A new poll out today by Emerson College (Boston) shows the two leading presidential candidates are dead even in swing state Ohio. It also has Sen. Rob Portman (R) trouncing former Gov. Ted Strickland (D).
Here's the release:
FIRST EMERSON POLL OF THE GENERAL ELECTION SHOWS A CLOSE RACE IN OHIO, MICHIGAN, AND
PENNSYLVANIA; GOP SENATE SEATS LOOK SAFE
BOSTON, MA - Three new Emerson College polls show a tight race shaping up between Democrat Hillary
Clinton and Republican Donald Trump in the key Rust Belt States of Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The two
are deadlocked at 43% in Ohio. Clinton leads by three points in Pennsylvania (46% to 43%) and by five in
Michigan (45% to 40%). The Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson garners 7% of the vote in Pennsylvania and
Michigan and 10% in Ohio. Green Party candidate Jill Stein receives 2% of the vote in Ohio and Pennsylvania
and 3% in Michigan. Each poll consisted of 800 likely voters and had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage
These are Emerson College’s first general election polls since the primaries; Bloomberg Politics ranked
Emerson as the most accurate collegiate polling group in the U.S. during the primary season, with a record of
correctly predicting the primary winner 94% of the time.
In the three states Emerson most recently polled, both candidates face skepticism. Only 41% of Ohioans have
a 41% favorable opinion of Trump versus 57% who have an unfavorable view. Clinton’s ratio is very similar:
42%/56%. In Michigan, Trump is at a 40%/55%, compared to Clinton’s 45%/52%. In Pennsylvania, Trump’s
favorable/unfavorable numbers are 40%/58%, and Clinton’s are 42%/55%. Clinton’s unfavorability ratings are
almost as high as Trump’s, with no more than 3 percentage points separating the two candidates. Trump
tends to do better in states (such as Ohio) where Clinton’s unfavorables are similar to his.
There is a significant gender gap, with women breaking for Clinton by 26 points in Michigan (56% to 30%), 15
points in Pennsylvania (53% to 38%) and 13 points in Ohio (51% to 38%). In all three states, 49% of men plan
to vote for Trump whereas only 33% of women support him in Ohio and Michigan and 38% in Pennsylvania.
Younger voters favor Clinton over Trump in Ohio (by 50% to 32%) and Pennsylvania (42% to 39%). But in
Michigan, where young people helped Bernie Sanders stage an upset over Clinton in the Democratic primary,
Trump leads 45% to 33% among those 18-34. Both candidates are receiving about 80% of their party vote.
However, Independents are consistently lining up for Trump. In Ohio his edge with Independents is 47% to
30% for Clinton, in Michigan it’s 39% to 38% and in Pennsylvania 43% to 37%.
Both major candidates enjoy very high rates of loyalty. Among voters who view Clinton or Trump favorably,
90% or more plan to vote for that candidate in November.
While the horserace in all three polls is within the margin of error, there is a strong expectation that Clinton
will win the presidency; 54% of those in Ohio see Clinton winning while 35% believe Trump will. The numbers 2
are similar in Pennsylvania, where 56% predict a Clinton victory compared 35% who think Trump will prevail.
In Michigan Clinton gets the nod, 50% to 36%. This finding could be a positive sign for Clinton. Research
suggests that expectation questions are a better predictor of electoral success than the ballot test question.
In two U.S. Senate races, the Republican incumbents seem likely to hold on to their seats. Ohio’s Rob Portman
has a wide lead over former Democratic Governor Ted Strickland (40% to 25%), although 25% of Ohio voters
remain undecided. Portman is viewed much more positively (41% favorable, 35% unfavorable) than Strickland
(26% favorable, 54% unfavorable). In Pennsylvania, incumbent GOP Senator Pat Toomey holds a 7-point lead
(46% to 39%) over Democratic challenger Katie McGinty, with 10% of voters undecided.
The Emerson College Polling Society Ohio poll was conducted from August 25-27, 2016. The Michigan and
Pennsylvania polls were conducted August 25-28, 2016. The samples consisted of 800 likely general election
voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.4%. Data was weighted by 2012 election results and Michigan results
included regional weights. Data was collected using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines
only. The full methodology and results can be found at www.theecps.co