Third-party candidates may be more of drag on Clinton than Trump.
Hillary Clinton is ahead of Donald Trump by 3 points in the latest poll of likely Florida voters, even as the survey numbers suggest that the third-party candidates are more of a drag on her than on him.
Without Libertarian Gary Johnson or the Green Party’s Jill Stein in the race, Clinton’s 41-38 lead over Trump jumps to 47-40 percent — that is, her margin more than doubles to 7, according to the University of North Florida poll of 696 likely voters. The poll showed Johnson with 6 percent, Stein with 3 percent and 10 percent undecided.
In showing a third-party effect that hurts Clinton, however, UNF’s poll differs from a survey released this week by Quinnipiac University that showed the Democrat maintained a 5-point advantage over Trump in a crowded race or in a head-to-head matchup.
Along with polls from Quinnipiac and Mason-Dixon Polling & Research (which showed Clinton with a 4-point lead), UNF’s survey is the third major public poll that shows Clinton topping Trump since their first debate more than a week ago.
“Clinton has gotten a bounce after her strong debate performance last week, it will be fascinating to see how this plays out after the second debate on Sunday,” Binder said.
Neither major party candidate is well-liked. But Trump is disliked more.
Clinton is viewed unfavorably by 53 percent and favorably by 43 percent, putting her net favorability rating at -10. Trump’s rating: -23, with 60 having an unfavorable and 37 percent a favorable opinion of him. The poll has a 3.8-point error-margin.
The candidates’ supporters are almost as motivated to vote against the other candidate as they are for their president of choice; 46 percent of Trump voters say their vote is more about voting against Clinton; 43 percent of Clinton voters say their vote is more about opposing Trump, the poll shows.
Clinton leads Trump among Democrats by 79-10 percent, which is almost the same advantage he has over her among Republicans, 77-10 percent, in a head-to-head matchup. Among voters with no party affiliation or a minor party affiliation, Clinton holds a big lead over Trump of 56-29 percent. However, they’re only a fifth of the sample.
Clinton is winning black voters by an 85-point margin and Hispanics by 28 points in the poll, but Trump carries whites, who comprise 68 percent of the poll, by 14.
Espousing a tough position on illegal immigration, one of the signature issues of Trump’s campaign during the GOP primaries, doesn’t seem to play well with Florida voters in the poll.
Almost half, 49 percent, agreed with the notion that illegal immigrants should be allowed to “stay in the U.S. and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship after paying back taxes and fines.” And 21 percent said illegal immigrants should be allowed to qualify for U.S. citizenship without penalties, according to the poll. In contrast, only 10 percent agreed with the concept that all illegal immigrants should be considered felons who should be deported, while 12 percent said they should be allowed to stay in the U.S. as guest workers for a limited period of time.
“For all of the talk about deportation and ‘building walls,’ majorities of Democrats, NPA’s and even Republicans in Florida are supportive of pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants,” Binder said.