NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Democrat Hillary Clinton is leading Republican Donald Trump by seven points among likely voters nationally as the two head into their first presidential debate, a new poll found.
Clinton’s lead includes those who are undecided, yet leaning toward a candidate, according to the McClatchy-Marist Poll out Friday.
It also found that eight percent of likely voters say they don’t support either candidate while one percent say they are for someone else. Two person are undecided.
“Hillary Clinton has established a lead, but Donald Trump’s supporters are more committed to him,” Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, said in a statement. “Digging deeper, African Americans, Latinos, and women are rallying around Clinton’s candidacy. She also has the backing of young people, but the big question for her campaign is, ‘Will voters under 30 turn out?'”
When third-party candidates are added, Clinton leads Trump by six points at 45 to 39 percent. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has 10 percent while Green Party candidate Jill Stein has 4 percent.
According to the poll, both Clinton and Trump “overwhelmingly carry” their respective party’s base, but more Democrats support Clinton, 94 percent, than Republicans do Trump, at 87 percent.
Both candidates are off the campaign trail Friday ahead of Monday’s high-stakes presidential debate at Hofstra University on Long Island.
The university says over three-quarters of the 11,000 students have applied for a front row seat to history, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
“Right now, we’re the center of the political universe,” said Hofstra student Nathan Leg. “It’s very exciting.”
Law school student Labby Stewart entered his name in a lottery to win a seat in the debate hall.
“With Trump and Hillary at heads with each other, bat with each other, it’s a really exciting debate and time to be on campus,” he said.
The Clinton campaign acknowledges she’s been with aides preparing for the big night. The Washington Post reported that Trump is preparing as well, working with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and others.
Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine said Clinton would be well-prepared for the task.
“If you’ve watched Hillary Clinton in the past then you’ll know, when the spotlight is at its brightest and the pressure is most intense, that’s when she brings the A-plus game,” Kaine said.
Trump sent a questionnaire to his supporters to get feedback ahead of his debate preps. He asked whether he should refer to Clinton as “crooked Hillary” onstage and whether he should bring up her email scandal.
Trump said he will not be “overly” prepared.
“I’ve seen some people do so much prep work that when they get out there, they can’t speak,” Trump said.
The two sport wildly different styles – off the cuff for Trump, by the book for Clinton, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported.
“Of all the big moments in a campaign, this is the only one where the American people are judging both candidates side by side and next to each other,” said Democratic strategist Michael Feldman.
“The best performers are the ones who say, ‘I’m not going win or lose this debate; on this detail or that detail. It’s the general impression I make,’” said Republican strategist Dan Senor.
Trump has a rally scheduled for Virginia on Saturday.
To see the full poll, click here.