Hillary Clinton continues to widen her lead over Donald Trump after the presidential candidates shared the debate stage for the first time one week ago.
In a new Politico/Morning Consult survey of likely voters taken Sept. 30 through Oct. 2, the Democratic nominee leads her Republican rival by 6 points, 42 percent to 36 percent. It’s a sizable swing since the pre-debate poll which showed Trump leading by 1 point, underlining what a rough week it was for the New York business mogul.
Clinton’s surge has been largely driven by her boost among independents. Before the debate, Trump led Clinton by 12 points (35 percent to 23 percent) among independents, but over the weekend, she narrowed that margin to 5 points (30 percent to 25 percent). She also retains a 9-point advantage among women, whereas Trump is pulling even with Clinton among men.
Similarly, white voters have migrated toward Clinton since the debate. She still trails Trump among white voters, 37 percent to 41 percent, but that’s a tangible improvement from the week before, when he was leading her by 11 points with those voters. Meanwhile, Trump’s struggles with minorities continue. He was the first choice for just 27 percent of Hispanics, while half backed Clinton. The disparity is even greater among black voters, 76 percent of whom backed Clinton, compared with 8 percent who chose Trump.
This week also appears to have been decisive for millennial voters. One of the more common story lines of the 2016 presidential campaign trail is that the Democratic nominee has struggled to engage young voters, and before the debate she led Trump by 8 points among voters age 18 to 29. But following the debate, that lead has ballooned to 32 points. She is the top choice for 51 percent of millennials, compared with 19 percent who back Trump.
Third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein continue to garner similar levels of support. The Libertarian Johnson was the first choice for 9 percent of voters, while 3 percent are backing Stein, the Green Party nominee. And while those numbers aren’t high enough to earn them a spot on the debate stage, their presence in the field continues to affect the margin of the race. When voters were only given the options of Trump and Clinton, the Democratic nominee had a slightly larger lead over the Republican, 46 percent to 39 percent.
Ahead of Tuesday’s vice presidential debate between Gov. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), both candidates are still relative unknowns to voters. One-third of voters still haven’t heard of or have no opinion of Pence, while more than four out of 10 voters (41 percent) said the same for Kaine. The Republican vice presidential nominee holds a slight edge over the Democrat when it comes to popularity. More than one-third of likely voters (35 percent) have a favorable view of Pence, compared with 30 percent for Kaine. But, Pence’s negatives — at 32 percent — are slightly higher than Kaine’s (30 percent).