Good news! Trump is leading Hillary in Ohio. And with Hillary out of commission for a bit due to her health, Trump will probably stay ahead.
Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton by 5 percentage points in a Bloomberg Politics poll of Ohio, a gap that underscores the Democrat’s challenges in critical Rust Belt states after one of the roughest stretches of her campaign.
The Republican nominee leads Clinton 48 percent to 43 percent among likely voters in a two-way contest and 44 percent to 39 percent when third-party candidates are included.
The poll was taken Friday through Monday, as Clinton faced backlash for saying half of Trump supporters were a “basket of deplorables” and amid renewed concerns about her health after a video showed her stumbling as she left a Sept. 11 ceremony with what her campaign later said was a bout of pneumonia.
Trump’s performance in the poll—including strength among men, independents, and union households—is better than in other recent surveys of the state. It deals a blow to Clinton after she enjoyed polling advantages nationally and in most battleground statesin August before the race tightened in September as more Republican voters unified around Trump.
Read the questions and methodology for the poll in Ohio, a state that has backed the winning presidential candidate in every election since 1964, here.
“I’m tired of career politicians being in office and nothing’s ever changed,” said Darren Roberts, 45, a facilities maintenance and home improvement retail worker who lives in Columbus and considers himself an independent. “I don’t like all of his policies, but I really don’t like Hillary Clinton’s.”
Trump’s strength in Ohio, a state critical to his path to the White House, comes even as seven in 10 say they view one of his signature campaign pledges—to build a wall along the southern U.S. border funded by Mexico—as unrealistic. (Mexico’s peso weakened, reversing an earlier gain, after the poll showed Trump leading.)
The survey shows a strong majority of likely Ohio voters, 57 percent, are skeptical of trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement that was backed by Clinton’s husband when he was president and that Trump has used to his political advantage. One in five say such deals help increase exports and employment, and 23 percent aren’t sure. More than four in 10 Clinton supporters see NAFTA as a bad deal, compared to seven in 10 Trump loyalists.
Another Republican, Senator Rob Portman, holds a commanding lead of 53 percent to 36 percent over former Democratic Governor Ted Strickland in the state’s U.S. Senate contest. The incumbent leads with a ratio of more than 2-to-1 among independents and is even getting 14 percent from Democrats and those who lean that way.
A sizable share of Ohio’s likely voters seem ready to vote a split ticket, the poll shows, with 20 percent of Clinton’s supporters also backing Portman. Just 9 percent of Trump supporters are backing Strickland.
When asked whom likely voters support for the U.S. House in their district without the interviewers naming any specific candidates, 51 percent picked Republican or leaned that way, while 38 percent picked Democratic or leaned that way.
Some of the Ohio demographic groups where Trump has the biggest edge over Clinton are white men without a college degree (+43 percentage points), white men overall (+27 percentage points), and white women without a college degree (+23 percentage points).
More than a third of poll participants, 38 percent, say either they or someone in their household has been unemployed because of layoffs or company closings during the past decade or looked for work but been unable to find a job. Within that group, Trump outperforms Clinton 51 percent to 38 percent.
“Our party breakdown differs from other polls, but resembles what happened in Ohio in 2004,” said pollster J. Ann Selzer, whose Iowa-based firm Selzer & Co. oversaw the survey. “It is very difficult to say today who will and who will not show up to vote on Election Day. Our poll suggests more Republicans than Democrats would do that in an Ohio election held today, as they did in 2004 when George W. Bush carried the state by a narrow margin. In 2012, more Democrats showed up.”