Has Donald Trump stopped the bleeding in the polls? The Quinnipiac poll out this morning doesn’t necessarily show Trump making up lost ground as much as it shows Hillary Clinton losing some herself. At the beginning of June, even before Bernie Sanders had all but exited the race, Hillary led 45/41. Today, that lead is down to 42/40 — and neither candidate gets to 40% when the Libertarian and Green candidates are included:

Democrat Hillary Clinton has 42 percent to Republican Donald Trump’s 40 percent – too close to call – as American voters say neither candidate would be a good president and that the campaign has increased hatred and prejudice in the nation, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released today.

This compares to results of a June 1 national poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN- uh-pe-ack) University, showing Clinton edging Trump 45 – 41 percent.

When third party candidates are added to today’s survey, Clinton gets 39 percent with Trump at 37 percent. Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson gets 8 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein gets 4 percent.

This is a rare poll for a head-to-head presidential race that’s bad news for both candidates. The drop for Trump over the last four weeks is within the poll’s margin of error (±2.4%), but Hillary’s drop is just outside of the MoE. The shift has mainly benefited Johnson, who went from 5% to 8%, although Stein has also picked up a point, but that’s not apparent in the binary question.

This suggests that the more voters get to know these candidates, the less they feel compelled to vote for one of them. Their favorability numbers are almost identical to the June 1 survey, however. In fact, Hillary’s are exactly the same — 37/57 — and Trump’s went from 34/59 to 34/57. There hasn’t been much movement on issues, either:

  • 52 – 40 percent (52/41 previously) that Trump would be better creating jobs
  • 50 – 45 percent (51/43) that Clinton would be better handling immigration;
  • 52 – 39 percent (49/41) that Trump would be more effective handling ISIS;
  • 51 – 42 percent (53/40) that Clinton would better respond to an international crisis;
  • 46 percent would trust Clinton more on sending U.S. troops overseas, while 44 percent would trust Trump more (no change);
  • 54 – 35 percent (55/33) would trust Clinton more to make the right decisions regarding nuclear weapons;
  • 46 – 43 percent (48/45) that Clinton would do a better job getting things done in Washington.

There are some disquieting signs for both candidates in the demos, and it’s a toss-up as to which should be more worried.

  • In the binary race, Hillary dropped from 65% support among Hispanic voters to just 50% in a month, while Trump’s share rose from 18% to 33%. That’s a startling jump, but one that should have given Trump a better outcome in overall support if this involved a significant portion of the sample.
  • Trump went from a 50/33 advantage among white voters to 47/34, which is within the MoE but shows that he’s not growing support in that demo. Mitt Romney won 59% of this demo and lost in 2012.
  • Hillary hasn’t advanced appreciably among younger voters, remaining at the same 48% as on June 1, which may mean that the Democratic unification seen in some other polling may not yet be underway. However, Trump dropped from 32% to 23% in the same demo — and 22% of these voters go to Johnson and Stein when they’re included in the question.
  • The bigger problem for Trump — other than the white demo — is probably independents. Hillary shares the same problem. Four weeks ago, he edged Hillary among indies, 40/37, but his lead in today’s poll is now 36/34. Those shifts are also within the MoE, but the overall trend in this poll is opposite of the momentum both candidates need.

The gap has narrowed, but neither candidate can take too much comfort from this latest Q-poll. The best that can be said for Trump is that it may help narrow the gap opened up in June’s RCP polling averages, but it won’t do much to move Trump up as it will to pull Hillary’s arc down a bit.

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