ALBANY – Donald Trump’s recent boast that he will “shock” the political world by winning New York state in November is not quite showing up in yet another poll that has him badly trailing Hillary Clinton in their campaign to woo fellow Empire State residents.
Siena College puts Clinton ahead of Trump in Democratic voter-rich New York by 21 points in a four-way matchup in a new poll released Tuesday morning. That is an improvement of four points by Trump since the last Siena poll in August, though that improvement is within the poll’s five point margin of error.
In the poll conducted September 11-15 of 600 self-identified likely voters, Clinton was favored by 51 percent to Trump’s 30 percent. Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party received 8 percent and the Green Party’s Jill Stein got 3 percent.
Siena did not do a two-way matchup between just Clinton and Trump as it did in August when the former Secretary of State had a 30 point lead over the Manhattan billionaire businessman.
New York City, where Clinton leads Trump by 52 points, is propelling the majority of Clinton’s lead in the new poll. She leads by 6 points among upstate voters and in the downstate suburbs Trump trails Clinton by just 1 point; if that holds, that has significant down ballot implications, especially in the battle by Democrats and Republicans for control of the state Senate.
As the presidential race narrows on a national level, Trump is running into a wall of electoral reality in New York: the domination of enrolled Democrats over Republicans has been steadily rising over the years. As of April, there were 5.8 million registered Democrats in New York, 2.7 million Republicans and 2.5 million who are not registered in any party, according to the state elections board.
Then there is this oft-repeated statistic: no Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan in 1984 has won New York in the general election.
Earlier this month, Trump, in an appearance before the New York state Conservative Party, vowed to put New York in play in the November contest against Clinton. “We are going to win this state,’’ said Trump, the longtime Manhattan resident born in Queens. “It’s going to shock people, and by the way, you know if we win this state, it’s over,” he added.
In August, a Siena poll found Clinton leading Trump 57 percent to 27 percent in a two-way race among registered voters. With the minor party candidates included, Clinton received 50 percent support in that poll, compared with 25 percent for Trump, 9 percent for Johnson and 6 percent for Stein. In a Siena poll two months earlier, Clinton led Trump 54 percent to 31 percent in a two-way contest.
There has been chatter for weeks about Trump campaigning in New York, with possible stops in Buffalo, Albany or Long Island. Just last week, he appeared on Albany radio station WGDJ-AM, where he called upstate a “death zone” because of its economic problems. Yet, with just over seven weeks until election day and the overall race being fought in battleground states with more favorable voter enrollment numbers than New York for a Republican candidate, it remains uncertain if, or why, Trump might take time away from those states to personally campaign in New York.
Whether on gun control, Obamacare or immigration, New York’s blue state reputation came through in the Siena poll – and that benefits Clinton.
Clinton, running to be the nation’s first female president, is having some gender gap issues. Among female voters, Clinton’s numbers dropped 36 points since the last poll in August and she now leads Trump among women voters by 51 percent to his 29 percent. Her lead among male voters, meanwhile, has increased 10 points from last month. Trump has a two-point edge among white voters while blacks supported Clinton over Trump by 85 percent to 1 percent. Self-identified independent voters, meanwhile, were almost identical in their support for the two candidates.
Neither candidate scores well in the honesty question. Asked if they viewed Clinton as not honest and trustworthy, 58 percent said yes; 67 percent said Trump is not honest and trustworthy.