Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Clinton up by nine, but down 5 since mid-June (post-Orlando)

I mentioned last week that we should take note of polling in the wake of the Pulse massacre, and today's Reuters/Ipsos results do indeed reveal that the American sheep are nervous.

Hillary Clinton’s lead over Republican rival Donald Trump has slipped by about five percentage points since mid-June, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday, bringing the race for the White House to within nine points.
The poll showed that 44.5 percent of likely voters supported former secretary of state Clinton while 35.5 percent backed businessman Trump. That compares with 46.6 percent support for Clinton and 32.3 percent for Trump on June 12, a date that marked her widest lead for the month.
Trump has focused much of his energy in recent days on the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, by a U.S.-born gunman pledging allegiance to Islamic State militant group. Trump vowed to ban people from entering the United States from countries with links to terrorism against America or its allies.

Raw Story does not link to the poll nor does it reveal the third-party results, so I tracked that down and found them lumped into the "other/wouldn't vote/refused" category, totaling 20%.

So as a two-horse race national survey, it's just not worth anything beyond the spin for Trump and Clinton and the various media outlets who think it is worth something.  What's more telling is this poll from Quinnipiac for the battleground states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, via NYT.

Donald J. Trump’s recent rough patch has taken a toll on his standing in three crucial swing states, according to a new poll that shows voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania viewing Hillary Clinton as being better prepared to be president.

A survey from Quinnipiac University found Mrs. Clinton leading Mr. Trump by a margin of 47 percent to 39 percent in Florida, where they were essentially tied in May. Mrs. Clinton also erased Mr. Trump’s narrow lead in Ohio, where the candidates are now deadlocked at 40 percent. In Pennsylvania, Mrs. Clinton leads by a single percentage point.

The polls had margins of error of plus or minus three percentage points, rendering Ohio and Pennsylvania very much up for grabs a month before Republicans hold their nominating convention July 18-21 in Cleveland.

Update: Raw Story does better with this republish of's Jonathan Salant and five takeaways from Q's swing state polls.

Polls this early blahblahblah and other cautionaries aside, if Florida is moving out of contention then Clinton is a shoe-in.  If she picks a Latino (and Julian Castro is being rumored as a finalist -- I like Tom Perez and Xavier Becerra better now that I have scrutinized them) then a swath of states move closer to purple -- not Texas, but a Castro selection forces the GOP to play defense on turf that they should have easily been able to hold.  Rice's Mark Jones got this one right.

Rice University political scientist Mark P. Jones put some parameters on what "better" could look like for (Texas) Democrats.
"'Better' is keeping Trump's victory in the single digits, and taking back somewhere around a half-dozen state House seats, taking back Congressional District 23 and turning Harris County blue," Jones said.

Let's also note for the record that among the vice-presidential contenders, Elizabeth Warren and Perez have drawn the most objections, from Wall Street to Big Business.  That may actually mean something in Hillary's thought process about her pick.

In other news, Jonanthan Chait screwed the "Nader/Gore/Bush/2000" pooch for all to see and take selfies of.  There's a cottage industry that thrives on this guy's foibles, so I'll only repeat the truth  for those that still don't get it.  And if you don't believe me, you really should believe Jim Hightower.

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