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Clinton Edges Ahead of Trump in Presidential Matchup

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Donald Trump may still be winning Republican state primaries, but Hillary Clinton has now moved ahead of him in a hypothetical presidential matchup.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds that Clinton earns 41% support to Trump’s 36%. The new numbers mark a gain for Clinton who got 37% of the vote to Trump’s 36% in late December, just over a month before the Iowa caucus launched the primary process.

Those findings were nearly identical to what we found in mid-October when Trump picked up 38% support to Clinton’s 36%. 

The good news for Trump is that one-in-four voters are still up for grabs if the presidential contest comes down to these two, with a sizable 21% who prefer some other candidate at this point and three percent (3%) who are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Trump has the support of 65% of GOP voters, while Clinton picks up 76% of the vote among Democrats. Twenty-two percent (22%) of Republicans and 13% of Democrats like some other candidate right now. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, it’s Trump 34%, Clinton 32%, with nearly as many (28%) who prefer someone else.

This survey was taken the night before and the night of yesterday’s Super Tuesday primaries. Clinton and Trump were the big winners yesterday, but while the Democratic race is all but over, the GOP hopefuls are likely to fight it out a while longer.

The fact that Trump’s numbers nationally haven’t moved in nearly five months mirrors the concern GOP party leaders have that the billionaire businessman’s outsider campaign may have reached its ceiling of support.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 29-March 1, 2016 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

When it comes to which candidate voters trust more on key issues, Trump leads when it comes to the economy, job creation and immigration.  Clinton has held her lead on social issues but has widened her advantage on the environment. The two are virtually tied now when voters are asked whom they trust more to handle national security.

Trump has a slight edge among male voters, but Clinton posts a double-digit lead among women.

Voters 65 and older are the only age group in which the Republican has the advantage. However, Clinton has struggled in the primaries to capture the youth vote, and while she has a 16-point lead over Trump among those under 40, 30% of these voters either like another candidate or are undecided at this time.

Trump has a modest lead among whites; Clinton leads overwhelmingly among blacks and has a 10-point advantage among other minority voters. But roughly one-out-of-four white and other minority voters like someone else or are undecided.

Most conservatives favor Trump, while even more liberals like Clinton.  The Democrat leads by nine among self-described political moderates.

Voters in their respective parties are more likely to consider both Clinton and Trump to be moderates.

More Democrats than ever now support Hillary Clinton’s bid for their party’s presidential nomination. 

Our latest monthly Hillary Meter survey, released in mid-February, found that 81% of Democrats believe Clinton is likely to be their presidential nominee this year, with 43% who say it’s Very Likely. 

With Jeb Bush out of the race, Trump has widened his lead on Rasmussen Reports' most recent Republican primary ballot survey

Our latest weekly Trump Change survey, released on Friday, finds that 81% of Likely Republican Voters now believe Trump will win the GOP nomination, with 45% who say it is Very Likely.  Both are the highest findings to date. We will update those numbers on Friday.

Republicans and unaffiliated voters are more likely than Democrats to have changed candidates as a result of the 10 GOP and six Democratic presidential campaign debates.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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