posted at 4:01 pm on September 26, 2016 by John Sexton
The latest CNN/ORC poll shows a dead heat in Colorado and Pennsylvania with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton separated by a single point in a 4-way race. CNN reports:
In Colorado, likely voters break 42% for Trump, 41% for Clinton, 13% for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 3% for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Pennsylvania’s likely voters split 45% for Clinton, 44% for Trump, 6% for Johnson and 3% for Stein. Those divides are well within each poll’s 3.5-point margin of sampling error.
In both states, sharp divisions among whites by education are evident, with white college graduates choosing Clinton over Trump by 11 points in Pennsylvania and 16 points in Colorado, while whites who do not hold four-year degrees break in Trump’s favor by 19 points in Pennsylvania and 22 points in Colorado…
Clinton fares better in two-way matchups in both states, topping Trump 50% to 47% among likely voters in Pennsylvania and 49% to 47% in Colorado. Though both results are within the polls’ margin of sampling error, the finding suggests she could fare better in each state if third party candidate support dipped.
Even the 2-way race is well within the margin of error. These results will place even more pressure on tonight’s debate. The Colorado poll found 23% of respondents were open to changing their mind and the Pennsylvania poll found 21% said the same. So an impressive performance by either candidate tonight could easily tip these polls one way or the other.
Asked how they rate the two major candidates on four issues, respondents gave Trump a 3 point advantage on handling the economy in both Colorado and Pennsylvania (50-47). However the biggest gap was on foreign police where Hillary had a 22 point lead over Trump in Pennsylvania and a 21 point lead in Colorado. On the question of immigration, Clinton had a slight lead in Pennsylvania (50-48) and a larger lead in Colorado (53-45). CNN notes that “about a quarter of the state’s sizable Latino population is foreign born.” Finally, respondents were evenly split on who would do the best job handling terrorism. The good news for Trump is that the economy, the issue where he performs the best, is judged the most important issue by about half of voters in both states.
Trump leads Clinton on the question of honesty in both states (by 6 in PA and 7 in CO). However, Clinton leads Trump on the question of temperament (by 26 points in PA and 29 in CO).