Supporters look on as Hillary Clinton speaks during a Get Out the Vote event at the Nelson-Mulligan Carpenters' Training Center on March 12, 2016 in St Louis, Mo.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty

Trump and Clinton lead nationally, but Clinton support dips ahead of key contests

Updated

Hillary Clinton remains ahead of Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side, 54 percent to 41 percent, while Donald Trump continues to lead the Republican field nationally with 44 percent – a full 20 points higher than any other Republican candidate.

Ted Cruz is behind Trump with 24 percent, followed by John Kasich and then Marco Rubio. These results are according to the NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll for the week of March 7 through March 13, 2016 among a national sample of 8,840 adults aged 18 and over, including 7,321 who say they are registered to vote.

Clinton’s overall numbers dipped to a 13-point lead over Sanders, perhaps due to Sanders’ surprising win in Michigan on March 8.

Results from our latest week of polling show that Sanders remains competitive with Clinton among registered Democratic and Democratic-leaning men overall—46 percent for Sanders and 49 percent for Clinton. The margin among women, however, more decidedly favors Clinton. Women favor Clinton by nearly 20 points—57 percent to 37 percent.

While Sanders is slightly more favorable among white and Hispanic men, black men still favor Clinton by about 50 points. This is similar to Clinton’s favorability among black women. Women across all race groups favor Clinton over Sanders, but the margin is smallest among white women—51 percent to 42 percent. 

Clinton’s popularity among women does not hold true across all age groups, however. Among all registered women under age 30, 62 percent favor Sanders to Clinton. Women age 30 and older favor Clinton over Sanders by nearly 30 points.  

Clear advantages by both Sanders and Clinton across key demographic groups have been strong predictors of how well each performs. In states with large minority voting groups, Clinton has performed exceptionally well, although the Sanders team has argued they are doing well with Hispanics. How well each does in the upcoming primary and caucus states will largely be determined by the demographics of the electorate.  

Among Republican and Republican-leaning voters, John Kasich moves up to third place this week with 12 percent, up 3 points from last week. But Kasich is still virtually tied with Marco Rubio, who dropped 7 points from last week and is at 11 percent.  Trump and Cruz have gained some momentum this week, which could be a result of Ben Carson dropping out of the race.  As the Republican field winnows down, Trump remains the front-runner with 44 percent of support, up 5 points from last week.  Cruz also got a boost to 24 percent, up 4 points from last week.  It remains to be seen whether the controversy and publicity surrounding the Trump events over the weekend will have an impact on Trump or the field this coming week. 

As previous weeks of the tracking poll have shown, Trump still leads among most demographic groups, including men (47 percent) and women (41 percent), voters 65 years old and above (49 percent), those with an education level of high school or less (49 percent), income under $50,000 (47 percent) and white Evangelicals (42 percent).

Republicans who describe themselves as very conservative, however, support Cruz over Trump, 42 percent to 40 percent. That margin is smaller than last week’s tracking poll, which showed Cruz winning 36 percent of those who identify as very conservative and Trump getting support from 31 percent of that group. 

The NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking poll was conducted online March 7 through March 13, 2016 among a national sample of 8,840 adults aged 18 and over, including 7,321 who say they are registered to vote. Respondents for this non-probability survey were selected from the nearly 3 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Results have an error estimate of plus or minus 1.7 percentage points.  A full description of our methodology and the poll can be found here.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

Trump and Clinton lead nationally, but Clinton support dips ahead of key contests

Updated