Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Monmouth Poll- Trump 14 points ahead, Kander, Blunt in virtual tie

(From Monmouth University Polling Institute)

Donald Trump has taken a double digit lead over Hillary Clinton in Missouri, but the Senate race remains up in the air. The Monmouth University Poll also found that the Democratic candidate for governor has lost his early lead in that race and the contest is now tied.

Among Missouri voters likely to cast ballots in November's presidential election, 52% currently support Trump and 38% back Clinton. Another 4% intend to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 2% back the Green Party's Jill Stein. In Monmouth's mid-October poll, Trump had a 5 point lead of 46% to 41%. In August, the race was practically tied at 44% for Trump and 43% for Clinton.

White men prefer the GOP nominee by a 64% to 28% margin, which is similar to his 62% to 26% lead earlier this month. Trump also has a lead among white women of 52% to 39%, a group that was evenly divided at 42% to 42% two weeks ago.

"In a trend we have seen in other red states, Republican leaning voters in Missouri look like they are coming home to support their party's nominee despite any misgivings they may have about him," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Trump's personal ratings have ticked up slightly, but remain negative, at 39% favorable and 51% unfavorable. He had a 32% favorable to 56% unfavorable rating in mid-October and a 33% favorable to 53% unfavorable rating in August. Clinton's ratings are somewhat worse at 29% favorable to 63% unfavorable, compared with her ratings in mid-October (30% favorable to 59% unfavorable) and August (32% favorable to 56% unfavorable).

The poll was conducted from Friday through Monday, after news broke about the FBI investigation of new emails during Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State. Only 4% of Missouri voters say this news caused them to change their mind about which candidate they would support. The vast majority (87%) say these latest developments has had no impact on their vote and 8% are unaware of the news.

"Most of those voters who are swayed by the latest bombshell have moved into Trump's camp, but some actually side with Clinton now. The bottom line is that the net impact of the FBI news is contributing no more than one or two points to Trump's overall margin here," said Murray, adding, "The one way this small effect could be critical is if it spurs GOP turnout that could be decisive in razor thin races down the ballot."

The Show Me State's U.S. Senate race remains tight. Republican incumbent Roy Blunt holds an insignificant 47% to 46% lead over Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander. Another 2% say they will vote for Libertarian Jonathan Dine. Blunt held a 48% to 43% lead over Kander in August, which narrowed to a 46% to 44% edge in mid-October.

Blunt earns a net positive job rating from Missouri voters of 43% approve to 36% disapprove. This is virtually unchanged from his 42% approve to 37% disapprove rating last month and is only slightly less positive than his 45% approve to 35% disapprove rating in August.

Voters are more negative as to their personal opinion of Blunt - 34% have a favorable view of him while 39% hold an unfavorable opinion. His October rating was 32% favorable to 33% unfavorable while his August rating was 33% favorable to 28% unfavorable. Kander remains less well-known but is slightly more liked at 35% favorable to 21% unfavorable. This compares with the challenger's 33% favorable to 14% unfavorable rating in October and his 29% favorable to 9% unfavorable rating in August.

In terms of straight-ticket voting, Kander is able to hold onto more Clinton supporters (90%) than Blunt is of Trump voters (79%). In October, Kander got the vote of 82% of Clinton backers while Blunt kept 80% of Trump voters. Prior polls have shown that some Trump supporters are concerned that Blunt has not provided enough support to the top of the ticket. Among Trump voters, 57% have a favorable opinion of Blunt and 19% have an unfavorable opinion. As a point of comparison, 64% of Clinton voters have a favorable opinion of Kander and only 4% hold an unfavorable view of him.

"Even though Blunt isn't getting a bigger percentage of the straight-ticket vote, the simple fact that the number of Trump voters has grown is helping Blunt to the tune of a percentage point or two," said Murray.

The Monmouth University Poll also finds the contest to replace outgoing governor Jay Nixon has narrowed to a tie. Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster has the support of 46% of likely voters and former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens has an identical 46%. Another 2% say they will vote for Libertarian Cisse Spragins. Koster enjoyed a much larger 51% to 40% advantage in August, but that had tightened to 46% to 43% in mid-October.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from October 28 to 31, 2016 with 405 Missouri 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.

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