By Hannah Hartig, John Lapinski and Stephanie Psyllos
After a bruising week for Donald Trump amid backlash from the release of a lewd 2005 recording and in-fighting among GOP party leaders, Hillary Clinton now holds a 6-point lead over the Republican nominee, according to the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll.
In a four-way match-up, Clinton enjoys 46 percent support this week among likely voters, while Trump drops a single percentage point to 40 percent support. Gary Johnson holds on to 8 percent support and Jill Stein has 4 percent support.
As a point of comparison, President Obama won the 2008 presidential contest by 7 points, and he won in 2012 by 4 points.
The latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll was conducted online from October 10 through October 16 among likely voters.
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In a two-way race, Clinton leads by 8 points with majority support of 51 percent to Trump’s 43 percent among likely voters. Her margin over the GOP nominee has grown steadily since her successful first debate performance.
Clinton currently enjoys a large margin over Trump among a number of key demographic groups including likely women voters (+18 points). Trump continues to lead Clinton among likely men voters overall (+7 points).
Gender issues have been at the forefront of the campaign this election cycle, and after a particularly tumultuous week, it is interesting to see where women and men currently stand.
Clinton currently leads Trump among women of every age group.
Among men, however, Trump only enjoys support among those age 45 and over. Younger men are decidedly more split. Likely men voters under 30 years old support Clinton over Trump by 5 points, 41 percent to 36 percent. Men aged 30-44 are split between the top tier candidates—41 percent support Clinton and 40 percent support Trump.
Throughout most of the general election, Clinton has generally seen more support from college graduates, while Trump has been the preferred candidate for voters with no college degrees. This week, likely voters without college degrees support Trump over Clinton by 6 points, 46 percent to 40 percent. Clinton has a 26-point advantage among likely voters who are college graduates, however, 56 percent to 30 percent.
Likely women voters support Clinton regardless of their education level. Women with college degrees support her by a 37-point margin, 62 percent to 25 percent. Among women without college degrees, Clinton leads by a narrower 6-point margin, 46 percent to 40 percent.
Candidate preference among likely men voters, however, varies by education level. Men without college degrees support Trump by an 18-point margin, 52 percent to 34 percent. But men with college degrees go for Clinton over Trump by 12 points, 48 percent to 36 percent.
As early in-person voting starts in several critical battleground states this week and the third and final presidential debate is held Wednesday, it will be crucial for Clinton to preserve support among these demographic groups.
The NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking poll was conducted online October 10 through October 16, 2016 among a national sample of 24,804 adults who are likely to vote. Respondents for this non-probability survey were selected from the nearly three million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Results have an error estimate of plus or minus 1.0 percentage points. For full results and methodology, click here.
John Lapinski is director of the NBC News Elections Unit.