Hint of Momentum for Clinton, With Issues a Defining Factor (POLL)

PHOTO: U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (L) and Democratic Candidate for U.S. President Hillary Clinton (R) wave as they arrive to a campaign rally at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Oct. 24, 2016. PlayRoxanne Ricker/EPA
WATCH Election Day Strategies for Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump

A hint of momentum for Hillary Clinton has produced a 3-point race in the latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll results, with wide leads for the Democrat in trust to handle the economy and health care among likely voters focused on those two issues.

Donald Trump pushes back with a clear lead on dealing with corruption in government and immigration among those who cite either of these as their top issue. The candidates are evenly matched on another key concern, trust to handle terrorism and national security.

The poll finds a 47-44 percent race between Clinton and Trump in a four-day average among likely voters, vs. Trump’s best result, 45-46 percent, three days ago. While the shift is not statistically significant, two of the last three nights -– moving away from news of the FBI’s renewed email investigation -– have been Clinton’s best since the early days of tracking.

See PDF with full results here.

A notable result among groups in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, is Clinton’s best showing since July among nonwhites, a cornerstone of the Democratic coalition. She leads Trump by 76-17 percent in this group, while he leads by 53-38 percent among whites. That includes 90-5 percent for Clinton among blacks, 68-27 percent among Hispanics and 55-31 percent among other nonwhites, all near her best.

There’s room for change, not least because Trump continues to enjoy a 6-point advantage in strong enthusiasm among his supporters. Just 47 percent of Clinton’s supporters are strongly enthusiastic about her, compared with 53 percent of Trump’s – and, for comparison, a peak of 69 percent of Barack Obama’s by the end of the 2012 race.

Then again, for more than a quarter of likely voters, this race is run: They’ve already voted, with a 50-45 percent Clinton-Trump estimate for this group.

Issues

Top issues are scattered. For 29 percent of likely voters, a plurality, it’s the economy, while 13 to 17 percent pick corruption, terrorism, health care or some combination of issues rather than a single one. Immigration policy, for all the controversy about it, is last on the list.

Among all likely voters, the biggest difference comes in trust to handle corruption in government: A 9-point advantage for Trump, 48-39 percent. That echoes a result earlier this week in which Trump opened up his first lead over Clinton in honesty and trustworthiness, 8 points, following word of the renewed investigation of emails linked to her private server.

The candidates are close overall in trust to handle other key issues – Clinton +5 on health care and +4 on terrorism and national security, with even scores on economy and virtually so on immigration.

Differentiation becomes much sharper among issue groups. Among likely voters who pick the economy and jobs as the top issue in their vote, Clinton leads by 64-32 percent in trust to handle it, and she leads Trump in vote preference among economy voters by 67-28 percent. Results are very similar among voters focused on health care (albeit with a small sample).

The opposite is true among likely voters who cite corruption in government or immigration as their top issue; they prefer Trump to handle it by wide margins, and their vote preference is 20-69 percent, Clinton-Trump.

Issues by Group

Looking at these results among groups tells a similar story. The economy/jobs is by far the top issue for Clinton supporters and Democrats, followed by health care and terrorism/national security. Among Trump supporters and Republicans, corruption is tops, followed by the economy/jobs and terrorism/national security.

Independents, as they often do, split the difference, dividing about evenly between the economy and corruption as their top issues.

Among other results, women are more focused on health care than men (18 vs. 8 percent pick it as their top issue), with more men focused on the economy or corruption. Concern about health care peaks at 20 percent among liberals, while corruption and terrorism/national security top the list among strong conservatives, each cited by a quarter. A focus on corruption in government is highest, 33 percent, among white men without a college degree, a core Trump support group.

Nonwhites and college graduates are more concerned than their counterparts about the economy, with whites more apt to cite corruption and terrorism/national security and those without a college degree more likely to pick multiple issues.

Methodology

This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Oct. 30-Nov. 2, 2016, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,151 likely voters. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 37-30-29 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

Q6 and Q7 were asked Nov. 1-2, among 623 likely voters; those results have 4.5-point error margins.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y. See details on the survey’s methodology here.