Q-Poll: Trump and Clinton near Nutmeg State wins

Fresh off a big win in neighboring New York that has the businessman back on track to win enough delegates for the Republican nomination for president, Donald Trump is close to sweeping the Connecticut Republican Primary next week, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also has a nearly 10-point lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), according to the Q-Poll released on Wednesday morning, April 20.
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Connecticut holds closed primaries, which means you have to be registered in that party to vote in its primary. It is too late to switch from one party to another but unaffiliated voters or those not registered who sign up with a party by Monday, April 25, can vote in one of the primaries on Tuesday.

While the Connecticut Democrats divvy up their 55 convention delegates proportionally based on the votes, the Connecticut GOP has a mechanism that awards all 25 of its pledged delegates if a candidate surpasses 50% of the statewide vote. Otherwise, three delegates are awarded to the winners of each congressional district, and another 10 are divided among the candidates who win at least 20% of the statewide vote — if a candidate does not surpass 50% statewide.

Trump is close to that 50% mark among Connecticut's likely Republican primary voters, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich tops Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the race for second place, according to a Hamden-based Q-Poll.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 66%-25% lead among black likely Democratic primary voters and a significant lead among women gives hers a 51%-42% lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), according to the poll. Another 6% of Democrats are undecided and 18% of those who name a candidate say they might change their mind.

Likely Republican primary voters give Trump 48%, with 28% for Kasich and 19% for Cruz. Just 5% of Republican voters are undecided, but 25% of those who name a candidate tell pollsters they might change their mind before the Tuesday, April 26, primary.

By 59%-33%, Connecticut Republicans primary voters want an outsider for president, rather than someone experienced in politics. Among those who want an outsider 75% back Trump.

“Connecticut Republicans have gone for outsider candidates such as Linda McMahon and Tom Foley," said Douglas Schwartz, PhD., the Q-Poll director. "They continue that trend with Donald Trump. The conventional wisdom that Sen. Cruz is too conservative for Connecticut looks true, as he comes in a distant third in the Republican primary. Kasich clearly is outpacing Cruz for second, but running well behind Trump.

“Secretary Hillary Clinton wins on all the most important issues to voters, except for income inequality. Sen. Bernie Sanders wins on honesty, values, and empathy. But Clinton wins by bigger margins on leadership, electability, and experience.”

GOP breakdown

Among Connecticut likely Republican primary voters, Trump gets 51% of men, with 27% for Kasich and 18% for Cruz. Women go 45% for Trump, 30% for Kasich and 20% for Cruz.

Trump gets 62% of Tea Party members, with Cruz at 24% and Kasich at 12%. Trump also gets 37% of white born-again Evangelical Christians, with Cruz at 31% and Kasich at 30%. Trump leads among very conservative and somewhat conservative voters and gets 42% of moderate/liberal Republicans to Kasich’s 41 percent.

Kasich takes 39% of Republican voters 18 to 44 years old, with 32% for Trump and 27% for Cruz. Trump leads among older voters.

A total of 56% of Republicans have a strongly favorable or somewhat favorable opinion of Trump, with 37% somewhat or strongly unfavorable. Kasich gets a 58%–18% favorability rating with Cruz at a negative 38%–45% percent score.

Democrat breakdown

There are wide gender and racial gaps among likely Democratic primary voters as women back Clinton 55%–38% while men are divided, with 50% for Sanders and 45% for Clinton. White voters are divided with 49% for Clinton and 47% for Sanders while black voters back Clinton 66%–25%.

Sanders leads 54%–43% among very liberal Democrats. Somewhat liberal Democrats go 51% for Clinton and 45% for Sanders. Moderate/conservative Democrats back Clinton 56%–36%.

Sanders leads 73%–26% among voters 18–34 years old while Clinton leads among older Democrats.

A total of 67% of Democratic voters have a strongly or somewhat favorable opinion of Clinton, with 27% somewhat or strongly unfavorable. Sanders gets a 66%-18% percent favorability rating.

With only a handful of states still left to vote during the presidential primary season, Trump and Clinton have the best shots at winning the nominations. After Trump's big win in New York on Tuesday, Ted Cruz is mathematically eliminated from winning the nomination on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention this summer. His — and Kasich's — only shot at the nomination would come if Trump doesn't win enough pledged delegates. If there is not a majority vote for one candidate (1,237 delegates) on the first ballot, many pledged delegates are freed to vote for whichever candidate they'd like.

If there is not a majority vote for one candidate (1,237 delegates) on the first ballot, many pledged delegates are freed to vote for whichever candidate they'd like. The conventional wisdom is that if Trump doesn't win on the first ballot, the delegates would gravitate toward someone who is less of an outsider.

On the Democratic side, Clinton has a healthy lead over Sanders and because the Democrats award delegates proportionally in each state, it is nearly impossible for Sanders to overcome the former secretary's lead before the convention — without the help of unpledged delegates known as super delegates. But these superdelegates, who are elected and appointed Democratic officials from each state are not likely to switch from the party's established leader.

About the poll

From April 12 –18, Quinnipiac University surveyed 823 Connecticut likely Republican primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.4%; and 1,037 likely Democratic primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 3%. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.