Independents prefer Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton over Republican nominee Donald Trump, according to a new national poll.
The poll, published Wednesday by research firm Red Oak Strategic, revealed there was a great deal of undecided voters in the race; 29.3 percent of likely voters were undecided in the poll. Clinton achieved 36.6 percent support, with Trump earning 29.6 percent.
Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson performed in keeping with his previous numbers at 9.8 percent. Green Party candidate Jill Stein was not an option in the poll. Stein generally draws support from disaffected supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, lowering Clinton’s numbers.
Independents, a group that made up 31.8 percent of likely voters according to the poll, split very hard for Clinton. The Democratic nominee received 43.9 percent, compared with 34.9 percent support for Trump. The majority of Johnson’s support comes from independents — 21.1 percent.
Bloomberg published a national poll early Wednesday that surveyed independents as well, only giving those voters two options, Trump or Clinton. Forty-eight percent of independents chose Clinton, while 41 percent elected to back Trump.
It is possible the addition of Johnson draws more independent voters away from Trump than he does Clinton.
Founder and CEO of Red Oak Strategic Mark Stephenson told The Daily Caller News Foundation, “The 2016 presidential race is beginning to coalesce, but even after both party conventions, there are still a large number of voters who have yet to make their choice. Especially with independent voters, where Clinton has focused her targeting and currently holds a lead, it’s not too late for Trump’s campaign to build support in that group among the large bloc of undecided voters.”
Twelve and a half percent of respondents reported they were undecided about party affiliation. Trump was the most popular among those voters, earning 45.9 percent support.
Also of interest is the firm’s comparison of the results to the 2012 race. Of the voters to support former Gov. Mitt Romney, 80 percent back Trump. Johnson takes 12.5 percent of Romney supporters, and Clinton earned the remaining 7 percent.
Of the voters to who supported President Barack Obama in 2012, 85.8 percent support the Democratic nominee in 2016, Johnson earned 8.3 percent, and Trump claimed the remaining 6 percent.
Red Oak Strategic surveyed 926 likely voters starting Aug. 3-9. The margin of error in the online poll was plus or minus 3.3 percent. Since there was a seven point difference between the candidates, the results are close to a statistical tie.
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