Clinton surges to 9-point lead over Trump in Pa., Franklin & Marshall poll finds

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s numbers have fallen in Pennsylvania, according to a new poll from Franklin & Marshall College.

Hillary Clinton leads Trump 47 to 38 percent among likely voters in the latest survey. That’s a steep change from much of September, when Trump was within a few points of Clinton.

The Republican’s losses reflect several recent incidents, said Terry Madonna, poll director.

Notably, “the debate performance, the back-and-forth with the former Miss Universe, some of the more provocative statements he made last week, and, of course, the income tax situation,” he said.

That “income-tax situation” showed that Trump could have gone 18 years without paying federal income taxes.

Trump’s low numbers don’t just affect him; they also have an outsize impact on races down the ballot. Chief among those is Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race between Democrat Katie McGinty and Republican incumbent Pat Toomey.

“When Hillary Clinton does better, McGinty does better because of the coat-tail effect — straight-party voting,” Madonna said.

The survey shows Toomey trailing by six points.

Madonna added, though, that the campaign is still volatile. He said he’s not ruling out another shakeup before Nov. 8.

A recent Quinnipiac University survey taken during the same period as the Franklin & Marshall poll  has slightly better news for Trump and Toomey. It shows a smaller gap, with Clinton holding a lead of just 4 points.

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