NEW YORK — Hillary Clinton appears on the cusp of a potentially commanding victory over Donald Trump, fueled by solid Democratic turnout in early voting, massive operational advantages and increasing enthusiasm among her supporters.
A new Associated Press-GfK poll released Wednesday finds the Democratic nominee has grabbed significant advantages over her Republican rival with just 12 days left before Election Day. Among them: consolidating the support of her party and even winning some Republicans.
"I'm going to pick Hillary at the top and pick Republican straight down the line," said poll respondent William Goldstein, a 71-year-old from Long Island, New York, who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. "I can't vote for Trump."
Overall, the poll shows Clinton leading Trump nationally by a staggering 14 percentage points among likely voters, 51-37. That margin is the largest national lead for Clinton among recent surveys. Most have generally shown her ahead of Trump for the past several weeks.
The AP-GfK poll finds that Clinton has secured the support of 90
With voting already underway in 37 states, Trump's opportunities to overtake Clinton are quickly evaporating — and voters appear to know it. The AP-GfK poll found that 74
Troubles with President Barack Obama's signature health care law have given Trump a late opening to warn voters against putting another Democrat in the White House. And the poll was taken before the government projected sharp cost increases.
But even Republicans question whether the rising cost of insurance premiums is enough to overcome the damage the businessman has done to his standing with women and minorities.
"Donald Trump has spent his entire campaign running against the groups he needs to expand his coalition," said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster who advised Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's failed presidential campaign. Ayres called Trump's campaign "strategically mindless."
Even if Clinton's support plummets in the contest's closing days, or she's unable to motivate strong turnout in her
Clinton's team has overwhelmed Trump's campaign in its effort to turn out voters.
An Associated Press review of campaign finance filings finds that her campaign, the Democratic National Committee and Democratic parties in 12 states have more than three times as many paid employees as Trump's campaign and the main Republican organizations supporting him.
The strength of the Democratic turnout effort appears to be paying dividends in states where voting is underway.
In North Carolina, a must-win state for Trump, Democrats lead Republicans in early ballots, 47
In Florida, a perennial battleground, Democrats have drawn even with Republicans in votes cast. Clinton also appears to hold an edge in Nevada and Colorado based on early returns. David Flaherty, a Republican pollster based in Colorado, said the data signal "a Democrat wave in the making."
Buoyed by support from white voters, Trump looks strong in Ohio, Iowa and Georgia, a Republican state where Clinton is trying to make inroads. But wins in those states would still leave him well short of the required 270 Electoral College votes.
Trump's advisers point to his large rallies and enthusiastic supporters as an indication he could be poised for an upset. Clinton draws smaller crowds to her events and has been perceived by some voters the lesser of two evils.
Although voters are still more likely to have an
Trump's unpopularity has opened surprising opportunities for Clinton as the White House race barrels toward its finish. Her campaign is actively competing for Arizona, a state that has voted for the Democrat in only one presidential race since 1952, and she is also spending money in Georgia, a reliably Republican state over the past two decades.
The AP-GfK Poll of 1,546 adults, including 1,212 likely voters, was conducted online Oct. 20-24, using a sample drawn from GfK's probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 2.75 percentage points, and for likely voters is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Respondents were first selected randomly using telephone or mail survey methods and later interviewed online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn't have access to the internet were provided access for free.
Poll results: http://ap-gfkpoll.com
Associated Press writers Hope Yen, Nicholas Riccardi, Thomas Beaumont and Chad Day contributed to this report.
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