|Clinton in 12-point lead, potential for downballot gains|
|Tuesday, October 25 2016|
The final pre-election national survey for Democracy Corps shows Clinton moving into a commanding 12-point lead over Trump, getting to 50 percent of the vote as the third party vote is squeezed. This lead is produced by some historic voting patterns and a breathtakingly unpopular Republican Party led by Donald Trump. It is also produced by a country where President Obama's approval has reached 56 percent and wrong track numbers for the country's direction have begun to fall.
Critically, the association of GOP candidates with Trump and a closing Democratic economic message have the chance to translate to much larger Democratic margins down-ballot. After voters hear the simulated campaign play out, Democrats take a 9-point lead in the House ballot, just at the edge of a majority.
Clinton has consolidated 90 percent of Democrats and actually has room to grow. Trump is winning white working class men 57 to 31 percent, but that is not better than Mitt Romney (65 to 32 percent). He is only running even with independents, men, white college educated men and seniors. That allows Clinton to run up the score with women (56 to 33 percent), unmarried women (59 to 31 percent), white college educated women (56 to 30 percent), millennials (59 to 20 percent) and in the suburbs (54 to 36 percent).
The third party vote has been squeezed and Gary Johnson is only getting 5 percent of the four-way ballot. Though it is a small sample size, the remaining Johnson voters are mostly anti-Trump Republicans and they may not vote in the end: just 39 percent report the highest interest in voting, half the level of all likely voters. Jill Stein is only getting 2 percent of the four-way vote and her voters are Democrats.
No one is surprised that Trump emerges with a net favorability of -28 points and 60 percent hold unfavorable views of the GOP nominee. The House Republicans have an even worse image than Trump (-31 unfavorable) and the Republican Party has a -23 point unfavorable image with over half unfavorable (53 percent). With the Democratic Party at parity of positive and negative reactions, the Republicans have a brand problem. That is unlikely to change as only 26 percent of Republicans want their leaders in the next Congress to work with President Clinton to make progress.
There is a chance to translate Clinton's emerging landslide into a wave down-ballot. In a simulated contest where the Republican congressional candidate argues they are needed as an independent check on Clinton, the Democrats move into a 9-point lead in the congressional match-up after the Republican is attacked.
Overall, the current strategy of linking Republican candidates to Donald Trump and not opposing him produces the biggest overall shift down-ballot. That is an effective message and moves Republicans and independents.
But when Democrats echo the economic message that Clinton used in the debates – vowing to build an economy for everyone and raise taxes on the rich, in contrast with an opponent who wants more trickle-down economics – there is dramatically more consolidation with Democrats and the Rising American Electorate, particularly unmarried women and white unmarried women and millennials. There is room for more consolidation among Democrats down-ballot and at the top of the ticket and this economic message will help Democratic candidates get there.
 This national survey took place October 21-24, 2016. Respondents who voted in the 2012 election or registered since were selected from the national voter file. Likely voters were determined based on stated intention of voting next month. Margin of error for the full sample is +/-3.27 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. Of the 900 respondents, 65 percent were interviewed via cell phone in order to accurately sample the American electorate.