Wednesday, February 3, 2016

New National Reuters Poll Has HRC Up 65-29

I don't want to overstate-or understate-its importance. I have no idea how accurate Reuters/Ipso is held to be. It's a rolling average and Real Clear Politics doesn't use it in their averages.

But I do notice something interesting besides that it's a great number if it's true.

On January 31, her support exploded. On January 30, she led by 20 points: 58-38. I have no idea what happened specifically between January 30 and 21 but her lead went up by 50 percent-10 points-overnight to 63-33.

It also increased on both Feb 1 and Feb 2 to now 36 points. What does it mean? I'm not going to try to even theorize, just leaving it out there.

I do see that there hasn't been many national polls lately so the RCP average poll that shows her up by 14 may be understating her lead.

Now an actual political scientist, Sam Wang. He argues that the ground hasn't changed as much as some pundits make it seem after Iowa.

Hillary is still the favorite and Trump still has an excellent chance. True, but he does need to deliver in NH.

"My preliminary take on the Iowa caucuses is that they didn’t alter the trajectory of where things are probably headed for the Democrats: Hillary Clinton is still favored. However, the Republican field could potentially narrow to a three-way race (Trump-Cruz-Rubio) sooner than I had expected, thanks to a strong showing by Marco Rubio."

"It is premature to say that Trump is doomed. However, he does look a little less inevitable. It is certainly possible that he can crash from his high position in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and nationally. But I think a bigger risk to him is the possibility that tonight’s results will pressure Rubio’s lower-tier rivals to get out sooner rather than later. As I’ve written before, if the field gets down to three candidates after New Hampshire, that opens up a narrow route to stopping Trump. In short, tonight kept Marco Rubio’s chances alive."

"On the Democratic side, tonight was substantively bad for Bernie Sanders. After all the talk about hordes of Sanders supporters, in the end he only achieved a near-tie: 23 delegates for Clinton, 21 delegates for Sanders. Iowa is one of the most favorable states for him because of its ethnic composition. But it is not enough to win 50% of white Democrats. To have a chance overall, he needed a big win to (a) indicate that he can get enough white support to compensate for lack of support in nonwhite demographics in other states, and (b) create press coverage to boost him in the coming weeks. Outcome (a) didn’t happen. We’ll see about (b)."

"Finally, a word about polling. There seems to be a persistent meme that polls are in trouble. There was no evidence for this. Primaries and caucuses are volatile situations – this is a well-known fact. I have been assuming that home-stretch polls can be off by an average of 5 percentage points. Any fuss tonight is based on the fact that in Iowa, with its tiny turnout and odd voting procedure, Trump was polling 3 points ahead of Cruz, and ended up losing by 3 points. It would be a mistake to conclude that Trump’s support is illusory in other states. Quite the opposite. A 6-point error would not affect his ranking anywhere else. For now."

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