Poll: Republican Party Fractured as Hillary Clinton Maintains Solid Lead

Hillary Clinton / Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton / Donald TrumpEPA; AP

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By Hannah Hartig, John Lapinski and Stephanie Psyllos

Hillary Clinton’s 5-point lead over Donald Trump remains virtually unchanged since last week—but after prolonged in-fighting among GOP party leaders, a majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters (57 percent) see a lasting fracture in the Republican Party, according to the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll.

In a four-way match-up, Clinton enjoys 46 percent support this week among likely voters, while Trump holds onto 41 percent support. Gary Johnson maintains 7 percent support and Jill Stein has 3 percent support. In a two way race, Clinton enjoys a 6 point lead over Trump with 50 percent support compared to Trump’s 44 percent.

These results are according to the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll conducted online from October 17 through October 23.

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As several prominent GOP party leaders and down-ballot Republican contenders scramble to figure out the potential impact of a Clinton victory in their respective states, 74 percent of likely voters overall say that the GOP is divided and will remain so through the general election in November—only 4 percent say the Republican Party is united now. This is in stark contrast to the perception of the Democratic Party –54 percent of voters overall say that the Democratic Party is united now.

Among Republicans and Republican-leaning voters, 57 percent say that their party is divided and will not unite by November.

Deep divisions within the party are a concern for likely Republican and Republican-leaning voters. A 63 percent majority of likely Republican voters say that the Republican Party needs to unite behind Trump in order for him to win the presidency. Just 34 percent say he can win without the support of a united Republican Party.

While Trump has criticized House Speaker Paul Ryan for his negative response to several of Trump’s controversial statements, a full third (34 percent) of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters say they would trust Ryan more to lead the Republican Party than the party’s current presidential nominee.

Among Trump’s own supporters, a quarter say they would trust Ryan more to lead the party. Among Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson’s supporters, 80 percent say they would trust Ryan more. This number is potentially consequential given Johnson’s position as a potential spoiler-candidate in several critical states.

As campaigning ramps up for competitive down-ballot races, many GOP Senate and House contenders have had to make a tough decision to either support their party’s nominee or admonish him. This approval or rejection of Trump’s candidacy may have an important effect on the outcome of their races, and consequentially, the party’s ability to maintain control of the House and Senate.

The NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking poll was conducted online October 17 through October 23, 2016 among a national sample of 32,225 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.