Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump can’t get a break from their bad ratings. New polls in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania show a close general election to come. And both parties are internally divided, but the GOP is way worse off than the Democrats. This is HuffPollster for Tuesday, May 10, 2016.
VOTERS THINK BOTH HILLARY CLINTON AND DONALD TRUMP WOULD MAKE BAD PRESIDENTS - HuffPollster: "Just 27 percent of voters think Clinton would be a great or good president, while 17 percent think she’d be about average, and 54 percent say she’d be either poor or terrible. Trump fares about equally, with 30 percent saying he’d be great or good, 8 percent that he’d be average, and 53 percent that he’d do poorly or terribly." [HuffPost]
A significant change from past elections - A December 2007 poll from Gallup and USA Today asking the same question found that Americans had significantly better impressions of then-candidates Barack Obama and John McCain. Forty-one percent of Americans thought McCain would be a great or good president, with 35 percent believing he'd be average and just 17 percent that he'd be poor or terrible. Obama scored even better ratings, with 51 percent saying he'd be good or great, 24 percent that he'd be average, and only 21 percent that he'd be poor or terrible. Even Clinton scored better in that survey, with just a third of voters believing she'd be a bad president.
Making a direct comparison is tricky -- the HuffPost/YouGov survey is an online poll of registered voters, while the Gallup survey was a phone poll of all adults, and each took place at a different time in the campaign cycle. But despite those differences, it's abundantly clear that, due to a combination of political polarization and their personal unfavorability ratings, both Clinton and Trump are unpopular with the electorate in a way that sets them apart from previous candidates.
HUFFPOLLSTER VIA EMAIL! - You can receive this daily update every weekday morning via email! Just click here, enter your email address, and click "sign up." That's all there is to it (and you can unsubscribe anytime).
CLOSE RACES IN FLORIDA, OHIO AND PENNSYLVANIA - Quinnipiac University: “In a race marked by wide gender, age and racial gaps, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are running neck and neck in the key presidential Swing States of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, but Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont runs stronger against the likely Republican nominee, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today. Clinton and Trump both have negative favorability ratings among voters in each state, compared to Sanders' split score…The presidential matchups show: Florida - Clinton at 43 percent, with 42 percent for Trump and Sanders at 44 percent to Trump's 42 percent; Ohio - Trump edges Clinton 43 - 39 percent, while Sanders gets 43 percent to Trump's 41 percent; Pennsylvania - Clinton at 43 percent to Trump's 42 percent, while Sanders leads Trump 47 - 41 percent.” [Quinnipiac]
Quinnipiac has shown a more Republican trend than other polls this year - Quinnipiac’s battleground state polls are the first to be released since Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee last week, and Trump could be benefitting from his new status. However, Quinnipiac’s polls in the states have been consistently more favorable to the business mogul than other polls. According to HuffPost Pollster’s averages, Clinton leads by 3 points in Florida, 1 point in Ohio and about 4.5 points in Pennsylvania.
BOTH PARTIES ARE DIVIDED, BUT GOP’S FEUD IS WORSE - Amy Fried: "Primaries can be divisive, but the most recent CNN poll found that Democratic voters show little disunion. A whopping 86% of Sanders’ supporters say they would vote for Hillary Clinton and only 10% would vote for Trump. In contrast, 70% of non-Trump Republican voters say they would vote for Trump. That same CNN poll found 85% of liberals supporting Clinton while only 66% of conservatives supporting Trump. Second, Democrats see the nomination fights as more positive and much less divisive for their party than Republicans. This can be seen in recent exit polls from Indiana, Pennsylvania and New York. In these three states, supporters of the winning candidate were the largest share of who saw the contest as energized. But still the patterns by party were substantially different, with Democrats averaging 69% feeling energized, compared to just 38% of Republicans." [HuffPost]
But Republican establishment candidates are faring pretty well in downballot races - Seth Masket:"[W]e’re not witnessing in down-ballot races a Trump-like assault on the Republican Party from the outside. The sorts of people who are running in open seats at the state level and are in positions to win are the sorts of people who have traditionally done well — seasoned politicians with roots in state politics. A Trump nomination could well be costly for the party. If current polls are any indication, they could lose the presidency by a substantial margin, dragging down quite a few members of Congress and state legislators in the process, especially if Trump’s presence on the ballot drives up Democratic turnout. But the party should be able to recover from that." 
BOTH CLINTON AND TRUMP COULD STRUGGLE WITH WOMEN - Amy Walter: "Observing a group of suburban Philadelphia women voters a few weeks back at a 'Walmart Moms' focus group, gave me a first-hand look at how swing women voters feel about Clinton. While these women were wary of Trump and his temperament...they weren’t exactly eager to embrace Hillary. The pollsters who sponsored this group, Neil Newhouse and Margie Omero, concluded in a memo that, “[t]here was a sense even among the Democratic-leaning swing voters that Clinton had not been consistent on the issues they care about, with one woman commenting that she is trying to be one of them…. Of the five women who said they’d be willing to support her this fall, only one was voting FOR her, the rest said they were voting against Trump....And, here comes the BUT. Trump’s numbers are that much worse. Trump is viewed negatively by 67 percent of suburban women and 63 percent of white women." [Cook Political Report]
Trump’s problems with women are worsening- Michael Tesler: "Several surveys show that about 70 percent of women rate Trump unfavorably. And recent polls by CBS and CNN both suggest that he could lose female voters to Democrat Hillary Clinton by at least 25 percentage points in November. Even worse for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, his image among women has grown increasingly negative over the course of the primary campaign — a campaign in which Trump’s offensive comments about women became a major issue. Indeed, a majority of women now rate Trump very unfavorably. In fact, the percentage of women who rated Trump very unfavorably in YouGov’s biweekly surveys has increased significantly — from around 45 percent in January to nearly 60 percent by the end of April. [WashPost]
TUESDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:
-Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both lead in hypothetical national match-ups against Donald Trump. [NBC]
-Trump's nomination gives people more fear than hope. [Politico]
-Philip Bump says it's too soon to give Trump credit for the uptick of Hispanic-Americans registering to vote. [WashPost]
-Nate Cohn finds the county where Clinton is most disliked. [NYT]
-Seth Masket notes that senators facing reelection are more likely to back Donald Trump. [PSMag]
-Eli Yokley finds that voters say they're less likely to back a candidate who supports Trump. [Morning Consult]
-Support for gender non-discrimination laws varies depending on how the poll is worded. [Reason]
-Sixty-four percent of Republicans have a favorable view of Trump. [Gallup]
-Gary Langer reviews this year's exit polls. [ABC]
-A survey of nine countries finds that half their residents think the UK will vote to leave the EU. [Ipsos]
-People have a lot of opinions about when it's OK to wear shorts. [HuffPost]