- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 26, 2016

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton leads presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump among middle-income likely voters in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, according to a poll released Thursday.

Among likely voters in those states with annual family incomes of $30,000 and $75,000, Mrs. Clinton had a 7-point lead over Mr. Trump, 46 percent to 39 percent, with 15 percent undecided, according to the Bloomberg Politics online “Purple Slice” poll.

Recent polls have shown Mr. Trump running nearly neck-and-neck with Mrs. Clinton in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and he often talks about putting such “Rust Belt” states back in the Republican column.

Among white middle-income voters, which made up 84 percent of the poll’s participants, Mr. Trump led Mrs. Clinton, 44 percent to 40 percent.

Mrs. Clinton led among women, 49 percent to 34 percent, while Mr. Trump had a narrow edge among men.

Overall, 34 percent said they had a favorable opinion of Mr. Trump, compared to 64 percent who had an unfavorable view, while Mrs. Clinton had a 42 percent/56 percent favorable/unfavorable split.

Sen. Bernard Sanders, Mrs. Clinton’s rival in the Democratic presidential race, had a 55 percent/41 percent favorable/unfavorable split.

Mr. Trump had double-digit advantages over Mrs. Clinton on the descriptions of “knows what it takes to create jobs,” “will change the way Washington does business,” “would rein in the power of Wall Street,” and “will combat terrorist threats at home and abroad.”

Mrs. Clinton, meanwhile, had double-digit edges on phrases like “will fight harder for the middle class,” “cares more about people like me,” “has the right temperament to be president,” and “possesses the skills needed to conduct foreign policy.”

Forty-five percent said they would be willing to consider a third-party candidate for president if Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump were the two major-party nominees, 35 percent said they would not be willing to do so, and 20 percent said they weren’t sure.

Asked from a list which one word best described their feelings about the presidential campaign, 31 percent said “afraid,” 19 percent said “disillusioned,” 17 percent said “pessimistic,” 16 percent said “optimistic,” and 9 percent said “enthusiastic.”

Voters were about evenly divided on President Obama. Fifty percent said they had a favorable opinion of the president, compared to 49 percent with an unfavorable one.

And 47 percent said they approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing as president, compared to 44 percent who said they disapprove.

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