May 10, 2016
A recent poll suggests Bernie Sanders would perform better than Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania against presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump in a general election — despite the fact that Clinton easily defeated Sanders in the state's April primary.
The Quinnipiac University survey, released Tuesday, shows Clinton in a dead heat with Trump, leading him by just one point (43-42 percent) in the state. Sanders, meanwhile, holds a six-point lead over Trump (47-41).
Other "swing states" in the poll garnered similarly close results for Clinton vs. Trump, but not as largely favorable ones for Sanders.
In Florida, Clinton barely beats Trump (43-42), as does Sanders (44-42). In Ohio, Clinton loses to Trump (39-43). In a hypothetical matchup against Trump in Ohio, Sanders wins (43-41).
Trump and Clinton, who both won Pennsylvania handily, have large favorability deficits in the state.
In Trump's case, however, he's actually doing better in the commonwealth than President Barack Obama's challengers.
"At this juncture, Trump is doing better in Pennsylvania than the GOP nominees in 2008 and 2012," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the poll.
"And the two candidates are about where their party predecessors were at this point in Ohio and Florida."
The poll's authors note no candidate has won the general election since 1960 without winning at least two out of Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio.
On a national level, both Clinton and Sanders seem to hold a large lead over Trump if they win the Democratic nomination.
According to the latest poll averages from RealClearPolitics, Clinton beats Trump by 6.4 points, while Sanders beats Trump by 13 points.
The Quinnipiac poll interviewed 1,077 self-identified Pennsylvania registered voters from April 27 to May 8. It had a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.