Donald Trump will have a difficult time gaining more than 46 percent of the popular vote in the presidential election, according to a Washington Post poll analysis.
Voters in the poll prefer:
- Hillary Clinton, 50 percent;
- Trump, 46 percent.
That result shows a 2-percent increase in support for the Democratic candidate since the Post's previous poll after the first presidential debate.
Since that debate, a 2005 video emerged with Trump making lewd comments about women, but most voters in the poll said the video made no difference.
- More likely to vote Trump: 1 percent;
- Less likely: 35 percent;
- Won't make any difference: 64 percent.
Breaking down that result by party affiliation, 84 percent of Republicans said it would make no difference, while 45 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of independent voters said it did not make them more or less likely to vote for Trump.
The analysis said that undecided voters or those who back a third-party candidate are more critical of Trump than they are of Clinton. Among that group:
- 71 percent are "strongly unfavorable" of Trump;
- 46 percent feel that way about Clinton.
A similar divide appears in that group when asked if either candidate is qualified to be president:
- 77 percent say Trump is not qualified;
- 44 percent say Clinton is not.
This group is critical to Trump's support, because nearly everyone else has made up their mind. In the poll:
- 89 percent of Clinton's supporters said they "definitely" support her.
- 88 percent of Trump's supporters "definitely" favor him.
No poll has shown Trump gaining more than 47 percent over Clinton in a head-to-head matchup, the analysis said. In six polls, RealClear Politics showed that the most support Trump has is 46 percent, while Clinton goes as high as 51 percent.
The analysis said that Trump's lack of growth potential explains why he has decided to mobilize his own base: "His path to victory at this point depends on large swaths of the Obama coalition choosing to stay home."
Republican operatives in Ohio reported to the Post that Ohio voters could be leaning toward Clinton, where it once was considered a more likely win for Trump. The Trump campaign officially cut ties with Ohio's GOP chairman.
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