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Sanders trims Clinton’s lead while Trump remains strong, new state poll finds

ALBANY – Aided by voters under age 35, Bernie Sanders has narrowed the lead Hillary Clinton has enjoyed among New York Democratic primary voters, but a new poll has found she still maintains a double-digit lead over the Vermont senator as the clock rapidly ticks down toward Tuesday’s primary.

On the Republican side, according to a poll out Wednesday morning by Siena College, New Yorker Donald Trump outdistances his nearest contender, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, by more than 20 points.

Clinton is ahead of Sanders 52 percent to 42 percent among likely Democratic voters, the poll found; in March, Siena had Clinton at 55 percent and Sanders at 34 percent.

The poll, conducted April 6-11, found Clinton with strong support among African-American and Latino voters, but she and Sanders were about evenly splitting support among white voters. Upstate voters gave a slight edge to Sanders at 48 percent to 46 percent; Clinton has her strongest support in the New York City suburbs.

The two candidates have hit several upstate cities in the past week.

The Siena poll also showed the ongoing age gap in support between the two Democrats. Sanders is backed by 76 percent of likely voters under the age of 35, while Clinton has a 22-point advantage over the Vermont senator among voters over the age of 55, with 58 percent backing her. She also has a large lead over Sanders among Democrats with incomes over $100,000 annually.

“The younger voters are feeling the Bern, but the question is will they come out and vote in large numbers as older voters historically do?’’ said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg.

Clinton has a strong lead among female Democratic voters, but the two candidates are statistically tied among male voters. Clinton also got 60 percent of Jewish and Protestant voters, and 51 percent of Catholics.

In the Republican race, Trump is comfortably ahead, the Siena poll found. The Manhattan businessman got 50 percent of the GOP support, followed by 27 percent for Kasich and 17 percent for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has been spending relatively little time in New York compared with the busy campaign schedules of his two opponents. In March, when the last Siena poll was taken and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was included in the choices, Trump was at 45 percent.

Trump and Kasich both enjoy favorability ratings near 60 percent among Republicans, while Cruz is viewed unfavorably by 55 percent of New York Republicans.

Six percent of Republicans said they are undecided, the same level as Democratic voters.

Trump, a billionaire, is supported by 64 percent of voters reporting incomes under $50,000 a year, while his support slides to 45 percent among those making more than $100,000. He performs best among New York City voters, males and Catholics.

Republican voters, when asked which GOP candidate they would least like to see become president, cited Cruz at 40 percent, Trump at 31 percent and Kasich at 25 percent.

Perhaps not surprisingly in a state where Clinton served eight years as U.S. senator, Republican voters also have few nice thoughts about adopted New Yorker Clinton; 87 percent of GOP voters view her unfavorably compared with 66 percent for Sanders.

The telephone poll, conducted in English, involved 538 likely Democrats and 469 likely Republicans, and has a reported 4.5 percent margin of error for the Democratic candidates and 5 percent for Republicans.

New York residents, when broken down by party, have vastly different views of the United States’ condition. Just 14 percent of New York Republicans said the nation is headed in the right direction, compared with 53 percent of Democrats, the poll found.

email: tprecious@buffnews.com

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