The latest Quinnipiac University poll indicated Wednesday the presidential race is tightening, with Democrat Hillary Clinton leading Republican Donald Trump by just 2 points nationally when third party candidates are thrown into the mix.
In the head-to-head race, Clinton leads Trump 48 percent to 43 percent, compared to 51 percent to 41 percent in the Aug. 25 survey. When Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are included, Clinton’s lead drops to 41 percent to 39 percent.
The 2-point split in the four-way race echoes results of the YouGov/Economist poll released Tuesday, which gave Clinton a 42 percent to 40 percent lead over Trump.
CNN/ORC polls in Ohio and Florida give Trump narrow leads in those states. Among Ohio voters, Trump leads Clinton 46 percent to 41 percent. In Florida, Trump leads 47 percent to 44 percent. The polls had a 3.5 percent margin of error.
Voters say they don’t know enough about Johnson or Stein to rank their favorability. When it comes to Clinton and Trump, however, 57 percent disapprove of Clinton and 59 percent disapprove of Trump.
Fifty-four percent of Clinton voters say they’re voting against Trump; 66 percent of Trump voters say they are voting against Clinton.
“It's the definition of 'damned by faint praise,' a presidential contest where a vote for a candidate is less an endorsement of that candidate than a stinging rejection of his or her opponent,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the poll. “Priority one for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as the election looms: lure the cynical, disaffected, downright disgusted electorate into their camp. That's no mean feat as clouds of distrust loom over both campaigns.”
White voters back Trump 51 percent compared to 41 percent for Clinton. Non-white voters back Clinton by 66 percent to 19 percent for Trump. Among male voters, 50 percent back Trump while 41 percent back Clinton; among women, 54 percent back Clinton compared to 36 percent for Trump.
Independent voters prefer Trump, 45 percent to 40 percent.
Seventy percent of voters say it’s important the president be someone to whom they can relate but more than 60 percent say they can’t relate to either candidate.
The poll queried 960 likely voters Sept. 8-13 and has an error rate 3.2 percentage points.
The RealClear Politics average of major polls (Aug. 26 to Sept. 13) indicates Clinton leading by 2.3 percentage points, 46.1 percent to 43.8 percent.