Clinton expands lead over Trump to 30 points

hillary clinton

Clinton’s positions on six key issues are closer to voters than Trump’s

More than two-thirds say Bill will be better first spouse than Melania

Voters overwhelmingly see Clinton as more qualified to be commander-in-chief and more effective working with Congress; Rate her more honest and trustworthy than Trump, even as 60 percent say she is not honest


Hillary Clinton now holds a 30-point lead over Donald Trump, 57 to 27 percent, which is up from 54 to 31 percent in June, according to a new Siena College poll of New York state registered voters released Monday.

By a 40-point margin, voters say Clinton is more qualified to be commander in chief than Trump. By 32 points she bests Trump on being more effective working with Congress to move America forward. By a 16-point margin, voters say Clinton is more honest and trustworthy than Trump, even as 60 percent of New York voters say she is not honest and 69 percent say Trump is not.

On a series of six issues — policing, health care, immigration, terrorism, jobs and trade — Clinton’s stated platform more closely aligns with New York voters.

Between 47 and 58 percent of voters say their views are closer to Clinton’s, while only between 23 and 35 percent say Trump’s views are closer to theirs on these issues.

By a narrow 49 to 45 percent margin, New Yorkers say America is great now, rather than it’s time to make America great again. Overwhelmingly, however, New Yorkers see Bill Clinton doing a better job as first spouse than Melania Trump, by 71 to 21 percent.


on the "Fox & friends" television program in New York Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)


Trust Issues


“Despite Trump’s claims to carry New York, the Empire State seems firmly planted on the blue side of the map, as Clinton holds a commanding 30-point lead in a head-to-head matchup,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “New Yorkers have voted Democratic in the last seven presidential elections and there does not appear to be a real threat to end that streak.

“Clinton’s favorability rating inched up to 51 to 46 percent from 50 to 47 percent in June and Trump’s continued to slide hitting his all-time low favorability rating, a negative 24 to72 percent,” Greenberg said.  “A bare majority of Republicans view Trump favorably.”

Neither candidate is seen as particularly honest and trustworthy, but New York voters give Clinton a slight edge.

“Sixty percent of voters say Clinton is not honest and trustworthy — and only 55 percent of Democrats say she is. An even larger 69 percent say Trump is not honest and trustworthy, and only 51 percent of Republicans say he is,” Greenberg said. “Who’s more honest and trustworthy? Voters say Clinton 54-38 percent, although a majority of Republicans and independents say Trump.

While Clinton may not be seen as trustworthy, New York voters do see her as capable.

“By far larger margins, voters say Clinton is more qualified to be commander in chief than Trump, 66 to 26 percent, and will be more effective in working with Congress to move America forward, 63 to 31 percent,” Greenberg said. “On both, a strong majority of independents – and more than one-third of Republicans – side with Clinton.”


The Positions


Voters say their positions on six key issues are closer to Clinton’s than they are to Trump’s. Voters side with Clinton over Trump on:

  • Addressing tensions between the police and communities of color, 56-23 percent
  • Improving health care in America, 58-28 percent
  • Developing a comprehensive immigration policy, 55-31 percent
  • Keeping America safe from terrorism, 53-35 percent
  • Creating jobs, 51-35 percent
  • Addressing global trade, 47-33 percent

“Overall, New Yorkers say that their positions on some of the most important issues in this election are closer to Clinton than Trump by wide margins,” Greenberg said. “Between 70 and 81 percent of Democrats say Clinton is better on each of the six issues. Between 50 and 65 percent of Republicans side with Trump on each issue.

“However, independents side with Trump on jobs, trade and keeping the U.S. safe from terrorism, while they side with Clinton on health care, immigration policy and tensions between police and communities of color.”


Is America Great?


By a narrow 49-44 percent margin, voters say, ‘America is great now,’ rather than, ‘it is time to make America great again.’ Democrats say great now 60 to 32 percent. Republicans say time to make it great again 66 to 31 percent. Independents are closely divided with 45 percent saying great now and 47 percent saying make it great again

“It appears that a fundamental question about this country  — are we great or do we need to be made great again — has been overtaken by the heated campaign rhetoric from both sides and is now viewed largely through a partisan prism,” Greenberg said. “By a nearly two-to-one margin, Democrats say America is great now and by a slightly larger margin Republicans say it’s time to make America great again. Independents are nearly evenly divided on this question. There is little gender gap, as 49 percent of both men and women say America is great now.”



The Obama Factor


At the end of his presidency, President Obama has a 62 to 37 percent favorability rating among New York state voters, up slightly from 59 to 36 percent in March. It’s his best favorability rating since February 2013, the second month of his second term, when it was 66 to 32 percent.

As for his accomplishments, voters are divided: 45 percent say the next president should largely continue Obama policies, while 48 percent, a small plurality, say the next president should largely change Obama policies.

“The good news for Hillary Clinton is that President Obama is more well liked now — as he campaigns for her — than at any time since the start of his second term. The good news for Donald Trump is that even in blue New York, more New Yorkers, by a small margin, would rather see the next president change rather than continue the policies of the Obama Administration,” Greenberg said.

“While a small majority of Democrats think the country is on the right track, Republicans and independents  — and a majority of all New Yorkers — say the country is headed in the wrong direction,” Greenberg said. “Clinton has a popular president supporting her and a majority of voters siding with her on key issues, however, Trump has the voters’ mood regarding the direction of the country and their not wanting to continue Obama’s policies on his side. They both have a fine rhetorical line to walk.”


bill clinton

Photo by Gage Skidmore


The First Spouse


When asked who would do a better job as first spouse of the United States, New York voters give the nod to former President Bill Clinton, hands down. He is seen as the better choice among all demographics, including party, gender, political view, geographic region, ethnicity, age, religion, and income.

Bill Clinton has a 60 to 36 percent favorability rating and Melania Trump’s is a negative 28 to 54 percent.

“Bill Clinton, with a nearly two-to-one positive favorability rating, is viewed far more favorably than Melania Trump, with a nearly two-to-one negative favorability rating,” Greenberg said. “New Yorkers overwhelmingly say that the former president would be a better first spouse than Ms. Trump, a view held by 87 percent of Democrats, 65 percent of independents and even a small plurality of Republicans. Two-thirds of men and three-quarters of women also say Bill would be the better first spouse, as do two-thirds of voters from outside New York City and more than three-quarters of City voters.”


This Siena College Poll was conducted August 7-10, 2016 by telephone calls conducted in English to 717 New York state registered voters. Respondent sampling was initiated by asking for the youngest male in the household. It has an overall margin of error of 4.3 percentage points including the design effects resulting from weighting.