The FINANCIAL -- The race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton continues to tighten as the results following Sunday’s night debate keep coming in.
Clinton still holds a four-point lead over Trump - 43% to 39% - among Likely U.S. Voters in Rasmussen Reports’ latest White House Watch national telephone and online survey. But that’s down from five points yesterday and her biggest lead ever of seven points on Monday.
Rasmussen Reports updates its White House Watch survey daily Monday through Friday at 8:30 am Eastern based on a three-day rolling average of 1,500 Likely U.S. Voters. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 2.5. Monday’s survey was the first following the release of an 11-year-old video showing Trump discussing women in graphic sexual detail. Tuesday’s survey was the first to include a full night of results following Sunday’s debate; two out of the three nights in the latest survey follow the debate.
The latest White House Watch shows Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson remaining at seven percent (7%) and Green Party candidate Jill Stein holding steady at two percent (2%). Four percent (4%) like some other candidate, and five percent (5%) remain undecided.
Eighty-two percent (82%) of voters now say they are sure how they will vote. Clinton holds a narrow 48% to 46% lead over Trump among these voters. On Monday, she was ahead 51% to 45% in this group. Johnson now picks up for percent (4%) support and Stein two percent (2%) among those certain of how they will vote.
Among voters who say they could still change their minds between now and Election Day, it’s Clinton 45%, Trump 28%, Johnson 23% and Stein five percent (5%).
Several prominent Republicans including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator John McCain, the party’s presidential nominee in 2008, have distanced themselves from Trump since the airing of his sexual comments. Trump who apologized for the comments in Sunday night’s debate has dismissed their remarks and said now he is free to run against the GOP establishment as well as the Democrats. We’ll tell you what voters think of all this at 10:30 a.m. Eastern today.
Trump’s support remains lower among his fellow Republicans (71%) than Clinton’s is among Democrats (78%). But he continues to lead among voters not affiliated with either major party. Clinton draws 16% of the GOP vote, while 11% of Democrats prefer Trump. Eighty-six percent (86%) of Republicans and 85% of Democrats are certain how they will vote, compared to 72% of unaffiliateds.
The candidates run even among men, a voter bloc that has supported Trump in most previous surveys. Clinton still holds a seven-point advantage among women. Just over 80% of both groups are sure already how they will vote.
The older the voter, the more likely he or she is to support Trump and to be certain of his or her vote.
Trump appears to have gained some support among blacks but lost ground among other minority votes. He remains ahead among whites. White voters are more sure than the others of their vote at this stage.
Both major party candidates have high unfavorables with voters, so it’s perhaps not surprising that voters overall are even more likely than they’ve been in the past to say they’ll wait until Election Day to cast their vote. Democrats are still more likely than other voters to say they plan to vote early this year if their state allows it.
Just 24% of voters say they’ve ever changed the way they were going to vote after watching the debates between presidential candidates.
However, a survey conducted just before the first televised debate this year found that voters - particularly those within the two major parties - place more importance on the debates this election cycle than they have in past years.
GOP establishment leaders have been critical of Trump from the start because he has repudiated many of their actions and kept many of them at a distance. Two-out-of-three Republicans (66%) said in June that most top Republican leaders do not want Trump to be elected president of the United States.
Already by June, Trump seemed to be a third-party candidate running against both major parties.