9/01/2016 Peter Durantine

Clinton Down, But Still Leads Trump in Pennsylvania, F&M Poll Shows

In the last month since the national conventions ended, Democrat Hillary Clinton dropped 2 percentage points in Pennsylvania while Republican Donald Trump gained 2 points, according to the latest Franklin & Marshall College Poll.

Clinton leads Trump 47 percent to 40 percent among likely voters, down from the 49 percent to 38 percent lead the F&M poll showed her holding immediately following the Democratic convention in late July.

F&M Poll Director Terry Madonna cited three factors that contributed to the poll results - bumps following the conventions have faded; more voters are engaged; and Clinton has received poor publicity over her handling of questions about her email server and the foundation she and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, operate.

"For at least two weeks, it has not been the best news for Clinton while Trump has not been as provocative and personal," Madonna said. "We’re seeing some marginal effects that have much to do with what's going on nationally."

According to the poll, 75 percent of registered Democrats support Clinton compared to 73 percent of Republicans who support Trump.

Trump continues to hold a sizable advantage among whites with a high school degree or less, 52 percent to 35 percent. Clinton's advantage is similar among college-educated whites, 50 percent to 29 percent. While Trump has an advantage among white men, 41 percent to 38 percent, his advantage is smaller than Clinton’s lead among white women, 45 percent to 38 percent.

Clinton's favorability among registered voters slipped to 38 percent from 47 percent in July while her unfavorable rating rose to 54 percent from 49 percent in the same time period.

Trump is viewed favorably by 37 percent of registered voters, an increase from 33 percent in July, while he is viewed unfavorably by 58 percent, down from 62 percent in July.

Madonna said the polls should continue to tighten as Election Day draws near.

"You cannot rule out that there will be some adjustments," he said.

In Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate race, Democrat Katie McGinty has a lead of 5 percentage points over incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, 43 percent to 38 percent among likely voters. The race is essentially tied among registered voters, with Toomey leading, 37 percent to 36 percent.

Conducted by the Center for Opinion Research at F&M from Aug. 25 to 29, the poll reflects interviews with 736 Pennsylvania registered voters, including 358 Democrats, 286 Republicans and 92 independents. The sample error for registered voters is plus or minus 4.6 percentage points while the sample error for the 496 likely voters is plus or minus 5.6 percent.

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