Two new polls: Clinton's lead steady at 8-9 points

I’m polled out after last night’s deep dive into the Reuters numbers that Trump fans are buzzing about, but we have to flag the new ones from ABC/WaPo and Morning Consult as points of comparison. WaPo has it 50/42 for Hillary; MC has it 46/37. Both of those results come from registered voters, whereas Reuters’s surprisingly tight race was a poll of likely voters. Apples and oranges? Nope. WaPo also crunched the numbers for likely voters in its data: Hillary 51, Trump 44. Someone’s wrong. And WaPo’s numbers are more in line with the mass of other surveys than Reuters’s are. (Clinton’s lead in the RCP poll average today is 7.0 points, precisely matching her margin in the WaPo poll.)

The fastest way to digest the data is to spend three minutes scrolling the graphs collected here. The most noteworthy thing about the numbers is how strongly they confirm some of the key conclusions drawn from other polls recently. You’ve heard over and over that Trump wins big among whites without college degrees while Hillary, surprisingly, wins with college-educated whites. That’s true here too: 58/33 and 50/44, respectively. You’ve heard that Democrats are more unified behind Hillary now than Republicans are behind Trump. Also true in WaPo’s data. Bernie fans prefer her to Trump, 86/5, whereas Republicans who supported a candidate other than Trump in the primary split 74/17 for him (which is slightly worse than the 76/12 split he enjoyed before the convention.)

You’ve also seen consistently in other polls that Clinton leads, often substantially, on questions about “presidential attributes” (the right temperament, a good understanding of world affairs, etc). Same here. Clinton is comfortably above 50 percent on those while Trump is below 40. On the most basic question, whether each is qualified to be president, they’re mirror images: Clinton splits 60/38 while Trump splits 38/61. The only presidential attribute where they’re competitive is on honesty and trustworthiness, where both are rated abysmally. And even then:


One interesting variation on the “presidential attribute” genre is how “comfortable” people would be with Clinton or Trump as president. I haven’t seen that asked in other surveys but ABC/WaPo asked it here. You can imagine that as something late deciders would be wrestling with as they go into the booth, as it speaks more to gut reluctance to vote for a candidate than more logical questions about who’s more “qualified” do. Voters here split 47/51 on whether they’re comfortable with the thought of President Hillary. They split 28/70 on comfort with the thought of President Trump.

Two interesting results, apropos of nothing, which may or may not be related. Ever since the FBI press conference about her emails, Hillary’s favorable rating in some polls has been about as terrible as Trump’s has. That may be changing:


Being 48/50 on popularity ain’t good in August of a presidential campaign, but when you’re competing with a guy who’s pulling 34/63, it ain’t bad either. What explains the difference? Liam Donovan noticed that Hillary fares far better on popularity among her own base of liberal Democrats (90/9) than Trump does with conservative Republicans (69/27). Her newfound support on the left might help explain this too:


That’s the only genuinely surprising result in WaPo’s data to me. If there’s one thing that’s clear from Trumpmania and Berniemania, it’s that a lot of voters on both sides are hungry enough for change to consider radical alternatives. If the electorate’s now favoring experience over “outsiders,” it may be partly as a backlash to Trump himself. If at this point meaningful change requires making Trump president, some Berniebros may be telling themselves, then maybe we should learn to appreciate Hillary’s experience a bit more.

As for the Morning Consult survey:


The noteworthy part there is the dates. The previous poll showing Hillary with a three-point lead was taken on July 29th and 30th, immediately following the Democratic convention. You might have guessed at the time that her bounce would have evaporated by now. (I guessed that she wouldn’t get a bounce at all, but oh well.) Instead, she’s added six more points to her lead since then. That suggests that what happened after the convention has also helped Clinton, and the most notable thing to happen after the convention was Trump’s war of words in the media with the Khans. Morning Consult didn’t poll that subject specifically — but WaPo did:


Who knows what the race would look like today if Trump hadn’t mused that he noticed Mrs. Khan didn’t speak while she was at the podium in Philly with her husband.

I’ll leave you with this from WaPo’s crosstabs showing the gender split when people are asked whether they view Melania Trump favorably or not. Make of it what you will. By the way, Hillary now leads in all 11 national polls tracked by RCP, including the LA Times daily survey that had Trump up seven points not long ago. (She leads by one there.) In seven of those 11 polls, she’s polling at 47 percent or better.