Clinton’s Lead Over Trump Narrows to 3 Percent in NBC National Poll

By Steven Klett
Steven Klett
Steven Klett
May 17, 2016 Updated: May 17, 2016

In a national matchup between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Clinton holds a 3 percent lead, narrowing the margin from 5 percent in a poll last week.

The latest NBC/Survey Monkey poll show that 48 percent favor Clinton while 45 percent favor Trump in a head-to-head matchup. 

The poll showed that the split is mostly party-based, with 87 percent of Republicans backing Trump, while just 7 percent would support Clinton. A similar margin is seen with Democratic voters, 87 percent favoring Clinton and just 8 percent supporting Trump.

Other factors contributing to the results follow narratives established in the primary races. Among black voters the Democratic front-runner leads Trump 84 percent to 9 percent, and holds a 37-point advantage among Hispanic voters, 65 percent to 28 percent.

Women also favor Clinton, while Trump leads among men and white voters.

Clinton is beating Trump by 15 points among women, while Trump carries men by a similar 11-percent margin. White voters favor Trump by 14 percent—53 percent to 39 percent. 

Another important distinction is each candidate’s appeal to moderates and independent voters. Clinton leads among moderate voters 53 percent to 39 percent, while Trump leads with independent voters 44 percent to 36 percent. 

In the Democratic primary, Clinton has extended her lead over Sanders to 14 percent (54 percent to 40 percent) but the Vermont Senator, mirroring results in other polls, stacks up better than Hillary Clinton against the presumptive Republican nominee, beating Trump 53 percent to 41 percent.

Another topic that was polled was who was the leader of the Republican party—Trump or Paul Ryan—with Trump getting nearly 6 out of 10 Republicans saying that he is the leader, and Ryan getting 39 percent. 

Ryan responded to the poll, airing support for Trump as the nominee: 

“I hope it’s Donald Trump. He’s getting the nomination,” Ryan said Tuesday on MSNBC. “He’s wrapping up the nomination.”

The NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll was conducted online from May 9 through May 15 among 14,100 adults, including 12,507 who say they are registered to vote. It has a margin of error of 1.2 percent. 

This national poll falls in line with polls from swing states Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida, which show similarly close races

The challenges for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is to better their favorability ratings—which have been at record lows—and to expand each of their voter bases. 

Steven Klett