A fluke or not? Well, IBD is a solid pollster with a good track record. And there are multiple national polls out there right now showing the four-way race very tight. (Although there’s also a cluster that shows Hillary ahead comfortably, as noted yesterday.) The last three surveys have Trump ahead by one (Rasmussen), Clinton ahead by two (Fox News), and now IBD with a 39/39 dead heat. You know all about Trump’s ceiling at this point: He’s topped 40 percent just once in the last 10 surveys and is under that mark again in IBD’s data. What’s interesting, though, is that Hillary’s ceiling seems to be dropping too and may drop even further next week after today’s revelation of the FBI interview notes. She’s cracked 42 percent just once in those same 10 polls and has been at 41 percent or worse in the last three. We may be set for a 40/39 four-way race until the debates.
One quirk of the IBD data is that it doesn’t replicate the trend of Trump remaining flat while Hillary’s numbers decline. It’s the opposite here, actually. Hillary was at 39 percent a month ago and remains there now. It’s Trump who’s gained four points since August to tie her.
The IBD/TIPP Poll results show Trump made solid gains among independents, going from 36% support last month to 44% this month
“We also see a significant spike in enthusiasm among Republicans — the ‘silent majority’ is turning into a ‘vocal majority,’ ” Mayur said. “Republicans’ interest level at 88% is significantly higher than Democrats’ at 80%…
Clinton, in contrast, has been hit by damaging revelations in newly released emails about the unseemly relationship between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department during her tenure as secretary of state. The news appears to be taking its toll…
In other bad sign for Clinton, the share of her supporters who say they back her “strongly” dropped from 51% in August to 44% in September. Trump, on the other hand, saw his strong support climb from 47% to 50%.
The number who say Hillary is dishonest has risen four points while Clinton’s favorability is down three. That being so, it’s curious that she hasn’t lost anything in her overall share of the vote. Maybe 39 percent is her absolute floor? It could be that the dirt on the Clinton Foundation is doing less to damage her by peeling off her voters than it is to reconcile Republicans and independents who are leery of Trump to the idea of him as the least bad option. I’ve never thought there were that many true #NeverTrumpers but have always believed there are plenty of “ew, Trump, really?” right-wing voters who need some convincing to pull the lever for him but are open to doing so. The best argument for President Trump is, was, and always will be Hillary’s ineffable sleaziness. When you get a news cycle that reminds Republicans and indies of that, some of them are bound to shift right.
Since we’re sifting through polls, here’s an interesting question from Pew’s new one. When supporters of each nominee are asked whether they’re voting for him/her or against the other party’s candidate, Hillary voters split 53/46 in saying they’re for her while Trump voters split 44/53 in saying they’re against Hillary. That fits with my theory that bad news for Hillary energizes Trump voters more so than good news for Trump does. Since reluctant Trumpers are being driven by their opposition to Clinton, occasional reminders in the news of why they dislike her help drive his numbers. But check out the results by age when you ask the for/against question:
By far the smallest number of “for” votes for either candidate among any demographic is Hillary’s share of the 18-29 vote — which is a striking result given that Hillary leads Trump big among that group in nearly every poll. Hillary’s younger supporters are conspicuously lukewarm about her, much more so than Trump’s younger supporters are about him. But she crushes him among that demographic overall because, one can only assume, the number of young voters who are voting mainly against Trump is immense. To put that in a more straightforward way, a Republican nominee who was less offensive to young adults might well be competitive in that group this year due to the ambivalence so many members feel towards Hillary. But Trump is Trump, so here we are.
Here’s Michele Bachmann warning #NeverTrumpers that a Hillary victory might make this the last competitive election America ever has due to Clinton’s plan to amnestize many millions of Democratic-supporting Mexican illegals. It’s a matter of demographics, she says. (A Latino Decisions poll of Latino voters out today has Clinton leading Trump 70/19, which would put her ahead of Obama’s landslide pace among that group in 2012.) Point taken, although America’s gradual demographic trend towards a majority-minority electorate will produce that same outcome in a few decades anyway unless the GOP figures out a way to be more competitive with minority voters. What does Bachmann recommend on that score? Trumpism?