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Poll: Trump Edges Up, Americans 'Alarmed' By Choices

| by Nik Bonopartis
Presumptive Republican nominee Donald TrumpPresumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump

While a new poll shows presumed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's lead narrowing over Republican rival Donald Trump, a follow-up question in the poll is likely to raise the most eyebrows.

In a USA Today/Suffolk University poll, 61 percent of voters told  pollsters they're "alarmed" by the 2016 presidential election, a number that almost matches the percentage of voters who have negative feelings about both candidates.

Jay Brooks, a 31-year-old engineer from Huntsville, Alabama, summed up the lack of enthusiasm for either Trump or Clinton when asked by USA Today pollsters in a follow-up call.

"On one side, you have Hillary, who is being investigated by the FBI, and then you have Donald Trump, who has diarrhea of the mouth," Brooks said. "I don't think either of them are electable or would be a good president."

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Like other recent polls, the survey found that partisans have their minds set -- 9 out of 10 Clinton and Trump supporters say they wouldn't switch their allegiance, while 12 percent of the voters queried said they haven't made their decisions on who to vote for yet. While USA Today says that's a smaller number of undecided voters than was recorded in the 2012 race, the pool of undecided moderates will tip the balance of the election when they head to the polls in November.

Among the candidates, characterized by Suffolk polling director David Paleologos as "the lesser of two evils," Trump has a slight advantage when it comes to independents.

"Despite their negative feelings toward both candidates, when asked to choose between the two, 26 percent chose Trump, 19 percent picked Clinton, 44 percent were undecided and 11 percent refused a response," Paleologos told USA Today. "The majority are up for grabs as these voters grapple with holding their noses and picking one of them or opting for a third party option. Or staying home, come November."

The pollsters also asked voters about potential vice presidential picks. Voters told USA Today/Suffolk University that Trump, a businessman and political outsider, should choose a running mate who knows Washington and has political experience.

In Clinton's case, a majority of Democrats said the presumptive nominee should veer left with her vice presidential pick, to unify the party and reassure progressives who voted for her primary rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Overall, Clinton holds a 4.6 percent lead over Trump in the Real Clear Politics Average, which aggregates the results of all major polls. While a recent Rasmussen Reports poll had Trump up by 4 percentage points, the majority of polls have Clinton leading by between 2 and 6 percent.

The USA Today/Suffolk University poll was conducted before FBI Director James Comey announced his bureau's decision not to indict Clinton after investigating her use of a private, unsecured email server to handle sensitive Department of State communications.

Sources: USA Today, Real Clear Politics / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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