18-34 66% White
40% Ind 53% Female 40% 35-54 13% Black
38% Dem   37% 55+ 12% Hispanic
          8% Asian/Other

 

MARGIN OF ERROR

TOTAL

PARTY ID

GENDER

AGE

RACE

Rep

Ind

Dem

Male

Female

18-34

35-54

55+

White, non-Hispanic

Other

Unweighted  N

703

167

285

235

339

364

113

234

351

515

175

moe

3.7%

7.6%

5.8%

6.4%

5.3%

5.1%

9.2%

6.4%

5.2%

4.3%

7.4%

 

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Download this Poll Report with all tables

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