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MCAP poll shows Clinton, Trump in dead heat in PA

Monday, September 26, 2016

A single point separates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania, according to a new poll released today by the Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics (MCAP).

In Pennsylvania, likely voters break 42 percent for Clinton and 41 percent for Trump; also 4 percent for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 3 percent for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Likewise, in the Pennsylvania Senate race, Republican Pat Toomey leads the Democratic candidate Katie McGinty by a single point, 43 percent and 42 percent, respectively. Both Clinton’s and Toomey’s leads are well within the margin of error for the poll.

The MCAP Poll surveyed 420 registered voters in Pennsylvania (MOE +/-4.8, Sept. 12-23, 2016, live interviews). In addition to questions about the race for president and Senate, Pennsylvanians were also asked their opinions on their enthusiasm for voting in the 2016  election, the state of the nation’s economy, and the Obama Administration’s performance during the past eight years. Pollsters were able to ascertain trend data by comparing current responses with those from a 2011 MCAP poll as well.

“Aside from closing the gap with Clinton, Trump appears to have an advantage when it comes to voter enthusiasm,” said MCAP Director Dr. Joseph Morris. “This is not good news for the Clinton campaign.”

Of those voters who are most enthusiastic about voting in the 2016 presidential election, 51 percent say they’ll vote for Trump and 47 percent for Clinton. In such a close race, the enthusiasm gap could translate into higher turnout among Trump supporters on election day.

The poll also illustrates that Pennsylvania voters consistently disapprove of Obama's performance in key policy areas, like trade, healthcare, immigration and ISIS, which could negatively impact Clinton’s campaign.

“The one bright spot for Clinton is that voters say the economy, as measured by three questions – the state of the nation's economy, availability of jobs in their communities, and personal financial situation - is better than it has been at any time since 2011,” Morris said. “Voter evaluations of the economy are a strong predictor of the outcome of presidential elections.”

To see the full poll results, visit the Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics.