Buoyed by a string of decisive primary wins this past Tuesday, a poll by Emerson College finds both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump holding a commanding lead in New York State, where a victory in the April 19 primary could effectively seal the presidential nomination for both candidates.
With Marco Rubio out of the race, Trump leads his closest rival, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, by 52 points (64% to 12%). Rubio received 4% of the vote before suspending his campaign. Ohio Governor John Kasich earned just 1%, getting no bounce from his recent home-field victory in the Buckeye State. In a hypothetical, two-man matchup between Trump and Cruz, Trump leads 69% to 25%.
In the Democratic primary, Clinton is ahead of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders by 48 points, taking 71% of the vote to Sanders’s 23%. The former Secretary of State holds a massive advantage in key demographic groups, including men (66% to 29%), women (73% to 20%), African Americans (72% to 22%) and Hispanics (85% to 8%). Younger voters, ages 18-34, favor Sanders, but by a slimmer margin (53% to 40%) than in many primary states. Among all other age groups, Clinton dominates, leading by 45 points (ages 35-54), 50 points (ages 55-74), and 67 points (ages 75+).
Clinton and Sanders have similar favorability numbers with likely Democratic primary voters. Her favorable/unfavorable ratio is 82%/15% (+67); his is 63%/26% (+37). However Clinton garners far more loyalty: 85% of those who view her favorably plan to vote for her in the primary, while only 31% who have a favorable view of Sanders intend to vote for him.
Trump has the highest favorable ratings with GOP voters, 71%/23%, followed by Cruz at 52%/44% and Kasich at 54%/34%. Consistent with other primaries, Trump supporters are the most loyal, with 89% of those who see him favorably planning to cast their ballot for him. In contrast, only 21% of Republicans who have a favorable opinion of Cruz say they will vote for him.
Looking ahead to the general election, the two Democrats do equally well in a head-to-head matchup with Trump. Clinton (55% to 36%) and Sanders (53% to 36%) lead the reality show star by 19 and 17 points, respectively, while Cruz loses to Clinton by 31 points (61% to 30%).
Dissatisfaction with government (47%) and the state of the economy (29%) are the top two issues for Republican voters in the Empire State. Among Democrats, the foremost concerns are the economy, cited by 25%, and race relations, mentioned by 18%.
The Emerson College Polling Society poll was conducted from March 14-16, 2016. The GOP primary consisted of 298 likely primary voters, with a margin of error of +/-5.6%, and the Democratic primary consisted of 373 likely primary voters, with a margin of error of +/-5%. The General Election sample consisted of 768 likely general election voters, with a margin of error of +/-3.5%. Data was collected using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines only and weighted by 2012 federal general election returns.