This is the same NBC poll that showed Clinton leading yesterday by 11, which pointed to a total rout next month. As Ed noted, though, that was based on just two days of polling over the weekend, after the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape had dropped but before the debate Sunday night. NBC kept polling yesterday in order to incorporate debate reaction into the survey and to see if the backlash to the tape had subsided.
The glass-half-full version is that the numbers did change and they look better for Trump now than they did in the first flush after the tape emerged.
In a four-way matchup, Clinton now has the support of 46 percent of likely voters, while Trump has 37 percent, Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson has eight percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein has two percent…
Among only those respondents contacted after the debate, Clinton’s lead shrank to a seven point advantage in both a four-way matchup and in a head-to-head race — reflecting the same margin that Clinton showed in a mid-September NBC/WSJ poll.
After Sunday’s debate, Republicans also showed more support for Trump as their standard-bearer. Before the debate, 67 percent of Republicans said that GOP House and Senate candidates should back Trump, a share that has now increased to nearly three-quarters – 74 percent, including 83 percent of Republicans reached post-debate on Monday.
The debate stopped the bleeding. The glass-half-empty version is that he’s already bled a lot. Seven points is the same margin as Obama managed over McCain in 2008, which was good for 365 electoral votes. If you use the overall (pre- and post-debate) margin in the NBC survey of nine points, Clinton’s probably on track for something closer to 400. He’s actually down slightly from where he was in this poll in mid-September, meaning that the second debate, which was supposed to be his opportunity for a big rebound after he began falling behind late last month, may have done little more than returned us to the late-September status quo.
NBC’s not the only outfit with a national survey out today. PRRI has Clinton by 11. That one was conducted entirely before the debate but also partly before the tape dropped, so not all of the reaction to that was priced in yet. Of note:
The shift toward Clinton is driven almost entirely by movement among independent voters. One week ago, Trump led Clinton 44-36 among independent voters. Those numbers have roughly flipped, with 44 percent backing Clinton now, and 33 percent supporting Trump.
Clinton also continues to lead Trump by hefty margins among women, with a 33-point gap separating the candidates. Just 28 percent of likely women voters intend to pull the lever for Trump, a five-point drop from one week ago, while 61 percent plan to vote for Clinton. The lewd video of Trump might lead to an even greater gap in the home stretch toward the election.
A 33-point lead among women is enormous to the point of implausibility, but maybe the initial reaction to the tape helped boost her numbers in that group temporarily. (PRRI finds white women without a college degree, normally a pro-Trump group, suddenly split evenly between the two.) Her lead among independents isn’t so implausible, though: Two national polls taken before the tape emerged showed a shift towards Clinton among indies. Now PRRI is seeing the same thing. If independents were already breaking left pre-tape and Trump isn’t piling up huge numbers of white voters, especially white women, you don’t need to closely follow polls to know which way the race is going to go.
Incidentally, although the election remains a four-way contest with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein in the mix, it’s worth noting that their support has fallen since early last month. On September 8th, Johnson was averaging 9.0 percent in the RCP average while Stein stood at 3.3 percent. A little more than a month later, Johnson’s at 6.7 percent and Stein is at 2.0. As tends to happen, voters increasingly see their choice as binary as Election Day approaches. Meanwhile, in the two-way race, Clinton is hovering right around 48 percent, her highest number since her heyday in late August. She’s hit 50 percent in three of the last seven national polls and has been at 48 or better in six of them. The lone exception: The conspicuously pro-Trump LA Times daily tracker. He needs a gamechanger ASAP.
Here’s Ben Carson’s attempt at one. Good luck with this.