Will Hillary take over the polls? Or will Trump win over a lot of people?
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are locked in a tied two-way race for the presidency as they head to Hofstra University in New York on Monday night for one of the most highly anticipated debates in modern politics.
The Republican and Democratic nominees each get 46 percent of likely voters in a head-to-head contest in the latest Bloomberg Politics national poll, while Trump gets 43 percent to Clinton’s 41 percent when third-party candidates are included.
Clinton faces higher expectations as tens of millions of people tune in for a television spectacle that could reach Super Bowl viewership levels. About half, 49 percent, say they anticipate the former secretary of state will perform better, while 39 percent say that for Trump, a real-estate developer and former TV personality.
Ann Selzer, the Iowa-based pollster who oversaw the survey, said there are signs that Clinton’s margins with women and young voters have eroded over the past three months, helping to explain Trump’s gains.
Clinton had a 6-point advantage on Trump in the two-way race in August and a 4-point advantage when third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were included. She had a 12-point edge on Trump in June, when Johnson was also included.
The Democrat had a 26-point lead among female likely voters in June, when she was tested against both Trump and Johnson. She has a 13-point advantage in this poll when measured only against Trump, getting 52 percent to his 39 percent—similar to her 15-point advantage in August.
Among likely voters under 35 years old, Clinton gets 50 percent to Trump’s 40 percent, down from her 29-point margin in August in the two-way race and from her 26-point margin in June in the three-way race.
The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 points for top-line numbers, with 1,002 likely voters interviewed, and is higher among subgroups. It was taken Wednesday through Saturday, after Clinton took political heat for calling half of Trump’s supporters “deplorables” and for disclosing she had pneumonia after a video caught her falling ill at a Sept. 11 ceremony.
Both major nominees face skepticism from a majority of likely voters about their trustworthiness and their willingness to tell the public everything it wants to know to decide if they’re fit to serve. More than seven in 10 rate Clinton’s truthfulness as “just fair” or “poor,” while more than six in 10 say that of Trump.
“It will be hard for either candidate to criticize the other too harshly on this form of integrity,” Selzer said ahead of the debate. “They are the pot and the kettle.”
About two-thirds of likely voters, 69 percent, say Trump should maintain 40 years of tradition for presidential nominees and release his tax returns.
Trump is rated better than Clinton on physical health, with 61 percent calling his “excellent” or “good” compared to 36 percent who give Clinton good marks. Just 8 percent call Trump’s health “poor” compared to 31 percent for Clinton.
Still, half of likely voters say they aren’t bothered at all that Clinton didn’t immediately tell the public about her pneumonia.
After Trump recently acknowledged President Barack Obama’s U.S. birth for the first time, three quarters of likely voters say Obama was born in the U.S., while 11 percent say he wasn’t and 14 percent aren’t sure. Among Trump’s supporters, 22 percent say they don’t think Obama is American-born and therefore eligible for the presidency, and another 22 percent say they’re not sure.
Clinton’s standing in the two-way race is helped by her greater support than Trump’s among suburban women (55 percent to 38 percent) and non-whites (67 percent to 23 percent). Independent voters back her 45 percent to 40 percent.