However, it's not simply a matter of disliking their results (which is often true, admittedly) but rather that their polls are usually headline-grabbing outliers that make little sense. For instance, their Iowa poll from September was the only phone poll to ever show a Sanders lead of any kind there...and it brought the late-summer "Hillary Doom" talk to its peak.
It also doesn't help that their press releases are usually over-the-top negative about our candidate, exemplified by the infamous and factually inaccurate "Rand blooms while Hillary wilts!" thing.
So when Quinnipiac came out with a national poll a month ago that showed Ben Carson crushing Clinton by 10 points, I was ready to completely write them off as the marquee junk pollster of 2016 and wait for the next sane PPP result. Well, either they got the memo that their reputation was at risk or there has been a dramatic shift in Hillary's favor among the American electorate in the space of one month...because their December poll is all kinds of awesome.
For one thing, they now have Clinton leading Sanders 60% to 30%, a leap from 18 to 30 points since last month's poll. But what's even more noteworthy is that she's now leading every Republican (yes, including Carson):
American voters shift to Clinton as the Democrat gains ground against Republicans:In fairness to Sanders, he does even better than Clinton against the GOP. However, unlike with Hillary, the GOP machine hasn't put Bernie through the national vetting ringer yet. Also, there's no reason to think he will be the nominee so it seems like a moot point.
- 47 – 41 percent over Trump, compared to 46 – 43 percent November 4;
- Clinton at 45 percent to Rubio’s 44 percent, compared to a 46 – 41 percent Rubio lead last month;
- Clinton tops Cruz 47 – 42 percent, compared to Cruz at 46 percent to Clinton’s 43 percent last month;
- Clinton at 46 percent to Carson’s 43 percent compared to Carson’s 50 – 40 percent lead
While this looks pretty good, things get much more interesting (and encouraging) when we look under the hood. In last month's bloodbath poll, the party breakdown was D 34% - R 32% - I 25%, but the new one is an even less favorable D 32% - R 31% - I 30%. The difference now is that Hillary's support in her own party is rock-solid and she's breaking even or winning a bit with Independents. Both of which make sense.
As a reminder, Obama was able to win decisively in 2012 even when losing Independents because Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 6 points that year. In 2016, there's every reason to believe that Democrats will turn out in droves for Hillary, Independents will be fairly split, and Republicans will again be outnumbered by around 6-8 points.
You do the math.