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Donald Trump’s Bad June Shows Up In The Polls

Donald Trump Speaking

From a week long controversy that erupted after he claimed that the Judge presiding over the Trump University lawsuits is biased against him because of his Mexican heritage to the latest in a long line of bigoted comments about Muslims, it’s been a rough June for Donald Trump. Added to his own mistakes, but no doubt prompted by them, Trump has seen numerous Republican politicians distance themselves from him to the point where the defections are turning into a stampede, and he’s found himself far behind Hillary Clinton in the money race and already on the radar for attacks from Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and others. Meanwhile, Trump’s own campaign seems to have spent the month languishing in internal conflicts that finally resulted in the ouster of Corey Lewandowski as Campaign Director, and there have been real questions about the extent to which Republican donors are eager to support him. If you figured that this would result in bad news in the polls, you’d be right.

First up in the trail of bad news is the new ABC News/Washington Post poll, which shows Hillary Clinton crossing the 50% margin and opening up a double digit lead:

Support for Donald Trump has plunged as he has alienated fellow Republicans and large majorities of voters overall in the course of a month of self-inflicted controversies, propelling Democrat Hillary Clinton to a double-digit lead nationally in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The survey finds sweeping unease with the presumptive Republican nominee’s candidacy — from his incendiary rhetoric and values to his handling of both terrorism and his own business — foreshadowing that the November election could be a referendum on Trump more than anything else.

Roughly two in three Americans say they think Trump is unqualified to lead the nation; are anxious about the idea of him as president; believe his comments about women, minorities and Muslims show an unfair bias; and see his attacks on a federal judge because of his Mexican American heritage as racist.

A slimmer majority say they disapprove of the way Clinton has handled questions about her use of a personal email server while she was secretary of state, and half of Americans are anxious about the prospect of a Clinton presidency, underscoring the historic unpopularity of the two major-party candidates.

In fact, so strong is many Americans’ opposition to Clinton and desire for a change in Washington that even some registering their disapproval of Trump say that as of now they feel compelled to vote for him.

Nevertheless, in a head-to-head general election matchup, Clinton leads Trump 51 percent to 39 percent among registered voters nationwide, the poll found. This is Clinton’s largest lead in Post-ABC polling since last fall and a dramatic reversal from last month’s survey, which found the race nearly even, with Trump at 46 percent and Clinton at 44 percent.

As the hard-fought general election gets underway, Trump’s political standing is on dangerous ground. Fifty-six percent of the public at large say the celebrity business mogul stands against their beliefs, while 64 percent say he does not have the necessary credentials to be president. Fifty-six percent feel strongly that he is unqualified.

Nearly one-third of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say Trump is unqualified for office, and 18 percent say he does not represent their beliefs, exposing deep fissures in the GOP base as Trump struggles to unite conservatives going into next month’s national convention in Cleveland.

(…)

In May, Trump was more competitive with Clinton because he had just secured the Republican nomination and the party’s electorate was coalescing around his candidacy. Clinton’s unfavorable ratings among registered voters tied their record high last month, matching Trump’s at 57 percent and weighing her down.

And there is clear evidence that Trump’s controversial statements have hurt him:

The poll finds that 66 percent saying Trump’s controversial comments about women, minorities and Muslims show an unfair bias; 68 percent say Trump’s criticisms of Judge Gonzalo Curiel were racist; and 85 percent say the comments were inappropriate.

Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, 36 percent say Trump’s comments show he is unfairly biased toward certain groups while 39 percent say the Curiel comments were racist and 71 percent say they were inappropriate.

With such broad public disapproval of Trump’s controversial comments, Republican elected officials have awkwardly tiptoed around their likely nominee. Trump has chastised fellow party leaders when they have distanced themselves or denounced his comments.

The poll found that 62 percent of Republicans or Republican-leaning independents want GOP leaders to speak out against Trump when they disagree with his views, while 35 percent think they should avoid criticizing him.

The poll also found Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson pulling 7% and Green Party nominee Jill Stein pulling 3%, which is roughly consistent with where the two candidates have been polling since they started being included in polling a month or so ago. With both minor-party candidates in the race, Clinton’s margin over Trump dips slightly from 12% to 10%

The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, meanwhile, shows Clinton gaining on Trump, albeit with a small margin than the previous poll:

Democrat Hillary Clinton holds a five-point advantage over Republican Donald Trump after becoming her party’s presumptive presidential nominee, according to the latest national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Forty-six percent of registered voters back Clinton, versus 41 percent who support Trump – slightly up from Clinton’s three-point lead in May, 46 percent to 43 percent.

When the horserace is expanded to four candidates – including Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein – Clinton gets support from 39 percent of voters, Trump gets 38 percent, Johnson 10 percent and Stein 6 percent.

The NBC/WSJ poll – conducted June 19-23 – comes after Clinton clinched the number of delegates needed to become the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee; after the tragic June 12 Orlando, Fla., shootings; and after a rough three-week stretch for Trump’s campaign.

Despite these events and changes, the Clinton-vs.-Trump horserace remains relatively consistent.

Much like last month, Clinton leads Trump among African Americans (87 percent to 5 percent), Latinos (69 percent to 22 percent), those ages 18-34 (53 percent to 30 percent), women (52 percent to 35 percent).

Trump, meanwhile, has the edge among whites (49 percent to 37 percent), men (48 percent to 38 percent) and independents (40 percent to 30 percent).

These numbers are largely consistent with a number of polls that have come out over the course of the past month, all of which generally show Clinton leading Trump either by double digits or outside the margin of error. Presently, that margin stands at + 6.7 points if you’re only including the two major party candidates, by +6.6 points if you include Gary Johnson in the mix, and +5.6 points if you include Johnson and Stein. More importantly for Trump, he hasn’t led in a poll, even inside the margin of error, for a month now and hasn’t had a discernible lead in the polling average aat any point since his head to had polling with Clinton started being tracked. What we do see over the past month, though, are clear signs that Trump is declining in the polls while Clinton rises. If that continues, then Trump is likely to go into the convention time at the end of July at a distinct disadvantage vis a vis Clinton that will be difficult for him to make up in the three months left in the campaign after the conventions are over.

Interestingly enough, despite the fact that Clinton’s lead shrinks when the minor party candidates are added into the poll, it seems fairly apparent that both Johnson and Stein are drawing supporters from both majority party candidates as well as from the larger poll of voters who have indicated in the two-candidate poll that they are undecided. This suggests that, at least at this moment, Johnson and Stein are not necessarily ‘harming’ one candidate more than the other, although that may change as the race goes on, assuming, of course, that these two minor party candidates are able to keep their numbers at these levels or potentially increase them to the point where one or both of them becomes eligible to participate in the Presidential debates in the fall.

No matter how you look at these numbers, there’s really no good news here for Trump. While it’s early, a double digit lead for Clinton at this point in the race suggests that the race could be entering the period when it would be next to impossible for Trump to catch up to her. At the very least, what we are definitely seeing here is that the up-tick in the polls that Trump saw in the wake of becoming the presumptive Republican nominee is now at an end and that Clinton is starting to benefit from the fact that her race against Bernie Sanders has come to an end and Democrats are starting to consolidate behind her. Trump, meanwhile, just saw his numbers shrink. If that continues, then this race could effectively be over long before Americans head to the polls in November.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. humanoid.panda says:

    Counter-argument: Dilbert says that Trump is winning by a landslide, so if you disagree you are a blind liberal elitist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. LaMont says:

    Roughly two in three Americans say they think Trump is unqualified to lead the nation; are anxious about the idea of him as president; believe his comments about women, minorities and Muslims show an unfair bias; and see his attacks on a federal judge because of his Mexican American heritage as racist.

    A slimmer majority say they disapprove of the way Clinton has handled questions about her use of a personal email server while she was secretary of state, and half of Americans are anxious about the prospect of a Clinton presidency, underscoring the historic unpopularity of the two major-party candidates.

    To even mention Hillary’s “problems” in the same breath as Trump’s PROBLEMS is what kills me about the Trump vs Clinton debate this country is having. The first paragraph indicates a major character flaw in Trump. And for those who know and aren’t playing partisan gamesmanship, the second paragraph is a manufactured “scandal” Hillary has to deal with. Yet, I have to hear almost every day from low information voters how they are somehow equal. Yes Trump is obviously bad but Hillary can’t be trusted – too much smoke in her background – got to be something seriously flawed with her too. In fact, the reason Hillary is this unpopular has more to do with today’s political environment and less to do with her character. Fortunately for Hillary, Trump is a major douchebag of a character!

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  3. An Imterested Party says:

    When the horserace is expanded to four candidates – including Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein – Clinton gets support from 39 percent of voters, Trump gets 38 percent, Johnson 10 percent and Stein 6 percent.

    Well there is the joke of the day…like either third party candidate will get anywhere near that many votes…

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  4. C. Clavin says:

    Somewhere in that poll it says that 11% of the people who think Trump is unqualified to be President will still vote for him.
    WTF?

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  5. Andrew says:

    Trump tried to ride the Reagan train. Instead got on the Carter Bus.

    As a nation, the United States really can not handle someone who always shows their hand. We know exactly what we would get with Trump. And, that’s still more un-electable than a career politician.

    If I honestly thought Trump was sincere in this quest for the White House, I may feel a tid bit sad. Alas, he is not. On with the shenanigans!

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  6. Facebones says:

    And Hillary is just starting her multi million dollar swing state ad blitz. Trump is going to counter with some tweets since he has no cash on hand and isn’t about to spend his own money on this fiasco.

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  7. MarkedMan says:

    Kevin Drum has a good take on a recent WP op Ed that basically said “two liars running for president”. The author pulled five blatant lies from a week or two worth of his BS, but then needed to go back 20 years to find 5 lies from Clinton. 2 were legit (she said she wasn’t the reason the travel gate people got fired in 1994, she said that when her plane landed in Bosnia there was sniper fire in the area). One was pretty obviously a harmless family story that turned out not to be true (she was named after Edmund Hillary). Another was that she claimed she was a critic of NAFTA (she was critical in private but did not publicly declare she was against it while Bill was president and only publicly discussed her opposition after Bill’s 2nd term ended). And finally, the only recent one , that she did not email any classified material. Since the claim that this is a lie refers to the fact that she mailed some comments on newspaper articles and discussion of those articles were retroactively classified, I personally feel that the charges are just partisan BS

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  8. Scott F. says:

    I suppose Trump was right. Trump supporters had so much winning, they got bored with winning.

    For a candidacy premised almost solely on Trump being a winner is all he’s ever done, every moment he’s behind that premise gets shakier. Trump has no clue how to run from behind, so he’ll probably lie and say he’s ahead.

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  9. al-Alameda says:

    I loved it that while Trump was in Scotland, he touted the Brexit vote to leave the EU as great for business at his Turnberry Resort in Scotland, and at the same time he was blissfully unaware that Scotland voted to REMAIN in in the EU.

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  10. DrDaveT says:

    When the horserace is expanded to four candidates – including Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein – Clinton gets support from 39 percent of voters, Trump gets 38 percent, Johnson 10 percent and Stein 6 percent.

    Gotta agree with An Interested Party here — this as much as invalidates the poll. Jill Stein will get 6 percent of the vote when Donald Trump donates a kidney to Ayatollah Khamenei.

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  11. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    the defections are turning into a stampede,

    You do realize that you are, from what I can see, the only pundit or pseudo-pundit in the nation that is running (no pun intended) with this theme, right? I expect that the reason “stampede” hasn’t caught on is because a more suitable metaphor might be popping a zit–with a big burst at the onset, followed by oozing afterward.

    Now, I agree that popping a zit is a distasteful (albeit appropriate in this case) metaphor, but it may be time to give up on “stampede” unless the goal is to create a link to your previous article for click count purposes.

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  12. James Pearce says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Somewhere in that poll it says that 11% of the people who think Trump is unqualified to be President will still vote for him.

    Don’t worry, man. Only 11% of those people will actually vote.

    Don’t get me wrong. They’ll want to vote. They’ll even think about it. They might even have some of the forms filled out.

    But these are not intelligent, capable people. Come election day, they’ll be too challenged by daily life to rise to the challenge of also voting.

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  13. Mister Bluster says:

    Animal Farm
    Birds of a Feather…

    Huckabee: ‘I’d be honored’ to speak for Trump at RNC
    …the media has so vilified him (Trump)…*
    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/mike-huckabee-trump-republican-national-convention-2016-224829

    Mike Huckabee paying $25,000 for playing ‘Eye of the Tiger’
    In court, Huckabee argued that the anti-gay-rights rally was a “religious assembly… signifying joy and praise at the release of Mrs. Davis” from jail. A religious event would classify the act of playing the song as “noncommercial” and allow him to cite “fair use” — letting him play part of the song without paying for it.
    But that argument fell apart when the songwriter’s lawyer pointed out that Huckabee claimed the rally as a presidential campaign expense.
    http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/27/news/mike-huckabee-eye-of-the-tiger/index.html?utm_sour

    *Of course it’s the media’s fault. News outlets should never have reported Trump’s remarks about Mexican rapists, etc. I’m sure that would have been OK with the Huckster.

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  14. Facebones says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Jill Stein will get 6 percent of the vote when Donald Trump donates a kidney to Ayatollah Khamenei.

    Yep. Nader couldn’t crack 3% and he had 30+ years of notoriety as a consumer advocate to draw upon. Jill Stein is a parking place for some of the BernieBusters until they get closer to the election.

    I will be frankly stunned if she cracks even 1% in the final count.

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  15. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    Of course it’s the media’s fault. News outlets should never have reported Trump’s remarks about Mexican rapists, etc. I’m sure that would have been OK with the Huckster.

    Now, now. Don’t go putting the cart before the horses. These comments might have been “incendiary”, but they were clearly “factual, if one concedes that Trump was not speaking of all Mexican migrants”, or so TAC assures us.

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  16. gVOR08 says:

    @LaMont:

    To even mention Hillary’s “problems” in the same breath as Trump’s PROBLEMS is what kills me about the Trump vs Clinton debate this country is having.

    Kevin Drum has an excellent example from the LA Times. One Barton Swaim wrote a piece in which he says,”we are faced with a choice between two pathologically dishonest candidates.” He illustrates his case with five recent, important lies from Trump and five “lies” from Hillary from the last 20+ years. Drum makes a good case that one was a trivial family anecdote the family believed, a second is a slightly misleading, And a third isn’t a lie at all. This leaves one consequential lie per decade. Actually pretty impressive honesty for an active politician. Also, the LA Times somehow failed to note that Mr. Swaim was a speechwriter for then Gov. Sanford of hiking the Appalachian trail fame and now mostly writes for The Weekly Standard.

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  17. gVOR08 says:

    @Andrew:

    We know exactly what we would get with Trump.

    We do? Despite the constant lies? We know Trump’s personality and ignorance, but Trump himself has no idea what he’d do as prez.

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