Hillary Clinton is swinging past the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump in Nevada. That would give her a gain of all six state Electoral College votes, according to a Monmouth University poll released Monday. But that is not what is surprising.
Clinton is accumulating states like beads on a string, even though those states have been in the GOP’s hold, or at least swing states, forever. For the first time in four decades states are also trending toward a class-based divide among white voters, according to other polls. That is why the former Secretary of State could take swing states such as Virginia, North Carolina, and Colorado, along with some hard red states, if the trend holds.
In the Monmouth University poll, Trump captured 88 percent of the self-identified Republican vote, but 6 percent intend to back Clinton. An additional 2 percent said they are voting for Johnson or another candidate.
Clinton captured 92 percent of the self-identified Nevada Democratic vote. Conversely, 3 percent of Democrats intend to vote for Trump, and 3 percent will vote for Johnson.
Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said:
‘One question at this early stage is whether Clinton can hold onto the small but crucial number of Republican voters who are currently supporting her or whether Trump can win them over as well as Democrats backing Johnson.
‘Otherwise, this contest looks to be lining up along familiar demographic divides where turnout will determine the ultimate outcome.’
Among likely voters in the 2016 presidential race, 45 percent will support Clinton and 41 percent would back Trump in the Monmouth University poll. The Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson captured 5 percent of the vote. A full 4 percent said they intent to cast their ballots for the state’s “none of these candidates” option.
The “none of these candidates” option vote has increased fourfold, moving from under 1 percent of the vote to 4 percent in the 2016 election cycle. That vote was 2 percent in the 1988 race between George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis.
Murray says that neither candidate is well-known to the potential voters:
‘It would not help the Democrat if this race turns into a referendum on Reid’s leadership in Congress. An early campaign theme has been the influence of special interests, but voters don’t see this as a big deal right now, partly because they don’t know a lot about the two nominees despite their years in elected office.’
The Monmouth University poll found that 44 percent of likely Nevada voters said Clinton acted criminally in regard to her private email server, while 27 percent indicated that they believe she showed poor judgment. Thirteen percent said she did nothing unusual, and 16 percent said they had no opinion.
When asked who would best help “the little guy,” the voters appeared either undecided or negative toward both candidates on this issue. Clinton led 37 percent to Trump’s 31 percent. Four 4 percent said they would choose both candidates equally, but over a quarter of the voters said neither would look out for “the little guy,” 27 percent.
Among women, Clinton leads 53 percent to Trump’s 38 percent. Among men, Trump leads 44 percent to 37 percent. Both Clinton and Trump have unfavorable images in Nevada.
Monmouth conducted the poll from July 7 through 10, interviewing a sample of 408 likely Nevada voters by cell phone and landlines. The margin of error is 4.9 +/- percentage points.