See-saw in Iowa? Hillary up nine in Emerson poll, but …

posted at 6:01 pm on January 22, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Has the tide swung back to Hillary Clinton in Iowa? Or is the latest poll of likely caucus-goers simply more evidence that the 2016 cycle has become impossible to pin down? The Hill reports on the Emerson College poll that puts Hillary up by nine over Bernie Sanders:

Clinton leads Sanders by 9 points in an Emerson College Polling Society survey released late Thursday.

She takes 52 percent to Sanders’ 43 percent among likely Democratic primary voters in the Hawkeye State.

Clinton also owns an advantage over Sanders among Iowa’s registered Democrats, pollsters found. The former secretary of State takes 54 percent to his 42 percent.

Sanders sneaks past Clinton in support among Democratic-leaning registered independents, however. He leads 44 percent to the former first lady’s 36 percent.

Emerson College’s release covers the results for both parties:

In a new statewide poll, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have surged to 9- and 10- point leads, respectively, in Iowa with just 10 days before the state’s first-in-the nationvoting begins. Clinton receives 52% of the Democratic vote and Sanders 43%. Trump leads his Republican rivals with 33%, followed by Ted Cruz at 23%. Marco Rubio (14%) and Ben Carson (9%) round out the top four, with the rest of field under 6%. Rick Santorum−who won the 2012 Iowa GOP Caucus with 25% of the vote−has less than 1% of Iowans this time around, and Mike Huckabee, who won it in 2008, is at 2%.

The survey began January 18, the day after the latest Democrat debate, and concluded January 20, the day following Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Donald Trump.

“At this point, while both Trump and Clinton have significant leads in their own primaries the electorate appears volatile, and it is still up in the air as to who will win,” said Henry Krause, a Senior Political Communication major at Emerson College, who helped oversee the project. The data for both parties’ candidates fluctuated on the three days of polling. Clinton held a 14-point lead over Sanders on Monday, dropped to 9 points on Tuesday and was down to a 1-point margin (48% to 47%) on Wednesday. Trump also saw variability over the three day, watching a 13-point lead on Monday drop to 4 points on Tuesday and then rebound on Wednesday to 12 points, 35% to 22%, over Cruz.

The first hint that something has gone off the rails is in the favorability ratings:

Iowa voters are not thrilled with their 2016 Presidential options. The top three GOP candidates all have negative favorability numbers, with Trump at 37% favorable to 55% unfavorable, Rubio at 37% favorable to 47% unfavorable and Cruz even worse at 34% favorable to 54% favorable. Clinton has the highest favorable rating (42%) among the top contenders but also carries a high unfavorable rating of 53%.

There may be a small probability that these results reflect reality, but don’t put money down on it. All other polling in the race shows Rubio’s favorability to be either positive or very nearly so, while Cruz’ has improved significantly since the beginning of the primary fight a year ago or so. If there has been another poll showing Hillary with the highest favorability in the field, I certainly can’t recall it. Also, Emerson curiously didn’t poll on Bernie Sanders’ favorability, or if they did, they didn’t include the results in the data they released. Curious, especially since they polled for three Republicans on the same issue.

Also, the sample here appears to be a little off. The D/R/I is 40.5/41/18.5, which has just about the right relationship between Democrats and Republicans in a presidential general election, but seems to be pretty low on independents, who comprised 34% of 2012 general-election voters in Iowa. It’s possible that independents will turn out lower for the caucuses, but even when the Republican caucus was the only game in Iowa four years ago, 23% of the caucus-goers were independents. With the nominations for both parties in play, one would expect a higher percentage of independents in the mix. Given that this same poll shows Sanders scoring an advantage among independents (44/36), an under-representation matters.

On the other hand, recent polls have shown mixed results, too. Sanders got 51/43 in CNN’s poll, but Hillary led two others by nine and 21 points over the past ten days. (Trump’s 10-point lead is almost exactly the same as the 11-point lead he got from CNN, though.) Another nine-point lead isn’t necessarily going to be an outlier — but that doesn’t mean it reflects reality, either. While the “Hillary goes back into the lead!” meme makes for a good headline, I wouldn’t base a conclusion like that on this poll. The RCP average for this contest shows a virtual tie between Sanders and Clinton, and I suspect that’s closer to the mark.


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Comments

Meanwhile…

Ted Cruz in free fall.

anotherJoe on January 22, 2016 at 6:06 PM

Let the coronation begin for cripe sakes
She won’t be indicted by Loretta so it’s all rainbows and unicorns for her

cmsinaz on January 22, 2016 at 6:09 PM

Geriatric see-saw.

Pork-Chop on January 22, 2016 at 6:10 PM

Hillary’s charismatic personality is melting hearts.

Cicero43 on January 22, 2016 at 6:19 PM

blah blah blah blah blah

Old Country Boy on January 22, 2016 at 6:19 PM

she will need that see saw to file her way thru the bars at the jail.

Senator Philip Bluster on January 22, 2016 at 6:21 PM

Meanwhile…

Ted Cruz in free fall.

anotherJoe on January 22, 2016 at 6:06 PM

I was told not to trust the Rueter’s numbers because of their polling methodology but you can’t fake the trend. Cruz is – like you wrote – in free fall here.

BoxHead1 on January 22, 2016 at 6:24 PM

Because bad things “happen” to pollsters who don’t favor the Clintoons?

viking01 on January 22, 2016 at 6:36 PM

On or off topic

http://2016.election-polls.org/President/Republican-Primary/

Schadenfreude on January 22, 2016 at 6:41 PM

http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/2016-national-gop-primary

Updated 25 min. ago, from 268 polls, 33 pollsters.

For all the lefties.

Schadenfreude on January 22, 2016 at 6:42 PM

Can’t we save a lot of campaign and polling money and just set up a foot race between Hillary and Bernie?

100 yards, walkers to be aluminum only with NO tennis balls
allowed and whoever hasn’t keeled over at the end wins the Democratic nomination.

And if they both die during the race, I am sure some other old white socialist could be drafted. Bill Ayers is only 71… think about it.

Dolce Far Niente on January 22, 2016 at 6:47 PM

walkers to be aluminum only with NO tennis balls
Dolce Far Niente on January 22, 2016 at 6:47 PM

Now that’s funny right there.

CivilDiscourse on January 22, 2016 at 6:56 PM

http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/2016-national-gop-primary

Updated 25 min. ago, from 268 polls, 33 pollsters.

For all the lefties.

Schadenfreude on January 22, 2016 at 6:42 PM

Good for you using an aggregate. That said, the predictive power of national polling is not great at this point. Better to use aggregates of state data since the nomination race is really 50 separate races.

Tlaloc on January 22, 2016 at 7:07 PM

Dolce Far Niente on January 22, 2016 at 6:47 PM

So funny!

Misha on January 22, 2016 at 7:08 PM

“Ride, ride my see saw”………

Indiana Jim on January 22, 2016 at 7:22 PM

Never say see saw and poll in the same sentence. It excites bill clinton. He thinks of underage girls…….

Indiana Jim on January 22, 2016 at 7:24 PM

They didn’t survey any millennials – TBS

RickB on January 22, 2016 at 7:57 PM

Meanwhile…

Ted Cruz in free fall.

anotherJoe on January 22, 2016 at 6:06 PM

Yep. I was right, flavor of the month.

NWConservative on January 22, 2016 at 8:06 PM

You get what you pay for. Every one of these polls in the RCP is flawed. Every single one. While I have been a tad single minded about this, the reality is voters are being fed a pile of rancid steaming junk information. The polling has become so bad, it is now impossible to tell overall trends, much less who among the current presidential is connecting with the voters. Combine this with the big media bending their coverage toward their ‘candidates’, and you have a perfect storm. This house of cards will start to collapse over the following months, starting with the early two, and leading up to super Tuesday. It can not come soon enough for me.(Good post Ed)

flackcatcher on January 22, 2016 at 8:27 PM

You get what you pay for. Every one of these polls in the RCP is flawed. Every single one.

flackcatcher on January 22, 2016 at 8:27 PM

2012 is on the phone, they say they’d like their fallacy back…

Tlaloc on January 22, 2016 at 8:36 PM

Tlaloc on January 22, 2016 at 8:36 PM
2012 called back troll, still waiting for their check. 2012 is the classic case still being studied across the nation. How so many polling outfits missed the mass drop off of likely voters, even prior to the general, is still being questioned to this day. The structural flaws have become glaring, so much that the big 2 dropped out of election polling this cycle. My previous post stands.

flackcatcher on January 22, 2016 at 9:36 PM

Does anyone trust Trump on Supreme Court nominees? Do we get a wall followed by a SCOTUS that tears down the wall? Forever.

Carnac on January 23, 2016 at 8:27 AM