Narrow advantage he enjoy in enthusiasm grows to 8 points
By Dave Andrusko
Elsewhere today at NRL News Today, South Carolina’s Holly Gatling writes about “A textbook case of media bias.”
Let me suggest the way the Media Elite is handling today’s news that pro-life Donald Trump has just assumed a one point lead over pro-abortion Hillary Clinton illustrates at a macrolevel what Ms. Gatling experienced does at the microlevel.
Here’s the online headline at the Washington Post: “Clinton, Trump are all but tied in latest Post-ABC News Tracking Poll.“
Ask yourself if two weeks ago Clinton had supposedly been behind by 12 points (not Trump) and now had assumed a one point lead, would the headline be about the candidates “all but tied”?
No, the narrative would be how the good guy–abortion extremist Hillary Clinton–had (figuratively speaking) come back from the grave and now with all her momentum was an odds-on favorite to win on November 8.
Let’s talk what both the Post and ABC News wrote about the latest Washington Post-ABC News Tracking Poll results.
The Post’s Emily Guskin and Scott Clement rightly emphasize the change in enthusiasm. Trump enjoyed a “negligible” lead over Clinton last Thursday/Friday (2 points) among those who said they were “very enthusiastic” about their candidate.
Now his lead has shot up to 8 points–53% to 45%.
Under the subhead, “Horse-race breakdown,” Guskin and Clement note [underlining added]
The daily tracking poll’s latest four-night wave finds voters splitting sharply along traditional political divisions, with Trump’s previously lagging support among core Republican groups now nearly matching Clinton’s wide support on the left. Trump holds 78 percent support among white evangelical Protestants, 77 percent among conservatives, 68 percent among rural voters and 59 percent among white men. Clinton answers with 81 percent support among liberals, 67 percent of those identifying with no religion, 60 percent of those in urban areas and 72 percent among non-whites.
Clinton and Trump receive similar support among fellow partisans, but Trump maintains an 18-point edge among political independents, significantly higher than Republicans have held in recent elections. Looking deeper at that group over a seven-day stretch, 77 percent of independents who say they lean Democratic prefer Clinton while a similar 80 percent who lean Republican favor Trump. But Trump holds a sizable 53-28 percent advantage among voters who say they don’t lean toward either party, a group that accounts for about 10 percent of likely voters.
If you read the actual poll and the explanation that accompanies it which is linked at ABC News, there are important added details that paint the change in much more vivid colors. For example:
The latest results, while steady for seven nights, reflect a sharp turnaround from a large Clinton lead in the first four nights of tracking, after a particularly difficult news cycle for Trump. Among other factors, there’s been consolidation for Trump among Republicans and GOP leaning independents (86 percent now back him, up from 80 percent) and improvement for him among pure independents (i.e., those who don’t lean toward either party), up from an even split to a large Trump advantage, 25-54 percent, Clinton-Trump, across the past seven nights (combined for a larger samples size). Seventeen percent of pure independents pick someone else.
Among Democrats and Democratic leaners, meanwhile, Trump’s support has gone from 5 to 9 percent, a slight change but a statistically significant one. Clinton’s has been essentially steady.
PARTY ID – The race is close even though self-identified Democrats outnumber Republicans among likely voters by 10 points, 38 to 28 percent. There are three reasons: One, this narrows to a 5-point gap, 48-43 percent, including independents who lean toward one party or the other. The second is Trump’s advantage among pure independents, as noted – even though they account for just 7 percent of all likely voters. And the third is the fact that Trump wins 9 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners, while Clinton’s supported by 6 percent of Republicans and those who lean toward the GOP – another slight difference, and not statistically significant. But in contests this close, small differences add up.
So, Republicans consolidating behind Trump; even better numbers for him among Independents; and more Democrats voting for Trump than Republicans voting for Clinton. All this although we are to believe that self-identified Democrats outnumber self-identified Republicans by 10 points (38% to 28%).
One other note from ABC News’s Gary Langer: his lead sentence: “Strong enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton has ebbed since the renewal of the FBI’s email investigation.”
Clinton and her campaign have counterattacked furiously, which is a staple of the way the Clintons have operated for three decades.