Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
The presumptive nominees.
The presumptive nominees

Connecticut voters favor Hillary Clinton over Donald J. Trump for president by only 7 percentage points, despite seeing her as better qualified on key measures by wide margins, while Bernie Sanders leads Trump by 19 points, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.

The first public poll since the Connecticut presidential primary finds little enthusiasm for the presumptive nominees of either party. In head-to-head matchups, Clinton leads Trump, 45 percent to 38 percent, which is consistent with polls last fall and earlier this year. Sanders, whose path to the Democratic nomination has all but disappeared, leads Trump, 54 percent to 35 percent.

“While Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump, her single digit lead is smaller than might be expected from true-blue Connecticut, and her negative favorability rating is almost as bad as his,” said Douglas Schwartz, the poll’s director.

Clinton’s favorable/unfavorable split is 37 percent to 55 percent. Trump’s is even worse, 33 percent to 61 percent. Sanders is viewed favorably, 52 percent to 34 percent.

When voters are asked to choose among Clinton, Trump, Libertarian Gary Johnson and Jill Stein of the Green Party, Clinton’s lead over Trump shrinks to 41 percent to 36 percent. Johnson polls at 6 percent, and Stein at 3 percent. Another 14 percent say they either wouldn’t vote (4 percent), didn’t know or wouldn’t answer (8 percent) or would pick someone else (2 percent).

The poll was released the morning after the Associated Press declared Clinton the presumptive Democratic nominee, based on its updated count of delegates and superdelegates. Sanders’ supporters conceded nothing, saying superdelegates in Clinton’s column are free to back Sanders.

Its focus was Clinton and Trump.

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders

By wide margins, Connecticut voters see Clinton, the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state, as better prepared than the brash Trump to be president and more possessing the right temperament to be commander in chief. But Trump, who never has held office, is seen as better able to bring “real change” to Washington.

“It’s pretty amazing that Trump is within single digits of Clinton, given how poorly he scores on having the temperament and being prepared for the presidency,” Schwartz said. “What Trump has going for him is the desire for change, and the weakness of Hillary Clinton.”

Sixty-eight percent of voters say Trump does not have the “personality and temperament” to be president, and 69 percent say he is not prepared to be president, while 60 percent say Clinton has the right temperament and 61 percent see her as prepared.

By nearly identical margins, both were seen as having “strong leadership qualities” (60 percent to 39 percent for Trump, 59 to 40 percent for Clinton.)

By a margin of 55 percent to 42 percent, voters say that if Trump is president, he will bring about “real change in the way things are done in Washington.” By a margin of 82 percent to 16 percent, voters say if Clinton is president, it will be “business as usual.”

Clinton tops Trump among voters under age 35 (47 percent to 25 percent), ages 50 to 64 (47 percent to 36 percent), women (49 percent to 28 percent) and non-whites (67 percent to 9 percent).

Trump tops her among older voters (42 percent to 33 percent), men (45 percent to 32 percent) and whites (42 percent to 35 percent). His biggest advantage is among white men (52 percent to 27 percent).

Only 36 percent of voters see Trump as caring about people like them, and only 33 percent see him as honest or trustworthy. Sixty-seven percent say they have an unfavorable impression of the way Trump is running his campaign (57 percent strongly unfavorable, 10 percent somewhat unfavorable.)

Forty-seven percent see Clinton as caring about people like them, but only 30 percent see her as honest and trustworthy. They are split when asked if they have a favorable or unfavorable impression of the way Clinton is running her campaign: 46 percent favorable (21 percent strongly favorable, 25 somewhat favorable) and 47 percent unfavorable (32 percent strongly unfavorable, 15 percent somewhat unfavorable.)

Blumenthal vs. Carter or Wolf for Senate

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, the Democrat seeking a second term, has a 2-1 lead over either Republican challenger, the party-endorsed Dan Carter or August Wolf, who is trying to qualify for a GOP primary. The poll found Blumenthal with a 60 percent job approval and high name recognition, while more than 80 percent of voters knew too little about either Republican to offer an opinion.

The poll was based on a telephone survey of 1,330 voters reached by land lines and cell phones from June 1 to 5. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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