Last year I predicted Trump would flame out of the primaries early because there was no way grassroots conservatives would line up behind a boorish fake-Republican playboy. Last week I went the other way, predicting that Hillary would get no bounce from her convention because she’s a corrupt dynastic dial-tone who’s been underwhelming Americans for 25 years.
So, 0 for 2.
Since I seem to have the magic touch, here’s one more: Mitt Romney will not jump into the race this month and shock the world by winning the presidency in November. Fingers crossed!
In a two-way head-to-head matchup, Clinton tops Trump 52% to 43%, and in a four-way matchup including third party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, Clinton leads 45% to 37% with Johnson at 9% and Stein at 5%…
Further, a majority of Clinton’s backers now say their vote is more to show support for her than to oppose Trump, a sharp shift since early May. Back then, 48% said their vote was one of support for the former secretary of state, 58% say so now. While Trump also improved his numbers on that metric, his voters are more evenly divided, with 47% saying they’re backing him to show support and 50% saying it’s more to oppose Clinton.
More of Clinton’s backers also say they are certain to support her come November: 44% of registered voters are Clinton supporters who say their mind is made up, while 36% say they are solidly behind Trump. Only about 16% of voters say their minds could change in the 99 days left between now and Election Day.
It’s August 1st and Trump has locked down just 36 percent of the vote. Hmmmm. To see how much his bounce has faded, scroll down to page 15 of CNN’s crosstabs and note how similar his numbers are now on various “presidential qualities” questions to what they were before the Republican convention. In each case (except one) you see noticeable improvement in the poll taken July 22-24, right after the convention, followed by a regression to his pre-Cleveland numbers today. (The one exception is in the question about whether he has the right experience to be president, where his numbers are consistently terrible.) What made that last poll so noteworthy is that CNN has been a strong poll for Hillary consistently this year, especially in the spring; to find Trump suddenly ahead by three points last week after the convention was big news and raised the possibility that the race had changed fundamentally. If this new data is accurate, then no, it hasn’t. Unless it’s changed fundamentally to favor Hillary.
Two data points of note. First, when CNN asked whether the two conventions made voters more likely or less likely to support the two nominees, they found the same thing that Gallup found — on balance, voters said it made them more likely to support Hillary and less likely to support Trump. In Gallup’s case, the spread on that question was narrow for Hillary and wide for Trump, with more/less for him splitting 36/51. Here it’s the opposite. CNN finds the more/less spread for Trump very narrow at 42/44 but wide enough for double digits in Hillary’s case at 49/39. Either way, that’s two polls that show more giving thumbs down to Cleveland than thumbs up.
The other data point has to do with Republican unity:
Republican Party unity, meanwhile, has faded some compared with a survey immediately after their convention. While 73% said they thought the GOP would unite by November in a post-GOP convention poll, just 66% say the same now.
That number should not be shrinking as we get deeper into the campaign. Sift through the crosstabs and you’ll find that among Republican registered voters, Trump’s favorable rating is just 74/23. Among conservatives it’s 63/34, similar to the 64 percent CBS found in its new poll this morning. Fully a third of the party’s ideological base views Trump unfavorably as the calendar turns to August. That may portend a late surge for Trump in October, as anti-Trump righties decide at the last moment to hold their noses and back him to stop Hillary. If it doesn’t, that’s a lot of votes he’ll need to make up.
One more bit of data, this time from the four-way race:
Check out the last column. Among non-white voters, Trump is fourth behind Gary Johnson and even Green Party asterisk Jill Stein. Granted, the margin of error for the subsample is large at seven percent, but a major-party nominee should be able to top a fourth-party candidate among sizable constituencies.
Relatedly, although CNN doesn’t have numbers for the 18-34 age group, it does have numbers for the “under 45” and “45 and older” demographics. Among the first group, Trump is at just 25 percent; Gary Johnson is within striking distance at 13. Trump leads narrowly by two points among the 45 and older set but that advantage is washed away by Hillary’s crushing 25-point lead among younger voters. If you prefer to view the electorate through the more familiar frame of education rather than age, you’ll find the same divide in CNN’s data between white college grads and white non-college voters that we’ve seen in many other polls. Trump leads big among white non-college graduates, 54/28, but Hillary leads among non-college graduates overall by a point thanks to her heavy support among minority voters. Couple that with the fact that she’s up by 11 points among white college graduates — a group Democrats haven’t won in 60 years — and Trump’s in a hole.
If you missed it earlier in Duane’s post, here he is at a rally today casually planting the seed that if he loses in November the election must be rigged. There are a million rational explanations for why he’s trailing but the Trump ego demands cheating to explain any failure. If he has to torch a little more of Americans’ faith in their institutions in the process, hey.