Clinton Maintains Lead Over Trump Despite Health Scare

Clinton maintained her lead this week, while Obama's approval rating rose. (Rob Kunzig/Morning Consult)

Hillary Clinton remains the top choice for voters in the presidential race, rebounding from her brief health scare at a 9/11 ceremony a week ago. She is still leading Donald Trump by 2 percentage points among likely voters.

In a new Morning Consult survey conducted Sept. 15 and Sept. 16, Clinton leads the Republican nominee, 42 percent to 40 percent — within the margin of error — among likely voters, while 8 percent opted for Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and 3 percent chose Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Related: Concerns About Hillary Clinton’s Health Abound, Poll Shows

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Among registered voters, the Democratic nominee leads Trump by 1 point, 39 percent to 38 percent. And in a head-to-head matchup, Clinton’s lead over Trump swells to 4 points among both likely and registered voters. Last week, she only led Trump by 1 point among likely voters and 2 points among registered voters.

Both major-party candidates benefited slightly at the expense of Johnson, who dropped 2 points among likely voters since last week. Friday’s announcement by the Commission on Presidential Debates that neither he nor Stein polled high enough to appear in the first debate on Sept. 26 will not help his case with the American electorate.

A majority of registered voters think the Democratic and Republican parties chose poorly when it comes to their respective standard bearers, who are both historically unpopular. Roughly six out of 10 registered voters (61 percent) said they think Trump is not the GOP’s best pick for a nominee, including 43 percent of Republicans. Similarly, 59 percent of voters said the Democratic party did not make the best pick by nominating Clinton, including about four out of 10 Democrats (41 percent).

Half of registered Republican voters think Trump is the best choice from an extremely crowded field of candidates, while 55 percent of Democrats think Clinton is the best pick for the party.

In a week of welcome news about the economy, the American public is also taking a rosier view of President Obama’s job performance. Half of registered voters said they approve of the president, the highest mark in Morning Consult polling since mid-May. And with him hitting the campaign trail more for Clinton — as he did a few days ago in Philadelphia — it could bode well for her chances.

Correspondingly, registered voters’ confidence in the trajectory of the United States also rose from previous months. About one-third of voters (32 percent) said they believe the country is on the right track. The last time the percentage was that high was also in mid-May.

The sentiments underline the importance that voters place in economic issues when it comes to how they vote. Economic issues are consistently viewed as most imperative by voters. One-third of both registered and likely voters in the new poll said the economy is their top issue, which is at least 10 points higher than the next top issue, national security. (Among registered voters, 21 percent chose national security as their top issue, while 23 percent of likely voters did so.)

The national Morning Consult survey polled 1,861 registered voters and 1,639 likely voters for a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points, respectively. Registered voters: toplines and crosstabs. Likely voters: toplines and crosstabs.

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