Suffolk University/USA Today Poll Shows Clinton Leading Trump by 9 Points Nationwide

More than half of voters concerned about post-election violence

Democrat Hillary Clinton leads Republican Donald Trump by 9 points nationwide, 47 percent to 38 percent, according to a Suffolk University/USA Today poll of voters likely to cast ballots in the November presidential election. In late August, Clinton led by 7 points.

“Hillary Clinton is favored by both men and women, in most age categories, and in every region of the country,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “Fifteen percent of voters remain persuadable—those who chose third-party candidates and the undecided voters, but Donald Trump would have to win them over by a four-to-one margin to catch the front-runner. It’s not impossible but highly improbable.”

In the four-way ballot test, Libertarian Gary Johnson was preferred by 4 percent of voters and Green Party nominee Jill Stein by 2 percent, with 7 percent undecided.

Fifty percent of those polled said they would be enthusiastic or satisfied if Clinton were to win the election, while 45 percent would be dissatisfied or scared. On the flip side, 38 percent said they would be enthusiastic or satisfied with a Trump election, while 56 percent said they would be dissatisfied or scared.

“Both candidates have struggled with perceptions of honesty and trustworthiness through the polling season,” said Paleologos. “Even now, one in six likely voters say they have an unfavorable opinion of both Trump and Clinton.”

WikiLeaks perceptions

When voters were asked whether the WikiLeaks-published emails related to the Clinton Foundation, foreign countries, and the State Department when Clinton was secretary of state raise questions about conflicts of interest if Clinton is elected, 56 percent said they do, while 37 percent said they do not.

Validity of election

Despite Trump’s claim that the election is rigged, nearly 57 percent of likely voters said that the election results will be fair and accurate, while 38 percent said they are worried that the results could be manipulated. However, voters appeared to agree with Trump’s claim that the media has chosen Clinton. Asked whom they think the media preferred, 75 percent said Clinton, 8 percent Trump, and 5 percent said the media preferred neither.

Post-election expectations

More than half of respondents are concerned about the possibility of violence on Election Day or afterwards. However, nearly 3 out of 4 voters said that the United States would have a peaceful transfer of power after the election, with 40 percent very confident and 34 percent somewhat confident of that outcome.


The nationwide survey of 1,000 voters was conducted Oct. 20-24 using live telephone interviews of households where respondents indicated they were very or somewhat likely to vote in the 2016 general election. The margin of error is +/-3 percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence. Marginals and full cross-tabulation data are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, [email protected].