Clinton ‘has commanding advantages’ over Trump
WASHINGTON – The Associated PressAmericans see Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as the clear winner over her Republican rival, Donald Trump, in this year’s presidential debates, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll, which also shows commanding advantages for Clinton heading into the final days of the campaign.
Likely voters overwhelmingly think Clinton did better than Trump in the three presidential debates, by a 69 percent to 29 percent margin. And 34 percent say the debates made them more likely to vote for Clinton, while just 18 percent say they are more likely to support Trump. The Democratic nominee holds a 14 point advantage overall among likely voters in the poll, 51-37.
Overall, 90 percent of Democrats say they are supporting their nominee, while 79 percent of Republicans are supporting theirs.
Voters are increasingly certain that Clinton will ultimately win, the AP-GfK poll shows. Seventy-four percent of likely voters say they think she will be the winner, up from 63 percent in September.
Although voters are still more likely to have an unfavorable than a favorable view of Clinton, her ratings have improved slightly in the past month. Forty-six percent of likely voters now say they have a favorable view of the former secretary of state, and 51 percent an unfavorable one.
In September, 42 percent rated her favorably and 54 percent unfavorably. Meanwhile, just 34 percent have a favorable view of Trump, while 64 percent hold an unfavorable view of the billionaire businessman.
Clinton supporters are more likely than Trump supporters to say major factors behind their support include that their candidate has the best positions on the issues (75 to 65 percent), is the strongest leader (74 to 57 percent) and is most qualified to be president (86 to 39 percent).
Opposition to the other candidate is a major factor for supporters of both, but more so for Trump’s backers than Clinton’s, 86 to 79 percent. Trump’s supporters are more likely than Clinton’s to say a major reason for voting for their candidate is that it sends a message to the political establishment, 62 to 36 percent.
There are signs that many Americans are not actually looking for dramatic changes. Fifty-five percent now approve of the job U.S. President Barack Obama is doing as president, up from 51 percent in September.
On the other hand, 52 percent of likely voters say they would most likely vote for someone else even if Obama could run for a third term.
Narrower gap on Congress
The poll shows voters are slightly more likely to prefer Democratic than Republican control of Congress, by a 5-point margin. Nine in 10 Democratic and Republican voters alike prefer their own party to have control.
Still, the poll points to difficulties for the Republican Party moving forward. Just 36 percent of likely voters have a favorable opinion of the party, while 61 percent have an unfavorable one.
By contrast, Americans are divided evenly, 49-49, in their favorable versus unfavorable assessments of the Democratic Party.
The AP-GfK Poll of 1,546 adults, including 1,212 likely voters, was conducted online Oct. 20-24, using a sample drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 2.75 percentage points, and for likely voters is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Respondents were first selected randomly using telephone or mail survey methods and later interviewed online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who did not have access to the internet were provided access for free.