A new poll from FoxNews finds Donald Trump edging Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House, by 3 points, or 45 percent to 42 percent.
Trump’s advantage over Clinton is right at the poll’s 3 point margin of error.
This latest Fox poll is a significant improvement for Trump. The network’s last poll of the general election, taken in mid-April, showed Clinton leading the presumptive GOP nominee by 7 points. In June 2015, at the start of the primary campaign season, Clinton led Trump by 17 points.
The change in the race can be attributed to two complementary forces; Clinton has become more unlikeable in the eyes of voters, while Trump’s favorable ratings have improved, especially among Republicans. Among all voters, though, Trump’s numbers have swung 19 points more positive. Clinton’s numbers, meanwhile, have swung 5 points more negative.
Hillary Clinton, in fact, has a higher unfavorable rating than Trump, or any other political figure. Among all voters, 61 percent have a negative opinion of Clinton. Trump’s unfavorable numbers are also very high, with 56 percent of voters having a negative view of the real estate developer. His number are better than Clinton’s, however.
While just 41 percent of voters have a positive impression of Trump, only 37 percent have a positive view of Clinton. The media regularly points out that Trump is unpopular with general election voters. An important caveat, however, is that Clinton is even less popular.
Trump favorable/unfavorable rating is similar to voters’ impressions of the Republican party overall. Voters’ views of Clinton, however, are decidely more negative than opinions of the Democrat party. Comparing favorable and unfavorable opinions, the net-rating for the Democrat party is -2. Clinton’s net rating, however, is -24.
Considering different qualities in the candidates, voters generally have negative views of both Clinton and Trump. There are two traits, however, where Trump has a very clear advantage.
He has a 22 point edge over Clinton on who voters would describe as a “strong leader.” Perhaps just as important, voters view Clinton more “corrupt” than Trump by a 12-point margin, 49-37.
Clinton has a 14-point edge among women. Trump, however, has a 22-point edge among men. Trump is underwater, the difference between favorable and unfavorable views, with women by 30 points. That is almost the same as his rating last fall among all women. Among Republican women, however, Trump’s rating has improved considerable. His net rating among Republican women last fall was just +3. Today, his net-rating with GOP women is +34.
Even though Clinton leads Trump among women, her net-rating is -7. Her advantage with women over Trump is only slightly higher than the 11-point margin among women voters between Obama and Romney in the 2012 elections. Despite her potentially historic election and the fact that Trump’s favorable rating among female voters is horrendous, Clinton only does marginally better among women than Obama fared against Romney.
Trump’s 22-point edge among male voters, though, is three times larger than the advantage Romney enjoyed over Obama among men. This is due, no doubt, to Clinton’s horrible -44 rating among male voters. Only 27 percent of men have a favorable opinion of Clinton. An statistically amazing 71 percent have a negative view of Clinton.
It is true that voters don’t like either Trump or Clinton very much. The problem for Hillary Clinton, though, is that voters like her even less than Trump.