Sup­port from men keep­ing Trump in race

Clin­ton main­tains lead in most opin­ion polls on strength of women’s back­ing

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - By David Lauter

WASH­ING­TON — With the first two de­bates of the gen­eral elec­tion fin­ished and early vot­ing start­ing in many places, Hil­lary Clin­ton’s lead has strength­ened in polls in key states needed to win the White House, es­pe­cially those with large mi­nor­ity pop­u­la­tions.

But Don­ald Trump’s core sup­port among blue-col­lar white vot­ers re­mains largely in­tact, giv­ing him a base from which to try to stage a come­back in the cam­paign’s fi­nal phase, judg­ing by a raft of new polls re­leased in the past sev­eral days.

A key for Trump is tena­cious sup­port among men, whose back­ing for him in­creased af­ter Clin­ton’s health be­came an is­sue in early Septem­ber, ac­cord­ing to the USC Dorn­sife/Los An­ge­les Times “Day­break” track­ing poll of the race.

Na­tion­ally, the race has not shifted dra­mat­i­cally since the first de­bate be- tween Clin­ton and Trump, even though large ma­jori­ties of vot­ers say Clin­ton won the en­counter. But be­neath that rel­a­tively sta­ble na­tional pic­ture, the lineup of states has shifted to Clin­ton’s ben­e­fit, the polls in­di­cate.

The Day­break poll, a na­tional sur­vey that is up­dated daily, has shown al­most no move­ment. Na­tional sur­veys by YouGov for the Econ­o­mist and Sur­vey­Mon­key for NBC, both of which poll each week, also have shown a sta­ble race, although they dis­agree with the Day­break poll about which can­di­date leads.

All three of those sur­veys are con­ducted online; sev­eral na­tional sur­veys con­ducted by tele­phone have found a larger shift to­ward Clin­ton. That sort of dif­fer­ence, with tele­phone-based sur­veys hav­ing big­ger ups and downs than online ones, has shown up in pre­vi­ous cam­paigns.

The Day­break track­ing poll is the only ma­jor sur­vey Don­ald Trump’s core sup­port among blue-col­lar white vot­ers re­mains largely in­tact. that shows Trump ahead; as of Wed­nes­day, he leads the poll 47 per­cent to 43 per­cent. Av­er­ages of re­cent polls, by con­trast, show Clin­ton lead­ing by 4 or 5 per­cent­age points.

One im­por­tant rea­son for the dif­fer­ence is how sur­veys ac­count for peo­ple who are not cer­tain to vote or are un­sure about which can­di­date they sup­port.

Clin­ton and Trump are now even in the Day­break poll among the most com­mit­ted vot­ers — those who say they are ab­so­lutely cer­tain to vote and sure about which can­di­date they back. Trump pre­vi­ously had an edge among those vot­ers.

Trump’s over­all lead in the poll now de­pends on sup­port from peo­ple who say they are less than 100 per­cent sure to vote. The Day­break poll asks peo­ple to es­ti­mate how likely they are to vote.

The gen­der gap pro­vides an­other rea­son for the dif­fer­ence. In the Day­break poll, Trump leads Clin­ton by 17 points among men, while Clin­ton has a 9-point edge among women. Sur­veys that show Clin­ton ahead have Clin­ton’s lead among women ex­ceed­ing Trump’s mar­gin among men.

The NBC/Sur­vey­Mon­key poll, which showed Clin­ton ahead 50 per­cent to 44 per­cent, found her lead­ing by 18 points among women, dou­ble the size of Trump’s lead among men. The YouGov sur­vey, which showed Clin­ton lead­ing 43 per­cent to 40 per­cent, had her ahead by 11 points among women, while Trump led by 5 among men.

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