Hillary Clinton has gained ground in Iowa since before the presidential debates, according to Quinnipiac’s new survey of 791 likely Iowa voters (margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points). In a four-way race, Clinton and Donald Trump are tied at 44 percent each, with 4 percent of respondents supporting Libertarian Gary Johnson and 1 percent for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Trump leads Clinton by 47 percent to 46 percent in a head to head matchup. A month ago, Quinnipiac found Trump ahead 44-37 in the four-way race and 50-44 against Clinton alone.
Quinnipiac’s polling memo highlighted a few findings from the cross-tabs. The most heartening for Democrats: “Clinton leads 61 – 27 percent among Iowa likely voters who have cast ballots.” That’s surprising, considering that only 27 percent of respondents identified themselves as Democrats, 30 percent as Republicans, and 37 percent as independents.
The Iowa Democratic early vote lead is smaller than it was at the same point in the 2012 campaign. As of October 27, Democrats had requested 45,684 more ballots and had cast 40,681 more ballots than Republicans. For Clinton to be 30-plus points ahead among early voters, as Quinnipiac’s data indicate, she would have to be winning a large share of early votes cast by Iowans affiliated with neither party. No-party voters had requested 116,737 absentee ballots as of October 27; 75,819 of those ballots had already arrived at county auditors’ offices. President Barack Obama’s campaign did a much better job of mobilizing no-party supporters here in 2012; Iowa Democrats hope to repeat that performance.
More from the polling memo:
In Iowa, Clinton is less disliked by likely voters, with a negative 40 – 55 percent favorability rating, compared to Trump’s negative 36 – 59 percent.
Iowa men back Trump 51 – 35 percent, while women back Clinton 52 – 37 percent. Republicans go to Trump 88 – 6 percent, while Democrats back Clinton 88 – 9 percent. Independent voters are split 40 – 40 percent, with 6 percent for Johnson.
White college-educated respondents narrowly favored Clinton, 47-43, while whites without a college degree split 48-38 for Trump.
Dan Guild pointed out last month that third-party candidates tend to lose ground after the presidential debates. The Q-poll suggests that pattern is repeating this year; in last month’s survey, 10 percent of respondents supported Johnson and 2 percent Stein.