Even in California, Hillary Clinton has slipped.
Though Clinton is still running 17 percentage points ahead of Donald Trump in this heavily Democratic state, her advantage has fallen 7 percentage points from July, according to a new survey by the Field Poll and UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies.
Meanwhile, Clinton’s image rating has dropped sharply, with a majority of likely voters in California – 53 percent – now viewing her unfavorably, according to the poll.
The poll, to be released Tuesday, comes amid a tightening of the presidential race, with Trump gaining on Clinton nationally and in key battleground states.
Clinton’s declining numbers in California, where the race is unlikely to be contested, are electorally less significant than in other states. But her backslide suggests a deepening disaffection with her campaign. Clinton and her husband, Bill, spent decades building a massive donor and political network in the state, with Hillary Clinton posting relatively favorable public approval ratings since her time as first lady and prevailing in primary elections in 2008 and in June.
Bill Clinton told supporters in Los Angeles in April that “California has been uncommonly good to my family.”
Now, said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll, “Clinton’s taken a hit.”
“Whatever bounce she got out of the Democratic National Convention … has totally evaporated,” he said. “In fact, she’s now at a lower standing with California voters than she was at the beginning of the convention, which is obviously cause for concern.”
Clinton is leading Trump 50 percent to 33 percent among likely voters, according to the poll. The Green Party’s Jill Stein and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson sit at 6 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
The poll’s release follows a bruising period for Clinton, including her remark that half of Trump’s supporters are in a “basket of deplorables” and a public appearance at which she became unsteady and had to be helped into her car. Clinton’s campaign, facing criticism for failing to disclose more information about her health, said the former secretary of state was diagnosed with pneumonia.
“I think Hillary has had some self-inflicted wounds over the past few weeks that are reflected in the polls,” DiCamillo said. “And we’re seeing that in California.”
No Republican presidential candidate has carried California since George H.W. Bush in 1988, and Trump is not expected to seriously challenge Clinton here.
Among crucial constituencies, Clinton is beating Trump by 14 percentage points among independent voters and 3-to-1 among Latino voters, according to the poll.
While Trump’s image rating has improved to 31 percent favorable – up from 24 percent in July – he remains deeply unpopular.
Sixty-nine percent of likely voters in California view Trump unfavorably, according to the poll, including 56 percent who say they have a “very unfavorable” impression of him.
The poll’s respondents, selected by a sampling method designed to resemble the demographic and regional profile of California voters, completed the survey online.