POLL: Race Tightening Between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton / AP
July 5, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s lead over rival Donald Trump has narrowed to five percentage points, according to a USA Today/Suffolk University poll released Monday.

Clinton leads 45.6 percent to Trump’s 40.4 percent. Two months ago, the same poll showed a margin twice as large with Clinton at 50 percent and Trump at 39 percent.

Nearly one in five respondents hold a negative view of both Clinton and Trump—a swing group whose lesser-of-two-evils choice could determine the outcome of a competitive election, according to David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.

Among voters that view both candidates negatively, more said they would vote for Trump if they were forced to make a choice.

"Despite their negative feelings toward both candidates, when asked to choose between the two, 26 percent chose Trump, 19 percent picked Clinton, 44 percent were undecided and 11 percent refused a response," said Paleologos. "The majority are up for grabs as these voters grapple with holding their noses and picking one of them or opting for a third party option. Or staying home, come November."

A majority of respondents, 61 percent, said that they are alarmed about the coming presidential election. Only 23 percent of voters said they are excited, and the remaining 9 percent said they are bored by it.

The poll also shows that the electorate is deeply divided, thinks the country is headed in the wrong direction, and feels less safe living in the United States than they used to.

When asked to name the most important issue facing the next president, two issues dominate: jobs and the economy, cited by one in four, and terrorism and national security, cited by one in five. Just 5 percent chose guns and crime as the top issue among a list of 13 options.

The USA Today/Suffolk University poll surveyed 1,000 likely voters June 26-29 by landline and cellphones. It had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.