Thursday, July 14, 2016

Another Freakout Poll Day

I try not to panic. In general, and certainly in this election-even with the stakes so high. Actually, that''s a key. When the stakes are high is the last time you want to panic as panicking is counterproductive.

It only makes you less effective. Or certainly this is true in my own experience.

Yesterday we had the Quinnpiac state polls which showed ties or even Trump leading in a few major swing states.

As the day went on there were some better polls that showed her with some strong leads in PA, VA, and Colorado. However, Nate Silver insisted that it still showed a move in trend in the wrong way for her.

On the other hand, Benchmark Politics points out that Q polls have had a GOP house effect and have consistently undercounted minority voters.

So it is possible that Hillary has taken something of a hit in the immediate aftermath of Emailgate.

Still overall leading Democrats are not panicking as this they think any negative effect will be fleeting.

Let's see the impact of Bernie's endorsement over the next few days and weeks. Then you have both party conventions and VP picks.

Today, though, was another freakout poll day. This time a NYT/CBS poll which showed her leading by six points last month shows a tie race now.

"It’s another poll freakout day, apparently: The new New York Times/CBS poll finds that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are now tied among registered voters nationally, at 40-40, with the email story taking an obvious toll on Clinton’s numbers. The key findings:

"Mrs. Clinton’s six-percentage-point lead over the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, in a CBS News poll last month has evaporated. The two candidates are now tied in a general election matchup, the new poll indicates, with each receiving the support of 40 percent of voters…."

"Just 28 percent of voters said they had a positive view of Mrs. Clinton, compared with 33 percent last month. Asked if her email practices were illegal, 46 percent of voters said yes, compared with 23 percent who said using a private server was improper but not illegal. Twenty-four percent said she did nothing wrong."

"Those are awful numbers. But as even some conservatives (who oppose Trump) quickly pointed out on twitter, the real story here is that even if Clinton is sinking, Trump is not rising. As John Podhoretz noted, the Times poll confirms that “Hillary is deflating,” but “Trump isn’t gaining.” Or as conservative Iowa radio host Steve Deace put it, Clinton is dropping because of the FBI findings, but Trump’s numbers are “still dreadful as always.” As polling analyst Will Jordan noted, until Trump breaks out of the high 30s and (extremely) low 40s, there’s no clear grounds for Dems to panic."

In other words, it's about Hillary's numbers-temporarily-falling and not Trump's numbers rising.

And this will be very hard to do so long as he polls at literally zero among Black voters.

"Beyond the fact that Clinton still holds a lead after getting hit by sustained awful coverage, note that Trump has not hit 43 percent since last winter, and has not hit 42 percent since the spring. He remains at around 40 percent right now. Meanwhile, Clinton has fluctuated, hitting highs of 48 percent and 47 percent several times. She’s sliding now, but as Deace noted, that may reflect current negative information about her now bombarding voters. It could reverse again, just as it has in the past.

This basic difference isn’t just evident in the national polls. Mark Murray and the First Read Crew took a hard look at the multiple state polls released yesterday (which also prompted a freak-out), and concluded that while Trump is closing the gap, there is also this crucial point:

"These polls — which mostly show Clinton either ahead or tied in these battlegrounds — were all taken during or after Clinton’s roughest week of the general election, with FBI Director James Comey’s rebuke over her emails. So you could view these battleground numbers as a floor for Clinton, while Trump is still unable to break 40% in many of these states."

"This core dynamic is central to how Democrats view this race. They have undertaken a concerted effort to drive up Trump’s negatives with the explicit goal of preventing him from expanding his appeal. That’s why the pro-Clinton Super PAC, Priorities USA, has been pumping many millions of dollars of ads into the battleground states, ads that use Trump’s own words and antics to sow deep doubts about his temperament and fitness to be president."

"The goal is to prevent Trump, whose campaign is all about winning blue collar whites in the industrial Midwest, from making inroads among college educated whites, which would limit the potential of Trump’s strategy of courting white backlash. (This may also drive up turnout and Clinton’s vote share among nonwhite voters, which would make the white-backlash strategy even tougher to pull off.) Polls suggest Trump may end up being the first GOP nominee in decades to lose among college educated whites — see Ron Brownstein’s terrific analysis on this point — and Democrats are targeting suburban and Republican women in particular to try to make this happen."

As Mark Murray says:

"Good news for Trump: He's narrowed polling gap heading into convention Bad news: Race is, at best, tied after Clinton's rough email week."

There is some good news this morning. Morning Consult has Hillary actually leading in Georgia by one point.

"Clinton +1 in Georgia in latest Morning Consult poll."

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