Poll: Clinton opening up lead over Trump down the stretch
NEW YORK — Hillary Clinton appears on the cusp of a potentially commanding victory over Donald Trump, fueled by solid Democratic turnout in early voting, massive operational advantages and increasing enthusiasm among her supporters.
A new Associated PressGfK poll released Wednesday finds the Democratic nominee has grabbed significant advantages over her Republican rival with just 12 days Election Day.
Among them: consolidating the support of her party and even winning some Republicans.
“I’m going to pick Hillary at the top and pick Republican straight down the line,” said William Goldstein, 71, of Long Island, N.Y., who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. “I can’t vote for Trump.”
Overall, the poll shows Clinton leading Trump nationally by 14 percentage points among likely voters, 51-37. While that is one of her largest margins among left before recent national surveys, most show the former secretary of state with a substantial national lead over the billionaire businessman.
The AP-GfK poll finds that Clinton has secured the support of 90 percent of likely Democratic voters, and also has the backing of 15 percent of more moderate Republicans. Just 79 percent of all Republicans surveyed say they are voting for their party’s nominee.
With voting underway in 37 states, Trump’s opportunities to overtake Clinton are evaporating — and voters appear to know it.
The AP-GfK poll found that 74 percent of likely voters believe Clinton will win, up from 63 percent in September.
Troubles with President Barack Obama’s health care law have given Trump a late opening to warn voters against putting another Democrat in the White House. But even Republicans question whether the rising cost of insurance premiums is enough to overcome the damage the businessman has done to his standing with women and minorities.
“Donald Trump has spent his entire campaign running against the groups he needs to expand his coalition,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster who advised Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s failed presidential campaign. Ayres called Trump’s campaign “strategically mindless.”
Even if Clinton’s support plummets in the contest’s closing days, or she’s unable to motivate strong turnout in her favor, it’s not clear that Trump could marshal the resources to take advantage and collect enough states to win the 270 electoral votes needed to claim the White House.
The strength of the Democratic turnout effort appears to be paying dividends in states where voting is underway. Nationwide, more than 12 million voters have already cast ballots, according to data compiled by the AP, a pace far quicker than 2012.
Trump’s advisers point to his large rallies and enthusiastic supporters as an indication he could be poised for an upset.
The AP-GfK Poll of 1,546 adults has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus about 3.0 percentage points.