Trump Takes the Lead—Can Hillary Take It Back?
For the first time this year, it looks as if Donald Trump has a solid polling lead over Hillary Clinton, although it’s still within the margin of error. That’s not surprising, since Hillary has been dropping steadily since the FBI’s James Comey said that Hillary was announcement that she was “extremely careless.” It would probably have been better for her if the investigation had dragged on—quietly.
But the new poll also suggests that Trump got a bump from his convention, despite its problems.
Donald Trump got a bounce from the Republican National Convention, jumping out in front of Hillary Clinton in a new CNN/ORC International poll released Monday, conducted in the days following the party gathering.
Trump leads Clinton 48 percent to 45 percent in a two-way matchup, compared with the presumptive Democratic nominee’s seven-point advantage (49 percent to 42 percent) in the CNN/ORC poll conducted the previous week. . .
In terms of favorability, Trump rose seven points, from 39 percent to 46 percent and he now enjoys a double-digit lead over Clinton on issues related to the economy and terrorism. As far being trustworthy, 43 percent said they would apply that label to the Manhattan businessman, up 5 points from before the convention, while 30 percent said the same of the former secretary of state. Elsewhere, 52 percent said Trump is running for president for the good of the country rather than for personal gain, while 44 percent said the same of Clinton.
Politico didn’t expect a “bump” for either candidate this year, from a historical perspective.
Donald Trump’s convention is over. But don’t count on a convention bounce. The sizable polling bump that typically follows four days of saturation media coverage probably isn’t coming.
Hillary Clinton is also unlikely to receive much of a bounce after Democrats’ gather next week in Philadelphia. The reason? Trump and Clinton are two of the most unpopular presidential nominees in recent electoral history, and voters’ mostly negative feelings about both of them are well-formed. That lends a level of stability to the race and means neither candidate is likely to bound out of the next two weeks with additional momentum, according to pollsters. . .
And there’s a sizable pool of voters who have unfavorable opinions of both candidates that are unlikely to be swayed by the traditional pageantry of either political convention: According to Gallup, about a quarter of Americans view both Trump and Clinton unfavorably.
That likely puts a ceiling on how much momentum the candidates can generate out of the conventions as they head into August.
In most years, candidates get about a 5-point “bounce.” Bill Clinton gained 16% in his week, during 1992. However, John Kerry and Mitt Romney actually lost a point, each, during their convention week. Here’s a chart showing who did well.
Now then, what about Mr. Trump? The Blaze says the bump could be “Yuge.”
Mark my words: This speech will put Trump even or ahead of Hillary in polls by Monday, when the Democratic convention begins.#RNCinCLE
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) July 22, 2016
According to an instant poll conducted by CNN/ORC, 57 percent of voters who watched Trump’s speech had a “very positive” reaction, while 18 percent said their reaction was “somewhat positive” and 24 percent said the address had a “negative effect.”. . .
Additionally, 73 percent of voters who watched the speech — most of whom are likely Republican — said the policies the GOP nominee proposed will send the U.S. in the “right direction” and only 24 percent said his proposals will push the nation in the “wrong direction.”
Of course, that’s a poll of people who actually watched the convention, mostly Trump partisans. But the Daily Caller also says people were turning to Trump even before the latest poll put him in the lead, as this weekend article shows.
Trump still trails Clinton in the [Reuters/Ipsos national poll published Thursday] at 36 percent to Clinton’s 40, but that gap narrowed drastically in July. The Reuters/Ipsos June poll reported Trump followed Clinton ten points, at 34 percent to 44 percent.
Due to the online nature of the poll, a traditional margin of error doesn’t apply according to Ipsos. Instead, Ipsos published a “credibility interval” of 2.9 percent, based on its own calculations of probability. That margin puts Trump within range of a lead in the poll.
When it comes to polling and analysis, everyone turns to Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.
There’s not yet enough evidence to come to firm conclusions about the size of Trump’s convention bounce, but the initial data suggests that a small-to-medium bounce is more likely than a large one. . .
First, there are three post-convention national polls, meaning that all of their interviews were conducted after Trump’s acceptance speech on Thursday night.
• A RABA Research poll, conducted on Friday, shows Clinton 5 percentage points ahead of Trump, 39-34, with a large undecided and third-party vote. That sounds bad for Trump, but the trend line in the poll is favorable for him: The previous edition of the poll, conducted two weeks ago, had him down 12 points.
• A Gravis Marketing poll, conducted Thursday and Friday, has Trump 2 points ahead of Clinton. Their previous national poll, in late June, had Clinton up 2 points instead.2 Note, however, that Gravis has generally shown better results for Trump than most other pollsters.
• Finally, an Echelon Insights poll, conducted on Thursday and Friday, shows Clinton up by 1 percentage point, although Clinton’s lead grows to 4 points if Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein aren’t included. Echelon Insights had not previously polled the election. . .
There are also a couple of polls that contain a mix of post-convention, pre-convention and during-convention data:
• The USC Dornsife/LA Times tracking poll, conducted from last Saturday through Friday, has Trump up by 2 percentage points. That suggests very little bounce, given that Trump had been up by 1 percentage point in the poll before the convention.
• However, the Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll, conducted from Monday through Friday, shows Trump making major gains, trailing Clinton by less than 1 percentage point. Clinton had generally been up by around 10 percentage points in that poll before the convention began. Clinton’s lead is slightly larger, 3 percentage points, in the version of the poll without Johnson and Stein.
• Finally, a Rasmussen Reports poll, conducted during the convention on Monday and Tuesday, shows Trump ahead by 1 percentage point. That’s actually down from a 7-point lead for Trump in Rasmussen’s poll last week, although that poll had been a big outlier. . .
Whereas June’s polls suggested a potential blowout for Clinton, July’s polls have shown a highly competitive race. We’ll see what August’s polls bring, after the Democrats have held their convention and the bounces have died down.
So, there is some cognitive dissonance here. On the one hand, analysts are saying that there is unlikely to be much difference in the polls, since the two candidates are so well known, and frankly, so unpopular. But after saying that, the pollsters are showing that Clinton’s huge lead in June evaporated, bringing them to a statistical tie, and now a Trump lead. If that trend continues, it could be very bad news for Hillary.
On the other hand, one might not be surprised with her drop, as the repercussions of the email scandal sink in, and an entire week of trashing Hillary. On the other hand, Hillary might stop the slide this week. Face it, the GOP convention was depressing. If Hillary can project a sufficiently positive (less depressing) message next week, the electorate may swing her way again.