Oh, man! NJ women really don’t like Trump, poll finds
With the third and final presidential debate set for Wednesday night, a new poll finds Garden State voters have already formed strong opinions about who they’ll support on Election Day. But there’s disagreement over the significance of Trump's so-called “locker room talk” recording about women.
Krista Jenkins, professor of political science and director of Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll, said a just-released survey indicates New Jersey is anything but a competitive state for the Republican presidential candidate.
“Clinton has the support of 51 percent, with 41 percent who say they would vote for Donald Trump if the election were held today,” she said.
Jenkins noted support for both candidates drops a few percentage points when you factor in third-party candidates.
“When we add them we find Clinton’s support drops to 48 percent, and Trump’s support falls to 37 percent, so despite Trump’s close ties to New Jersey, most are expressing dis-ease with his candidacy,” she said.
The poll also finds voters are divided over Trumps “locker room talk" — or the spate of sexual misconduct allegations that have followed it.
“The poll finds attentiveness to allegations of sexual misconduct by Donald Trump are being followed closely. Eighty-eight percent say they heard a lot about the 2005 audio recordings of Trump, when he was boasting of lewd behavior around women,” said Jenkins.
Trump had been captured on a hot mic talking to then-Access Hollywood host Billy Bush, using vulgar terms and bragging about kissing and groping women. In the recording, he's heard saying "I just start kissing them. I don’t even wait" and talking about how, as a celebrity, "You can do anything. Grab them by the p***y.”
“However when asked if his recorded remarks disqualify him from office, or are totally unrelated to his fitness to serve, we find that opinion is divided," Jenkins said. "Forty-seven percent think he has no business in the White House, while 49 percent say the recording and his thoughts on women bear no relationship to his fitness to serve.”
She added Trump’s business and personal connections in the Garden State long pre-date his decision to morph from reality star and businessman into a politician, but polling indicates he’s never drawn majority support here.
“His deficit among women is gaping. More than half of women voters, 56 percent, say they’ll support Clinton, with barely a third, or 36 percent who say they intend to favor Trump,” said Jenkins.
She noted Clinton seems to have done a better job of maintaining support from voters in her own party than Trump. Clinton has the support of 91 percent of New Jersey Democrats while Trump has lost support of almost a quarter of Republicans voters, Jenkins said.
Jenkins said the only group among which Trump draws majority support are those without a college degree, 51 percent.
She said favorability ratings for both candidates are upside-down, but for Trump they’re significantly worse.
“Less than half of voters have a positive evaluation of Clinton, 47 percent, while 52 percent feel unfavorably. Trump however has a 25-point deficit, with 61 percent who say they have an unfavorable opinion of him, to 36 percent who say they have a favorable opinion,” she said.
The FDU poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone between Oct. 12 and 16, among a random sample of 861 registered voters in New Jersey, including 579 likely voters. The results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points for likely voters.
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