West Long Branch, NJ - Hillary Clinton has pulled ahead of Donald Trump by 7 points in Nevada, which has been one of the "swingy-est" states of the 2016 election. Clinton had a 4 point lead in July before Trump claimed a 2 point edge in mid-September. The Monmouth University Poll finds that Clinton's Silver State resurgence is due mainly to younger, non-white voters moving into her column over the past month. While the presidential contest has been shifting, the race for U.S. Senate has barely budged since the summer, with Republican Joe Heck clinging to a razor-thin 3 point lead over Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto.
Among Nevada voters likely to participate in November's presidential election, 47% currently support Clinton and 40% back Trump. Another 7% intend to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 2% say they will choose Nevada's unique "none of these candidates" ballot option. Monmouth's September poll had Trump at 44% and Clinton at 42%. This order was reversed in July with Clinton at 45% and Trump at 41%.
The rise in Clinton's support over the past month is due mainly to two groups that normally lean Democratic - non-white voters and younger voters. Clinton has expanded her lead among non-white voters, now at 67% to 18% compared with 63% to 28% in September. She has also pulled ahead among voters under the age of 50 - now leading Trump by 55% to 28% compared with a virtual tie (41% Clinton to 40% Trump) last month.
These shifts have come mainly from male voters in these groups. Clinton has improved her margin over Trump among non-white men from 50% - 36% in September to 63% - 22% in the current poll. Her standing among non-white women has changed only slightly by comparison, from 72% - 22% last month to 70% - 15% now. In September, Trump had a 44% to 29% lead among male voters under 50 years old. Clinton has now reversed this to claim a sizable 53% - 30% advantage over her opponent among young men. By comparison, her support among women under age 50 has grown by a smaller amount, going from a 52% - 36% lead last month to a 58% - 26% lead now.
"We saw this same trend in the national poll Monmouth released yesterday. Historically Democratic groups appear to be coming home to Clinton, especially among male voters in these key voting blocs" said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Trump maintains a 51% - 38% lead among white voters in Nevada, which is down from his 51% - 33% lead last month. He continues to hold similar advantages among white men (51% - 36%) and white women (52% - 39%).
The two candidates' ratings have remained fairly stable. Clinton earns a 32% favorable and 53% unfavorable rating while Trump gets a 31% favorable and 56% unfavorable rating. However, Clinton has the advantage on presidential temperament - 56% say she possesses the appropriate temperament for the job while only 35% say the same of Trump. She also maintains a slight edge on the "lesser of two evils" metric - 41% of Nevada voters say it is very important to keep her out of the White House while slightly more (46%) say the same about stopping Trump.
Turning to the U.S. Senate race, Rep. Joe Heck holds a small 45% to 42% lead over Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, with Tom Jones of the Independent American Party at 4% and "none of these candidates" at 5%. Heck led by a similar 46% to 43% in September and by 42% to 40% in July.
Heck holds a 55% to 36% edge among white voters, compared with 52% to 38% in September and 47% to 35% in July. Cortez Masto has a 55% to 26% lead among non-white voters, compared with 55% to 32% in September and 49% to 29% in July.
Neither U.S. Senate candidate has significantly raised their profile in the past month. Currently, 39% of Nevada voters have a favorable opinion of Heck and 32% have an unfavorable view of him, compared with a 36% favorable to 32% unfavorable rating in September and a 36% favorable to 19% unfavorable rating in July. While Heck's rating has held steady, Cortez Masto's rating has seen a slide with 29% of voters now having a favorable opinion and 36% having an unfavorable view of her. This marks a reversal of her 34% favorable to 29% unfavorable rating in September and her 29% favorable to 16% unfavorable rating in July,
The Senate race has been characterized by charges that each candidate is unduly influenced by special interest groups. Overall, 36% of voters say special interests have too much influence over Heck, which is similar to the 38% who said the same in September. Likewise, 35% say special interests have too much influence over Cortez Masto, which is similar to 38% in last month's poll.
Both candidates are dogged by their association with the top of the ticket, although Heck's problem is a little more complicated. Currently, 27% of Nevada voters say Heck has been too supportive of the GOP presidential nominee, 20% say he has not been supportive enough, 33% say Heck has given Trump the right amount of support, and 20% have no opinion. Heck recently withdrew his endorsement of Trump, which may be why 4-in-10 Trump supporters (41%) say Heck has not given his party's presidential nominee enough support compared with 42% who say he has given the right amount of support.
On the other hand, more voters (42%) say Cortez Masto has given the Democratic presidential nominee the right amount of support, only 7% say she has not been supportive enough, 22% say she has been too supportive, and 29% have no opinion. Fully 65% of Clinton voters say the Democratic Senate candidate has given her party's nominee the right amount of support while just 9% say she has not been supportive enough.
The poll does not give any clear direction on whether a connection to the top of the ticket can be used to sway the remaining persuadable voters. Among this group - including those who are undecided, are supporting a third party candidate, or are supporting one of the two major party candidates but may change their minds - 23% say Heck is too supportive of Trump and 11% say he is not supportive enough while an identical 23% say Cortez Masto is too supportive of Clinton and 11% say she is not supportive enough.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from October 14 to 17, 2016 with 413 Nevada residents likely to vote in the November election. This sample has a margin of error of ±4.8 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, or Gary Johnson the Libertarian - or would you choose the option for none of these candidates? [ 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 ]
40% Donald Trump
47% Hillary Clinton
7% Gary Johnson
2% None of these candidates
1% (VOL) Other
3% (VOL) Undecided
3. If the election for U.S. Senate was today, would you vote for Joe Heck the Republican, Catherine Cortez Masto the Democrat, or Tom Jones of the Independent American Party - or would you choose the option for none of these candidates? [ IF UNDECIDED : If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward - Joe Heck or Catherine Cortez Masto?] [ NAMES WERE ROTATED ]
45% Joe Heck
42% Catherine Cortez Masto
4% Tom Jones
5% None of these candidates
0% (VOL) Other
4% (VOL) Undecided
Regardless of who you may support for president…
[ QUESTIONS 4 & 5 WERE ROTATED ]
4. Is your general impression of Donald Trump favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?
13% No opinion
5. Is your general impression of Hillary Clinton favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of her?
15% No opinion
Regardless of who you may support for president…
[ QUESTIONS 6 & 7 WERE ROTATED ]
6. 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?
46% Very important
9% Somewhat important
5% Not too important
36% Not at all important
4% (VOL) Don't know
7. 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?
41% Very important
6% Somewhat important
7% Not too important
43% Not at all important
3% (VOL) Don't know
[ QUESTIONS 8 & 9 WERE ROTATED ]
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?
61% Does not
4% (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?
41% Does not
3% (VOL) Don't know
Turning to the Senate race…
[ QUESTIONS 10 & 11 WERE ROTATED ]
10. Is your general impression of Joe Heck favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?
28% No opinion
11. Is your general impression of Catherine Cortez Masto favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of her?
34% No opinion
[ QUESTIONS 12 & 13 WERE ROTATED ]
12. How much influence do special interest groups have over Joe Heck - too much, too little, or the right amount?
36% Too much
4% Too little
27% Right amount
33% (VOL) Don't know
13. How much influence do special interest groups have over Catherine Cortez Masto - too much, too little, or the right amount?
35% Too much
6% Too little
28% Right amount
32% (VOL) Don't know
[ QUESTIONS 14 & 15 WERE ROTATED ]
14. Has Joe Heck been too supportive of Donald Trump, not supportive enough, or has he given the right amount of support to Trump?
27% Too supportive
20% Not supportive enough
33% Right amount of support
20% (VOL) Don't know
15. Has Catherine Cortez Masto been too supportive of Hillary Clinton, not supportive enough, or has she given the right amount of support to Clinton?
22% Too supportive
7% Not supportive enough
42% Right amount of support
29% (VOL) Don't know
The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from October 14 to 17, 2016 with a random sample of 413 likely Nevada voters. Interviews were conducted by a live caller in English, including 363 drawn from a list of registered voters (210 landline / 153 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 4.8 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