Fifty-six percent of Clinton’s backers in the national survey, a new high, say they’re voting mainly to support her rather than to oppose Trump. By contrast, 54 percent of Trump voters are mainly motivated by opposition to Clinton, not support for him.
Affirmative support can be a stronger motivator to vote, and Clinton’s has gained 9 points from its low just before the party conventions in July. Trump’s affirmative support, by contrast, has been essentially flat in the same period.
Levels of enthusiasm for the candidates, while similar overall, also have followed different trajectories. Fifty-two percent of Clinton’s supporters now describe themselves as very enthusiastic about their choice, the most to date and up sharply from 36 percent in early September. Among Trump supporters, 49 percent are strongly enthusiastic; he peaked on this measure in late September.
The result of these trends is that Trump’s 12-point advantage in strong enthusiasm just after Labor Day is now a (non-significant) 3-point deficit to Clinton. In ABC News/Washington Post polling since 2000, the candidate with more strongly enthusiastic support has won.