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A Friday poll from Quinnipiac University gave Hillary Clinton a significant lead over Donald Trump, boosted by huge gains with both millennial and independent voters.
The poll showed Clinton with the backing of 48% of those between the ages of 18 and 34 – a vast improvement from the 31% support she had from that voting bloc in mid-September.
The big swing came as a result of dwindling support among millennials for Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein, as Trump boosted his millennial support from 26% in mid-September to 27% now.
Johnson’s support among 18- to 34-year-olds dipped from 29% in mid-September to 11% now. Stein saw her numbers dip from 15% to 9% over that time frame.
Clinton has faced difficulties with engaging millennial voters throughout the campaign, and has still not yet hit the level of support enjoyed by President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. She’s enlisted Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, her primary opponent who won over the support of a large swath of millennials, in addition to Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and, recently, former Vice President Al Gore to help woo younger voters.
The other major shift came among self-identified independent voters, who now favor Clinton over Trump 46% to 32%, with Johnson garnering 10% support. In mid-September, ahead of the first presidential debate, independents favored Trump over Clinton 42% to 35%, with Johnson getting 15% of the group.
Overall, Clinton led Trump 45% to 40% in a four-way race, and 50% to 44% in a head-to-head matchup – a bump from her 1-point leads in the poll in September.
“Post-debate, Hillary Clinton checks all the boxes,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a release. “With her base of women and nonwhite voters now solidly behind her and independent voters moving into her column, Donald Trump gets a wake-up call. The [independents] are leaving in droves.”
That makes Sunday’s second presidential debate seemingly a must-win for Trump. Clinton was widely viewed to have come out on top in the first event last week.
“Can Trump make a comeback in Sunday’s debate or will Clinton score another W?” Malloy said.
Clinton now holds a 3.7-point advantage over Trump in the RealClearPolitics four-way polling average, and a 4.5-point edge in the head-to-head aggregate. On September 26, the day of the first presidential debate, Clinton held 1.6-point and 2.3-point advantages in those two averages, respectively.