Video revelations hurt Trump in MU poll

Clinton widens lead in four-way race

The release of a 2005 video with Donald Trump making graphic sexual comments appears to have hurt the Republican presidential nominee in the latest Marquette University Law School poll, including among demographic groups key to his White House chances.

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Poll director Charles Franklin said there was a “widespread shift across demographic groups” that showed at least short-term movement because of the video, but he also said that could change over the longer term.

Overall, the poll showed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with support from 44 percent of likely Wisconsin voters, compared to Trump’s 37 percent, in a four-way race. Libertarian Gary Johnson had 9 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein was at 3 percent. Six percent of voters were undecided.

In the previous poll, Clinton was up 41-38 over Trump in a four-way race.

The poll was in the field Thursday to Sunday and was completed before the latest debate between Trump and Clinton began. News about the video broke on Friday.

Franklin said the poll doesn’t show whether respondents had heard about the video.

“Other polling has shown people learned very quickly and that’s typical,” he said.

With the news breaking in the middle of the polling, Franklin was able to break out responses by day. Those results showed Trump with a 1 point lead among Thursday’s respondents, a 6 point Clinton lead on Friday and a 19 point lead for Clinton from the Saturday and Sunday respondents combined.

Among women, Clinton went from a 9 point lead Thursday to 27 percent Friday and 33 percent on the weekend.

Trump lost ground among two of his key supporting groups, going from a 40 percent margin on Thursday amongst Evangelicals to 23 percent Friday and 16 percent on the weekend. Among non-college educated white respondents, Trump went from a 15 point margin to a 3 point on Friday and Clinton had a 7 point lead on the weekend.

Franklin said the timing of the breaking news couldn’t have been timed better to measure the immediate impact of the video.

“This gave us a good picture of what happened this weekend, prior to the debate,” he said, cautioning that the debate and events this week could change things and big initial shifts have a tendency to retract over time.

The poll results also showed a tightening in Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race.

In September, Democrat Russ Feingold led with 44 percent to Republican Ron Johnson’s 39 percent in a three-way race including Libertarian Phillip Anderson.

The latest results show Feingold up 46-44 with Anderson at 4 percent and 5 percent undecided.

The survey included 878 likely voters, with a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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