Voters Say Clinton Has Run a Better Campaign Than Trump

(Rob Kunzig/Morning Consult)

Hillary Clinton has run a better presidential campaign than GOP rival Donald Trump, according to a majority of voters in a new Morning Consult poll.

The national survey, conducted after the Trump campaign’s third major leadership change this year, shows that 51 percent of voters say Clinton’s campaign is performing better overall. About one-fourth of respondents (27 percent) gave Trump’s campaign a better grade, and 22 percent said they don’t know or have no opinion.

Broken down by political party, a majority of Republicans (54 percent) and Democrats (79 percent) say their party’s respective nominee has run a better campaign. But the difference between the two parties is significant. A small majority of Republican voters say the Trump campaign is doing well, while most Democrats are happy with their nominee’s campaign. Only 8 percent of Democrats say Trump’s campaign is doing better than Clinton’s.

Independent voters, by a 19-point margin (44 percent to 25 percent), say Clinton’s campaign has performed better.

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By a wide margin, voters also say Clinton’s campaign is more organized than Trump’s (58 percent versus 21 percent). Both a majority of Democrats and independents agree with that sentiment, while Republicans are somewhat split on the issue. Almost half of GOP voters (44 percent) say Trump’s campaign is more organized than Clinton’s, but 36 percent of Republicans say the opposite.

The poll was conducted from Aug. 23 through Aug. 24, after Trump appointed veteran pollster Kellyanne Conway to be his campaign manager and Breitbart News Chairman Steve Bannon to be chief executive of the campaign. Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort then resigned. He had been Trump’s lead strategist since the departure of former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in June.

Almost eight out of 10 voters (77 percent) have heard at least “some” about the leadership shakeup in Trump’s campaign, while 15 percent had heard “not much” and 8 percent had heard “nothing at all.”

Voters are split, however, on how the leadership changes could impact Trump’s campaign. One-third of respondents said it will have no impact on the campaign, and 30 percent said it will have a positive influence. Almost one-fifth (17 percent) said the shakeups would hurt Trump’s campaign; 20 percent don’t know or have no opinion.

GOP voters have by far the most favorable reaction to the campaign shakeup, with almost six in 10 Republicans (57 percent) saying it would help Trump’s campaign. Only 6 percent of GOP voters said the changes would hurt the campaign, and about one-fourth (24 percent) said it would have no impact. Independents (33 percent) and Democrats (39 percent) were more likely to say the new leadership would not impact the campaign.

Since Conway and Bannon took the reins, Trump has hinted that he could go back on his call to deport all immigrants illegally residing in the U.S., and he has reached out to minority voters in an attempt to expand his base. It’s not clear how successful those attempts have been.

Regardless of party, voters appear to be mentally preparing for a Clinton presidency. More than half of the survey’s respondents (53 percent) say Clinton will win the election, while less than one-third (30 percent) say Trump will be victorious in November. Very few voters (3 percent) say another candidate will take the White House, and 14 percent don’t know or have no opinion.

While the electoral predictions fall largely along partisan lines, Republicans are far less optimistic about their candidate’s chances than Democrats are. About eight out of 10 Democrats (81 percent) predicted Clinton will win, while only 9 percent predicted Trump. About six in 10 Republicans (61 percent) said Trump will win, while 23 percent of GOP voters picked Clinton.

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Independent voters, by a 20 percent margin (47 percent to 27 percent), favor Clinton’s chances.

Despite a majority of voters forecasting a Clinton victory, half of the poll’s respondents say the election will be close. Less than half (43 percent) predict that Clinton will win by a large margin.

By party, a majority of Republicans (65 percent) and independents (54 percent) say the race will be close, although more than half of Democrats (57 percent) say Clinton will win by a wide margin. More than one-third of Democrats (36 percent) said the race will be close.

More than six in 10 voters (64 percent) said both candidates should be required to release information about their medical history. Both candidates have released minimal medical history during the campaign.

(Related: Voters Say Candidates Should Release Medical Information)

The online poll consisted of 2,102 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. See toplines and crosstabs.

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