Clinton opens big gap in key battleground state

Clinton opens big gap in key battleground state

News poll finds Clinton has nearly-unanimous Democratic backing, while Trump isn't doing as well with his fellow Republicans

The battleground state of Virginia looks a little less like a battleground today, as Hillary Clinton has opened up a lead there of 49 percent to 37 percent, echoing some of the movement seen in national polls this week.

Clinton has nearly-unanimous Democratic backing at the moment while Trump isn't doing as well with his fellow Republicans: she has 95 percent of the state's Democrats compared to 79 percent of GOP-ers for Trump. In today's highly partisan electorate, that amounts to a dramatic difference. There isn't a wholesale move of Republicans to Clinton - just 6 percent - but others have drifted into being unsure, or voting third-party, and in what may become a turnout factor down the road, Republicans report lower motivation to vote than before. (However, that also suggests there could be room for Trump to rebound, if some of his partisans return.)

The "Commander-in-Chief" test looms large here, as it has become the top decision-making criteria for voters now. Clinton leads on it: fifty-seven percent say she is prepared while 36 percent say so of Trump. That commander-in-chief measure has become so important that Clinton can lead this race despite performing poorly on many other criteria: thirty-three percent believe she "tells the truth"; fewer than half believe she'll "look out for people like you" despite putting an emphasis on that topic at the Democratic convention, and only 34 percent believe she can bring change to Washington.

Yet with the exception of bringing change - which 67 percent believe Trump can do - Trump does not perform especially well on those measures either, which only underlines how the election has, for many voters, become a relative comparison between the two candidates. About three in ten voters in all these battleground states say they dislike both choices, but are picking one anyway.

On the other side of the country in Arizona, Trump leads 44 percent to 42 percent, only two points in a state Republicans typically win without too much trouble. Even if this is as close as Arizona ever gets (just 15 percent of those not voting for Clinton would still consider her) it nonetheless tells the story of a potentially shifting map, forcing Trump to defend usually-red territory, in part because of such strong Hispanic support behind Clinton. In Arizona, 80 percent of Hispanic voters feel they're more motivated to vote this year than previous years, and don't believe Donald Trump treats all people fairly.

Immigration is a large issue there as always - though not quite as large as terrorism and health care - and Republicans remain strongly in support of the idea of a border wall with Mexico. Eight in ten Republicans call it a good idea - though it is seen as a bad idea by relatively more independents and most Democrats. In Arizona, as elsewhere, Clinton is doing relatively better with those Democrats and has benefitted from a bit of crossover support, but many voters remain disappointed in their choices: thirty-two percent say they don't like either of the two major-party candidates but are going to pick one anyway.

The controversy surrounding Donald Trump's comments on the Khan familyappear to have hurt him with independents, but less so among Republicans. Republicans' views on the matter are mixed in Arizona as elsewhere, with 45 percent of Republicans saying Trump's response was appropriate and 29 percent inappropriate. Republicans in Arizona are more apt to say they like that Trump sticks up for himself, more generally, than to feel that he is insensitive when he criticizes others.

In Nevada, Clinton leads, 43 percent to 41 percent, also bolstered by support from Hispanic voters and younger voters, but facing more difficulty with older, white voters. In Nevada, as elsewhere, the commander-in-chief measure nets Clinton a large advantage, even as she has lower numbers on measures such as bringing change.

And the selection of Tim Kaine as vice president may have helped Clinton in Virginia, too, as voters are more likely to say it makes them more likely to vote for the ticket than to vote against it.

You can find the methodology for the polls here:


The CBS News 2016 Battleground Tracker is a panel study based on interviews conducted on the internetof registered voters in Arizona, Nevada, Virginia, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, NewHampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, New York,South Carolina, and Texas. The poll was conducted by YouGov, an online polling organization.The first wave was fielded between September 3-10, 2015, with 4860 respondents, and the second wavefieldwork was completed between October 15-22, 2015, with 3952 respondents and the third wave betweenNovember 15-19, 2015. The fourth wave was fielded between December 13-17, 2015. The majority of the2nd-4th wave respondents are recontacted panelists. The first 4 waves consist of interviews in Iowa, NewHampshire, and South Carolina only. The fifth wave added new interviews in Florida, Georgia, and Texas,and was completed between January 17-21, 2016. The sixth wave was fielded only in South Carolina, withinterviews completed February 10-12, 2016. The seventh wave was fielded also in February, among panelistsin Georgia, Texas, and Virginia. The eighth wave fielded February 22-26, 2016, and recontacted panelistsfrom the January wave in Georgia and Texas. Virginia respondents were all new to the panel. The ninethwave was fielded to new respondents in Michigan from March 2-4, 2016, and in addition, respondents inFlorida, Illinois, and Ohio were contacted March 9-11, 2016. Respondents in New York, Pennsylvania, andWisconsin were contacted March 29-April 1, 2016 for the tenth wave. In the eleventh wave of our primarysurveys, respondents in California, New York, and Pennsylvania were contacted April 13-15, 2016. Thetwelveth was conducted April 20-22, 2016 and interviewed panelists in Indiana and Pennsylvania. Thethirteenth wave was the first general election poll, and was conducted of registered voters in Florida andOhio May 16-19, 2016. The fourteenth wave was fielded May 31-June 3, 2016, and consists of registeredvoters in California and New Jersey, interviewing both those likely to vote in the November general electionand the upcoming Democratic primary election. The fifteenth wave of the Battleground Tracker interviewedregistered voters in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Wisconsin from June 21-24, 2016.The July waves were conducted before and after the conventions. These waves interviewed registeredvoters on July 13-15, 2016 in eleven battleground states (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina,New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin) and combined single state polls inIowa, Michigan, and Ohio. All YouGov respondents were recontacted July 15-16, 2016 for a follow-up surveyon the Trump Vice Presidential announcement, were recontacted again July 22-23, 2016 for a follow-upsurvey at the conclusion of the Republican National Convention, and finally recontacted July 29-30, 2016for a follow-up survey at the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention.The most recent wave interviewed registered voters in Arizona, Nevada, and Virginia on August 2-5,2016.Respondents were selected from YouGovs and two other online panels. These are “opt-in” panels whichare open for anyone to join. However, YouGov also randomly selected persons from voter registration listswho had previously voted in primary elections and contacted them by phone. A total of 24017 registeredvoters were contacted by phone and the YouGov sample includes 1821 phone recruits.Recontact rates ranged from 34% to 75% for each state for the reinterview waves. In addition, newrespondents were selected from the YouGov panel each wave.For the October, November, and December waves, all respondents from previous waves were contacted toparticipate. In the January wave, all respondents from previous waves in Iowa, New Hampshire, and SouthCarolina were contacted to participate. Florida, Georgia, and Texas are completely new interviews. In theFebruary wave, all respondents from previous South Carolina waves were contacted to participate. In theMarch wave, all respondents from the previous Florida wave were invited to participate. All respondentsfrom the New York survey in late March were invited to participate in the April wave. In the June 21-24,2016 survey, all respondents from the previous Florida general election poll (conducted May 16-19, 2016)were invited to participate.Approximately 60% of the October wave consists of reinterviews, with the remainder coming from newadditions. Approximately 70% of the November wave consists of reinterviews from the previous waves,