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Quinnipiac Poll: Clinton Up 7 Points in Four-Way Race

The latest national poll from Quinnipiac University has Hillary Clinton in the lead at 45 percent to Donald Trump’s 38 percent, in a four-way race that includes Libertarian Gary Johnson (10 percent) and the Green Party’s Jill Stein (4 percent).

Quinnipiac says that Clinton “tops the magical 50 percent mark among American likely voters” in this “battle of the unloved presidential candidates.”

The pollster proceeds to explain what it means by “unloved”:

A total of 44 percent of American likely voters like Clinton “a lot” or “a little,” while 47 percent dislike her “a little” or “a lot,” and 8 percent hate her.

A total of 35 percent of voters like Trump “a lot” or “a little,” while 53 percent dislike him “a little” or a lot,” and 10 percent hate him.

[…] In this very negative race, 64 percent of Trump supporters say they are voting mainly anti-Clinton, while 25 percent say they are voting pro-Trump.

Among Clinton supporters, 47 percent are mainly anti-Trump while 32 percent are pro- Clinton.

Demographically, Qunnipiac found huge leads among women (60-36 percent) and non-white voters (77-15 percent).

“We are starting to hear the faint rumblings of a Hillary Clinton landslide as her 10-point lead is further proof that Donald Trump is in a downward spiral as the clock ticks. Trump’s missteps, stumbles and gaffes seem to outweigh Clinton’s shaky trust status and perceived shady dealings,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll.

“Wow, is there any light at the end of this dark and depressing chapter in American politics?” Malloy added.

Honesty was Clinton’s big weakness, although Trump scores negatively in that category as well. Voters called Clinton dishonest by what Qunnipiac describes as a “huge” 66-29 percent margin, while Trump’s rating is 53-42 percent. In a related metric, respondents said by a 60-37 percent margin that Clinton “believes she does not have to play by the same rules as everyone else.”

However, Clinton was well ahead in most other categories, including leadership, experience, intelligence, and compassion.

For example, Quinnipiac notes she’s +4 points on the question of “caring about average Americans,” while Trump is -16 on the same question. This type of “cares about people like me” question has been a strong predictor of the outcome in recent elections; it seems to matter to a good number of voters more than anything else, and it colors their perception of everything the candidate says and does. Fortunately for Trump, Clinton isn’t terribly strong on the compassion metric – his challenge clearly lies in repairing his own negatives.

Another bad result for Trump found Quinnipiac respondents saying the way he talks “appeals to bigotry” by a 59 percent to 36 percent margin.

Although Qunnipiac warns this poll cannot be compared to previous entries in their 2016 series, because they have switched from using registered voters to a likely voter screen, it’s interesting to note their June poll had the race “too close to call” at Clinton 42%, Trump 40%, with similar findings about voter dissatisfaction with both candidates.

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