West Long Branch, NJ - Pennsylvania is looking good for Hillary Clinton, driven by gains among white women voters, according to the Monmouth University Poll . She currently has a 10 point lead over Donald Trump, similar to her 8 point lead in August. The race for U.S. Senate between Democratic challenger Katie McGinty and GOP incumbent Pat Toomey is currently tied. McGinty had a 4 point lead just over a month ago.
Among Keystone State voters likely to cast ballots in November's presidential election, 50% currently support Clinton and 40% back Trump. Another 5% intend to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson, 2% back Jill Stein of the Green Party, and 2% are undecided. In late August, Clinton led Trump by 48% to 40%.
The Republican nominee's support has slipped among white voters in the Keystone State, who are now divided 46% for Clinton and 45% for Trump. In August, they gave Trump a 48% to 39% edge. This is mainly driven by a swing among white women - who currently support Clinton by a 55% to 35% margin. Just over a month ago, they were divided at 46% for Clinton and 45% for Trump. White men continue to back Trump - 57% to 35% for Clinton - compared with 50% to 32% in late August.
"Clinton has been blanketing the Pennsylvania airwaves with ads that highlight Trump's controversial statements, particularly about women. They appear to have had an impact," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Significantly more Democrats support Clinton (90%) than Republicans who back Trump (75%). That marks a 4 point gain in partisan support for Clinton and a 6 point loss in partisan support for Trump since August. Independents remain divided at 43% for Trump and 38% for Clinton, with 13% supporting Johnson and 5% supporting Stein. Monmouth's prior poll put independent support at Trump 39%, Clinton 36%, Johnson 17%, and Stein 2%.
Clinton continues to do very well in the southeastern corner of the state. She leads Trump by a 62% to 30% margin in the seven congressional districts that encompass the city of Philadelphia and its adjacent suburbs, similar to her 62% to 29% lead here in August. Trump continues to hold a lead in the northeastern and central part of the state (55% to 38%), although it is slightly less than his 58% to 28% lead in this region in Monmouth's last poll. Clinton has also made gains in the western portion of the state. She now has a very narrow lead of 45% to 42% in western Pennsylvania, reversing Trump's 47% to 40% lead here just over a month ago.
Clinton has the edge over Trump on being seen as someone who understands the concerns of typical voters. Most Pennsylvania voters say Clinton has this characteristic - 52% say she does and 46% say she doesn't. Fewer see Trump as someone who understands the day to day concerns of people like them - 38% say he does and 60% say he doesn't.
"Connecting with the everyday concerns of voters is one key to winning over Pennsylvania voters. It looks like Clinton has been gaining the advantage on this metric," said Murray.
Clinton has an even wider advantage on the issue of presidential temperament - something that has been dominating the news since last week's debate. Twice as many voters say Clinton has the right temperament for the job (64%) compared to those who say the same about Trump (31%).
The poll also found that Clinton's favorability rating has ticked up since August while Trump's has declined. Just over 4-in-10 Pennsylvania voters (41%) have a favorable opinion of Clinton while 48% hold an unfavorable view of her. This compares with a 36% favorable and 51% unfavorable rating in August. Only 27% have a favorable opinion of Trump while 60% hold an unfavorable view of him, which is down from 31% favorable and 54% unfavorable in the prior Monmouth poll.
Turning to the U.S. Senate race, GOP incumbent Pat Toomey and former state official Katie McGinty are currently locked in a 46% to 46% tie, with 3% giving their support to Libertarian Edward Clifford and 5% who are undecided. This marks a change since August, when McGinty had a 45% to 41% lead among likely voters. Toomey has the support of 83% of Republicans while McGinty has the backing of 84% of Democrats. Independents prefer Toomey by a 50% to 35% margin.
Toomey has a strong lead of 54% to 40% in the eastern and central portion of the state. The two candidates are tied at 45% apiece in the western part of the state. McGinty has a smaller 49% to 42% edge in Democrat-rich southeastern Pennsylvania.
The candidates' positions on tax cuts and tax hikes have become fodder for this campaign. Toomey seems to have slight edge here, with 45% saying the incumbent would do a good job on this issue and 37% saying he would do a bad job. McGinty does not fare as well on taxes - 38% say she would do a good job and 42% say she would do a bad job.
Toomey continues to get mixed job ratings from his constituents - 42% approve and 38% disapprove of his performance as U.S. Senator. Voters are divided on their personal opinion of both candidates. Toomey has a 32% favorable and 30% unfavorable rating. McGinty has a 27% favorable and 29% unfavorable rating.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from September 30 to October 3, 2016 with 402 Pennsylvania 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 ]
40% Donald Trump
50% Hillary Clinton
5% Gary Johnson
2% Jill Stein
<1% (VOL) Other candidate
2% (VOL) Undecided
3. If the election for U.S. Senate was today, would you vote for Pat Toomey the Republican, Katie McGinty the Democrat, or Edward Clifford the Libertarian? [ IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following candidates at this moment, who do you lean toward - Pat Toomey or Katie McGinty?] [ NAMES WERE ROTATED ]
46% Pat Toomey
46% Katie McGinty
3% Edward Clifford
0% (VOL) Other candidate
5% (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?
11% No opinion
[ QUESTIONS 6 & 7 WERE ROTATED ]
6. Regardless of whether you would vote for him, do you think Donald Trump does or does not have the right temperament to be president?
66% Does not
4% (VOL) Don't know
7. Regardless of whether you would vote for her, do you think Hillary Clinton does or does not have the right temperament to be president?
33% Does not
3% (VOL) Don't know
[ QUESTIONS 8 & 9 WERE ROTATED ]
8. Do you think Donald Trump does or does not understand the day to day concerns of people like you?
60% Does not
2% (VOL) Don't know
9. Do you think Hillary Clinton does or does not understand the day to day concerns of people like you?
46% Does not
2% (VOL) Don't know
Turning to the Senate race…
[ QUESTIONS 10 & 11 WERE ROTATED ]
10. Is your general impression of Pat Toomey favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?
38% No opinion
11. Is your general impression of Katie McGinty favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of her?
44% No opinion
12. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Pat Toomey is doing as U.S. senator?
20% (VOL) No opinion
[ QUESTIONS 13 & 14 WERE ROTATED ]
13. Do you think Pat Toomey would do a good job or bad job on the issue of taxes?
45% Good job
37% Bad job
18% (VOL) Don't know
14. Do you think Katie McGinty would do a good job or bad job on the issue of taxes?
38% Good job
42% Bad job
20% (VOL) Don't know
The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from September 30 to October 3, 2016 with a random sample of 402 likely Pennsylvania voters. Interviews were conducted by a live caller in English, including 352 drawn from a list of registered voters (201 landline / 151 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