Tuesday, October 4, 2016

State of the Race: 35 Days To Go

Hillary in Des Moines, IA 9/29 (photo courtesy HFA)
In the installment of this series from two weeks ago ("49 Days To Go") I wrote:
It looks like Hillary's convention bounce finally faded by the end of August and we've settled back into the 4-point lead which was typical for the summer. And because of Trump's recent stumbles, it wouldn't surprise me if Clinton edges up once more fairly soon (particularly after the first debate).
Honestly, so much crazy stuff has happened over the past two weeks that I can't even remember what Trump "stumbles" I was referring to then! But if we examine the trend lines closely, we can see that Hillary indeed gained about a point on Donald in the week before the debate. And she's gained another point in the week since, bringing her up to a six-point national lead!

This is a robust advantage that may grow even bigger in the wake of Saturday's tax return bombshell, additional debates and who-knows-what other crazy stuff we'll see from Trump. And for a little historical context, Obama led Romney by less than half a percentage point at the time of the amazing Biden/Ryan VP debate of 2012. And we all know how that election turned out.

In last week's installment of the series ("42 Days To Go"), I guessed that Clinton would get a 3-4 point bump from the first debate. While we're not seeing that in the averages (yet), we have seen some impressive individual national and state polls that match or even exceed it (for instance, the new CNN national poll shows a 7-point shift since early September).

One more thing: I'd like to see more data before I can be sure, but it appears that third-party candidates are starting to have less impact on Clinton's lead. For instance, in today's NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll, Clinton leads by six points in both the two-way and four-way matchups. Could the ongoing Trump disaster, millennial outreach by Clinton and endorsements of Gary Johnson by a few influential conservative editorial boards end up causing Donald to suffer in four-way matchups instead of Hillary? Could be...stay tuned.

Next week I'll take another deep dive into the individual swing state polls. Until then, here are some quick takes from around Twitter:


  1. one way to see it is those who thought they knew who trump was and liked him, found out and didn't like him.

    but the one that is always true is that those who think they know Hillary and don't like her, see her and find out they like her.

    they always forget, go back to media default, but then they see her again, and ......

  2. yes, Trump has outdone himself. he made a serious miscalculation, thinking he could slut shame Ms. Universe. He actually thought that Hillary is as judgmental as his base, and that she'd be embarrassed and distance. As if she ever thinks like that, she hasn't a moral purity test for anyone, she thinks all of us should be treated with respect.

    that I liked a lot, one thing I disliked about Gore was his sanctimony, it's an unpleasant characteristic whatever one's 'morals,' and too many liberals share it.

    But not Hillary, she judges not. She doesn't pretend to purity and she doesn't point fingers and cluck. one of the many reasons I love her.