Polls: Clinton’s Lead In Pennsylvania Grows

October 4, 2016 GMT

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton continues to lead Republican nominee Donald Trump by a solid margin in Pennsylvania, according to two new polls of likely voters released Monday.

The Franklin & Marshall College and Quinnipiac University polls differed on whether the first presidential debate changed anything.

In the latest Franklin & Marshall poll, Clinton led Trump 47 percent to 38 percent among likely voters with 5 percent supporting Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Jill Stein with no measurable support. A month earlier, Clinton led 45 percent to 40 percent for Trump with Johnson at 5 percent and Stein at 3 percent.

Without screening for likelihood of voting, Clinton’s lead quadrupled among registered voters to 47 percent to 35 percent, up from 41 percent to 38 percent in late August. Johnson had 7 percent support; Stein, 2 percent.

In the latest Quinnipiac University poll of likely voters, Clinton led 45 percent to 41 percent for Trump with 5 percent for Johnson and 2 percent for Stein. Last month, Clinton led 44 percent to 39 percent with Johnson at 9 percent and Stein at 3 percent. Quinnipiac only counted likely voters.

G. Terry Madonna, Ph.D., the noted political analyst and Franklin & Marshall poll director, said Trump’s lackluster performance in the Sept. 26 debate, his ongoing criticism of a former Miss Universe winner’s appearance and new controversy over his taxes changed his standing among voters.

“Donald Trump had one of the worst weeks since he announced his candidacy, if not the worst week,” Madonna said.

Quinnipiac came up with a different result, one that showed the race basically unchanged with Clinton up 5 points last month and 4 points in its latest survey.

“Although Hillary Clinton clearly won the first debate with Donald Trump, this victory did her little good in her race for the White House,” said Peter A. Brown, Quinnipiac’s assistant poll director.

It is common for different polls to produce different results because the voters who respond and other factors between them differ. Significantly, both polls found Clinton leading with five weeks before Election Day in a state she must win to have any chance to win the presidency.

Quinnipiac surveyed voters in Florida, Ohio and North Carolina separately and found only in Florida did the race change significantly with Clinton moving from a tie with Trump to a 5-point lead there.

In the United States Senate race, Democrat Katie McGinty leads incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey 41 percent to 35 percent among likely voters and 36 percent to 31 percent among registered voters. Last month, she led 43 percent to 38 percent among likely voters while Toomey led slightly — 37 percent to 36 percent — among registered voters. Quinnipiac did not release the results of a Senate poll Monday, but is expected to release one today.

Franklin & Marshall surveyed 813 registered Pennsylvania voters, 496 of whom were likely to vote, between Wednesday and Sunday. The registered-voter sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points, the likely-voter sample a margin of error of plus or minus 6.1 points.

The Quinnipiac surveyed 535 likely state voters between last Tuesday and Sunday with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 points for its poll.