CLEVELAND – If the latest Quinnipiac University presidential poll results were based on upstate only, Republican Donald Trump would be positively beaming today about his lead in New York State.
But political realities take over when New York City enters the mix. And this means that Democrat Hillary Clinton holds a lead of 12 percentage points – 47 to 35 percent – in the Empire State, primarily based on her 3-to-1 lead in New York City.
And while Trump leads Clinton by the same 12-point margin upstate – in this case, 48 to 36 percent – the Big Apple’s overwhelming Democratic advantage appears to deposit New York State, at least for the moment, squarely in the Clinton column.
“Hillary Clinton appears to have her adopted home state votes safely locked up,” said Maurice Carroll, Quinnipiac’s assistant poll director. “Donald Trump’s a native New Yorker. He even sounds like one compared to Clinton’s flat Midwestern accent, but he lags by double digits in a state where they’ll both vote.”
Although overall upstate registration also favors the Democrats, the poll shows upstate as a Trump bastion. The New York City suburbs are split more evenly at 40 percent for Trump and 39 percent for Clinton, leaving the city’s five boroughs to provide her big lead.
Similar to national polls, Quinnipiac found high negatives for both candidates. Clinton is viewed negatively by 52 percent of New Yorkers, while the unfavorable rating for Trump, a Manhattan real estate mogul, stands at a whopping 61 percent.
The poll found Clinton leading in all age groups, especially among voters 18 to 34 years old, where she posts an advantage of 53 to 18 percent.
Significantly, Clinton, who represented New York for eight years in the Senate before serving as secretary of state for four years, seems to have built much of her lead on what Carroll calls a “yawning gender gap.” While men favor Trump by 44 to 40 percent, women weigh in mightily for Clinton – 54 to 28 percent.
“Women are solidly for the first woman nominee of a major party,” Carroll said.
The margin also remains basically unchanged when minor party candidates such as Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein are added to the mix. Johnson scored 6 percent and Stein 4 percent, but Clinton still posts a lead of 45 to 33 percent over Trump.
The poll also showed that 43 percent think Trump’s selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate is a good choice, while 21 percent disapprove. Still, 59 percent say they don’t know enough about him.
“Picking Pence had no noticeable effect on Trump’s New York numbers,” Carroll said.
The survey also tested the U.S. Senate race between Democrat Charles E. Schumer and Republican Wendy E. Long. Incumbent Schumer leads Long by 60 to 28 percent in the poll.
Schumer, who scored a 62 percent approval rating, leads in all categories –gender, age, region, Democrats and unaffiliated votes. Long leads Republicans by a “lackluster” 62 to 24 percent tally.
Seventy-four percent of voters do not know enough about Long to form an opinion, Quinnipiac said.
The poll also showed voters approve of Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand’s job performance by a 56 to 22 percent tally, while voters approve of the job President Obama is doing by 56 to 40 percent, his best score in three years.
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.