Trump and Clinton's Big-Name Supporters Influence Nearly a Quarter of Voters

The candidates' running mates are not their most effective surrogates.

ByABC News
October 30, 2016, 1:33 PM

— -- Nearly a quarter of Americans, 23 percent, say Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s top surrogates on the campaign trail could have some to a lot of influence on their choice for president.

But the most effective messengers for the presidential candidates are not their running mates.

Together with our partners at SSRS survey research firm, ABC News asked Americans how much they are influenced by the Republican and Democratic candidates' surrogates on the campaign trail and which high-profile supporters of the candidates are the most effective messengers.

Only 4 percent said Clinton's running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, is the Democratic presidential candidate's strongest surrogate.

Similarly, just 14 percent said Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, is the strongest messenger for the Republican presidential nominee.

Instead, 28 percent of Americans said Trump's family members are his strongest surrogates, and the same number said first lady Michelle Obama is Clinton's most effective messenger on the campaign trail.

The first lady's husband, President Obama, is viewed by 26 percent as Clinton's strongest surrogate. Another 9 percent said Sen. Elizabeth Warren gave the biggest boost on the campaign trail.

Among Trump's high-profile messengers, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is considered the strongest surrogate by 21 percent of respondents. Five percent cited former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and 2 percent said Trump's most effective messenger is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, both of whom were on the Republican nominee's short list of potential vice presidential candidates.

See full results. The ABC News/SSRS Poll was conducted using the SSRS Probability Panel. Interviews were conducted online from October 27 – October 28, 2016 among a nationally representative sample of 251 respondents age 18 and older. The margin of error for total respondents is +/-7.9% at the 95% confidence level. Design effect is 1.65. The SSRS Probability Panel is a probability-based, online panel of adults recruited from random digit dialed landline and cell phone numbers. For more information, visit

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