11/01/2016 Peter Durantine

Clinton’s Lead Widens in Pennsylvania, F&M Poll Shows

With one week to go before the election, Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton’s lead in the presidential race has widened to 11 percentage points in Pennsylvania, according to the latest Franklin & Marshall College Poll.

Clinton leads her Republican competitor, Donald Trump, 49 percent to 38 percent, among likely voters. Her support increased 2 percentage points from the last poll, taken the first week of October, while Trump’s remained static.

A larger number of likely Democratic voters, 81 percent, support the former secretary of state than likely Republican voters, 74 percent, support Trump. The percentage of voters who view Clinton unfavorably rose from 50 percent in late September to 52 percent. Trump’s unfavorable rating rose from 60 percent to 62 percent in the same time frame.

“Clinton continues to build support, especially among women, in the two areas of the state a candidate needs to win Pennsylvania – Philadelphia and Pittsburgh,” said F&M Poll Director Terry Madonna.

According to the poll, 61 percent of voters said Clinton has the experience needed to be president while 17 percent said Trump did. On the question of who is most prepared to fix the economy, 43 percent of voters said Clinton; 38 percent said Trump.

The two candidates poll closely on two questions: 37 percent of respondents said Clinton will change government policies in a way that makes life better, compared to 36 percent for Trump; and in response to who is the most honest and trustworthy, 34 percent said Clinton, which is unchanged from the last poll, while 31 percent said Trump, a 2-percentage point bump.

According to Berwood Yost, the F&M Poll’s chief methodologist and director of the Center for Opinion Research, most of the polling – 625 of 863 interviews – was conducted prior to the FBI’s Oct. 28 statement about further investigation of Clinton’s emails.

In the U.S. Senate race, Democrat Katie McGinty has opened up her lead over GOP incumbent Pat Toomey, 47 percent to 35 percent among likely voters with 16 percent of voters undecided. 

Conducted by the Center for Opinion Research at F&M from Oct. 26 to Oct. 30, the poll reflects interviews with 863 Pennsylvania registered voters, including 418 Democrats, 327 Republicans and 118 independents. The sample error for registered voters is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points while the sample error for the 652 likely voters is plus or minus 5.1 percent.

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