NEW YORK CITY, New York — Donald J. Trump, the Republican nominee for president, has closed the gap with his Democratic opponent Hillary Rodham Clinton with just a couple weeks left in the election, the latest national Breitbart News Network/Gravis Marketing poll shows.
Clinton, at 46 percent, leads Trump at 45 percent by just one point—inside the survey’s 2.3 percent margin of error. Libertarian Gary Johnson gets just 3 percent and the Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein just 1 percent, while 4 percent are unsure. The survey was conducted from Oct. 25 to Oct. 26, sampling 1,824 registered voters across the United States. The poll was conducted using a combination of interactive voice response polling and an internet panel of cell phone users.
“Something has happened since the third debate,” Doug Kaplan, the managing partner of Gravis Marketing, said of the poll. “Conventional wisdom was after Trump said he wouldn’t promise to accept the results of the election and made the ‘nasty woman’ comment, many thought Hillary would gain—but Trump seems to be closing the gap. In every election in the last 30 years, this happens where the person behind closes the gap. Hillary still has a clear electoral advantage and many paths to victory. However, Trump is not out of it but Hillary is still the favorite.”
“This is a big story because it shows Trump really closing, importantly, as the other close polls are showing,” Democratic pollster Pat Caddell, who worked for President Jimmy Carter and is working with Breitbart News and Gravis Marketing on these polls, added. “He is closing with his favorability and unfavorability as well.
Caddell said he thinks Obamacare’s failures, where premiums are skyrocketing, is one of many reasons why Trump is surging. “Among other things, that is contributing [to Trump’s rise in the polls],” Caddell said. “When we are looking down the road at other things that may be influential, we are seeing the possibility of again on the immigration issue—that thing about concern on the border seems to be increasing as is opposition to Hillary and their plans to expand immigration and refugees, which is another big issue. But more importantly, at the end of the survey, we see both candidates have problems on their ability to unite the country and on whether or not they can have the moral leadership to lead. They’re basically about the same, which I consider a real improvement for Trump now that he’s that close.”
In issue-based questions, a plurality—46 percent total—said they thought it was either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that the election would be “rigged,” one of Trump’s major talking points in the final days. Twenty-five percent thought it is “very likely” the election is “rigged,” while 21 percent thought it was “somewhat likely.” Thirty-nine percent thought it was “not likely at all” that the election would be “rigged,” while 11 percent said it was “not very likely” and 4 percent were unsure.
A majority surveyed also said they believe Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted for her illicit home brew email server. Fifty-one percent said they believe “the FBI made the wrong decision and she should have been prosecuted” versus only 42 percent saying “the FBI made the correct decision and she should not have been prosecuted,” when asked which is closer to their view among those statements after read this background: “The FBI has concluded that Hillary Clinton potentially exposed top secret information to hostile countries when she used a private email server when she was Secretary of State but the agency has decided not to seek a criminal indictment of her.” Eight percent were unsure.
A vast majority of Americans surveyed also said they were either very or somewhat concerned with controlling immigration and securing the southern border. Forty-nine percent, a near majority, said they were “very concerned” about that while 27 percent said they were “somewhat concerned” and only 17 percent were not concerned while 6 percent were uncertain.
A whopping 54 percent of those surveyed answered “no” when asked: “Has Obamacare been a success?” Only 34 percent said “yes” and 12 percent said they were unsure.
“We see an increase in negative reactions to Obamacare,” Caddell said. “That seems to be rising, which is reflective of the recent news—that’s a 20-point margin now, by the way.”
On refugees, 34 percent said they wanted to stop taking refugees altogether while 23 percent said they wanted a reduction when asked this question: “Do you support President Obama’s plan to increase the number of refugees coming to the United States from the Middle East, Africa, and other parts of the world to 110,000 next year, up from the current level of 85,000, or do you think we should allow no refugees, fewer refugees, or the same as the current level?” Only 18 percent said they wanted the same amount and 26 percent said they wanted an increase.
Similarly, when asked about Hillary Clinton’s plans to increase refugees, 63 percent said they disapproved of what she’s planning to do when asked this question: “Hillary Clinton’s supporters at the Refugee Council want to increase the number of refugees coming into the United States in 2017 even more, to 200,000, and Hillary wants to increase the number of Syrian refugees in that total from 10,000 in 2016 to 65,000 in 2017. Do you approve or disapprove of this increase?” Only 26 percent approved of Hillary Clinton’s refugee plans, while 11 percent were unsure.
A majority, 51 percent, also said they do not believe that the refugees already here have been subjected to the “most rigorous security vetting, as the Obama Administration claims.” Only 32 percent said they did think so, and 17 percent were unsure.
On trade policy, a plurality agreed with Donald Trump on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Respondents were asked: “Do you agree or disagree with Donald Trump, who said that NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, is the worst trade deal in modern American history, and that TPP, the Trans Pacific Partnership, is almost as bad?” In response, 47 percent said they agreed with Trump and 28 percent disagreed—while 25 percent didn’t know.
A majority, 53 percent, said the revelations contained in the WikiLeaks publishing of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails were damaging to Clinton’s credibility, while 36 percent said the revelations in WIkiLeaks were not and 11 percent didn’t know. Similarly, a majority of 62 percent said the accusations by women of lewd conduct against Donald Trump were damaging to his credibility while 31 percent said they weren’t and 7 percent didn’t know.
Respondents were split when asked if they agreed with Donald Trump’s position that he has the right to challenge the election if the results are questionable, with 47 percent saying they disapproved of Trump’s stance and 46 percent saying they approved while 7 percent were unsure.
Both candidates received generally split answers as well when respondents were asked if Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump would have the moral authority to lead America if elected. Forty-seven percent said Hillary Clinton would not have the moral authority to lead while 45 percent said she would and 8 percent didn’t know. Forty-nine percent said Donald Trump wouldn’t have the moral authority to lead, while 40 percent said he would and 11 percent didn’t know.
Similarly, majorities of voters don’t believe either candidate will be able to unite the country if they win. Fifty-six percent said they either strongly or somewhat disagreed that Donald Trump would be able to unite the country if he wins, with 42 percent saying they either strongly or somewhat think he will be able to unite the country and 3 percent unsure. Fifty-three percent either strongly or somewhat don’t believe Hillary Clinton can unite the country if she wins, while 42 percent either strongly or somewhat do not believe she can and 5 percent don’t know.
A majority—52 percent—believe that the Clintons were selling influence to foreign governments through the Clinton Foundation. Respondents were asked this question: “There are reports that the Clinton Foundation started by Bill and Hillary Clinton accepted substantial donations from foreign governments and other individual donors while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. How likely do you think it is that Bill and Hillary Clinton were selling influence to foreign governments and other individual donors?” In response, 52 percent either strongly or somewhat agreed they were selling influence while only 35 percent somewhat or strongly disagreed and 12 percent didn’t know.
Majorities also believe that if Donald Trump wins the election, the elites lose—and that if Hillary Clinton wins the election, the elites win.
Respondents were asked whether they agree, somewhat or strongly, or disagree, somewhat or strongly, with this statement: “If Hillary Clinton wins, the political elite and special interests win.” In response, 46 percent said they strongly agreed and 11 percent somewhat agreed for a solid majority of 58 percent in total agreeing that if Hillary Clinton wins the election the special interests and political elites win the election. Only 23 percent strongly disagreed and 13 percent somewhat disagreed—for a total of 35 percent in disagreement—while 7 percent didn’t know.
Respondents were also asked whether they agree, somewhat or strongly, or disagree, somewhat or strongly, with this statement: “If Donald Trump wins, the political elite and special interests lose.” In response, 36 percent said they strongly agreed and 15 percent said they somewhat agreed for a total of 51 percent in agreement. Only 25 percent strongly disagreed and 13 percent somewhat disagreed for a total of 39 percent of disagreement, while 10 percent didn’t know.
A vast majority—61 percent—also said they believe this election is their last chance to change direction as a country. Respondents were asked if they agreed or disagreed with this statement: “For years, the political elites have governed America for their own benefit— and to the detriment of the American people. This election is the best chance in our lives to take back our government and change course.” In response, 43 percent said they strongly agreed, 17 percent somewhat agreed, 14 percent somewhat disagreed, 20 percent strongly disagreed and 6 percent didn’t know. That means 61 percent in total agreed, while 33 percent in total disagreed.
In addition, the poll asked about the new Project Veritas videos from James O’Keefe. Forty percent said they had seen the video, 17 percent said they read about it, 24 percent heard a little about it and 18 percent heard nothing about it.
Those surveyed were then read this statement about the video and asked several questions about it: “Several organizations that go back to the Democratic National Committee and even perhaps to the campaign of Hillary Clinton had operatives who, in an undercover investigative video expose, admitted that they had recruited people to disrupt Donald Trump events and even discussed how to rig votes in the general election. Those two operatives were both fired. The person they identify as their leader, and who appears in the video, turns out to have been to the Obama White House almost 350 times and had dozens of direct meetings with President Obama.”
The first question they were asked was whether they think this is a major scandal or not. Given four options, an overwhelming plurality—48 percent—answered this way: “It is a Major Scandal and needs to be considered in the election.” Only 17 percent said this, “It is a Minor Scandal and might need to be considered in the election,” while 19 percent said this “It is Not much of a scandal and does not need much consideration in the election.” A paltry 15 percent completely brushed it off, saying this: “It is No scandal at all and not important at all to this election.”
Majorities also thought that the media was in the tank for Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump. When asked which statement more closely represented their views, 53 percent said: “The behavior of the vast majority of the media in favor of Hillary Clinton and biased against Donald Trump, including not covering certain stories, is a threat to the people’s right to know and to American democracy.” Only 30 percent said this statement more closely represents their views: “Such conduct is normal and is not that important and not a threat to the people’s right to know and to American democracy.” Seventeen percent didn’t know.
Similarly, respondents were asked this question: “The non-partisan Center for Public Integrity reported this week that according to federal records, 430 people who work in journalism have made contributions to presidential campaigns. 96 percent of the money contributed, or $382,000, was donated to Hillary Clinton by about 380 of these journalists. 50 of these journalists have combined to give $14,000 to Donald Trump. Which of the following best represents your opinion?”
Respondents were then asked to say which of two statements more fits their view. Forty-four percent said this statement fits their view: “The behavior of the vast majority of the media in favor of Hillary Clinton and biased against Donald Trump, including not covering certain stories, is a threat to the people’s right to know and to American democracy.” And 44 percent said this statement more reflects their views: “Such conduct is normal and is not that important and not a threat to the people’s right to know and to American democracy.” Eleven percent didn’t know.
The vast majority of those surveyed also said the media is favoring Clinton and opposing Trump. They were asked this question before being read four separate statements: “Considering the coverage of the major television networks and a majority of the major newspapers which best describes how they are covering the election?” Fifty-three percent, a solid majority, said they think this more fits their view: “They are mostly favoring Hillary Clinton and are biased against Donald Trump.” A paltry 5 percent said the reverse, “They are mostly favoring Donald Trump and are biased against Hillary Clinton,” fits their view. Thirty-four percent said this, “They are being equally fair to both candidates and are not biased against either candidate,” fit their view better and 8 percent said this did: “They are unfair to both candidates and biased against each.”