Reuters poll: Hillary out to biggest lead yet

Meh. This is worth noting because the numbers are splashy but I don’t buy these Reuters polls. They consistently peg Trump’s numbers far lower than any other pollster. Go skim the last dozen or so national polls at RCP and you’ll see what I mean. In survey after survey, he’s a few points north or south of 40 percent; then along comes Reuters and drops a bomb on him placing him in the low 30s. The four Clinton/Trump polls they’ve conducted so far have had him at 32, 34, 32, and 34 percent whereas the new one today has him at 33. To put that in context, over the last three months only one other poll, from CNBC, has put him below 37 percent.

Reuters also has Clinton out to her biggest lead since late April at 13 points. Smells outlier-y.

Tuesday’s poll showed that 46 percent of likely voters supported Clinton, while 33 percent backed Trump. Twenty-two percent said they would not support either candidate for the Nov. 8 election

Trump’s level of support among likely voters was about 10 points below what 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney received in early July 2012.

Among Clinton’s supporters, nearly half said they were backing her because “I don’t want Donald Trump to win.” A further 39 percent said they “agree with her positions,” and about 13 percent said they “like her personally.”

Hillary led by nine in the last Reuters poll taken last week. One reason why she’s out to a big lead here is that this is a poll of adults, not of registered voters. Typically, the pool of likely and registered voters trends more Republican than the general population itself. (Although there’s evidence in other polls to think likely voters may be more Democratic than usual this year thanks to Trump’s problems with college-educated voters.) Another explanation for her large lead may be that Reuters always has an unusually large number of people in its polls who say they wouldn’t vote for either candidate, which seems to be hurting Trump’s numbers more than it’s hurting hers. Other pollsters may be nudging the none-of-the-above group to choose between Hillary and Trump and then counting them as leaners. If it’s true that there are many more Republicans who are reluctant to back Trump than there are Democrats reluctant to back Hillary then yeah, you’d expect to see larger leads for her in Reuters polls as those reluctant GOPers opt for “other.” What Reuters may be showing us, in other words, isn’t so much the state of the race as the state of enthusiasm in the race. A bunch of Republicans in the “other” column would doubtless hold their noses and back Trump if they had to vote today. But obviously a candidate whose base is less excited than the other’s faces an uphill battle.

As for whether bad polls might sink Trump in Cleveland, nah:

Leaders of “Free the Delegates,” a coalition of various groups hoping to stop Trump at the Republican convention in Cleveland this month, conceded Tuesday night that they’re far short of the votes needed to change GOP presidential nomination rules and reopen the battle…

Despite near-daily conversations with delegates worried about Trump’s presumed nomination, “There’s just a lot of pressure, a lot of fear, a lot of ‘I’m with you in theory, but I’m trying to get the courage to come out and support it,’” [Kendal Unruh] told group members on a weekly conference call…

Unruh’s idea [to unbind the delegates] has the public support of less than 10 members of the rules panel, according to a Washington Post tally of delegates.

Given those odds, “Courage is not in excess” among delegates, another group leader, Dane Waters lamented on the call.

They called in Bill Kristol and David French last night for a pep talk, but they’re way short of the 28 Rules Committee members they’d need to force a floor vote on unbinding the delegates. Reince Priebus and the RNC seem committed to protecting Trump; hell, even stalwart anti-Trumper Scott Walker has come around. Unless Trump spends the next two weeks talking about Saddam Hussein making the trains run on time, I think the anti-Trump dream is over.

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