If this were a normal year in American politics we probably would have suspected this. Under the rather unique circumstances of 2016, however, I’ll confess that I was at least slightly surprised to see Donald Trump getting a solid bump in the polls coming out of the GOP convention in Cleveland. Of course, the poll was done from Friday through yesterday, so it was also taking the DNC Leaks situation into account for the majority of it. Still, Trump has improved his fortunes once again. (Morning Consult)
The Republican National Convention came in for criticism from much of the major media outlets. However, a new Morning Consult survey indicates the typical post-convention bump that a party tends to receive following their gathering.
In the national poll, conducted from July 22 through July 24, Donald Trump pulls ahead of Hillary Clinton by 4 points, a sizeable swing from the past week, when the former secretary of State was clinging to a 2-point lead. Trump has been on a positive trend since the Department of Justice determined that there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute Clinton for her use of a private email server for official business while serving in the Obama administration.
A couple of points on this should be made even beyond the caveat that pretty much everyone gets a post-convention bump and Hillary may do so as well. It’s worth noting that the sample of likely voters identifying with each party in this survey is slowing shifting toward something resembling reality. While some earlier ones skewed rather heavily toward the Democrats, this one checked in at 33 Dem, 35 Independent and 32 GOP. Not too bad, all things considered.
The second item to note is that Trump continues to consolidate his support among Republicans following the official nomination. Prior to the convention, he was backed by 79% of GOP voters, slightly behind where Romney was at the same point four years ago. Now Trump has moved up to a solid 85% GOP backing, putting him back on an arc to get in line with the averages from previous cycles. The remnants of the #NeverTrump movement don’t seem to be impacting very many likely GOP voters.
On the heels of the Morning Consult survey, CNN released their own numbers. The same thing happened.
Donald Trump comes out of his convention ahead of Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House, topping her 44% to 39% in a four-way matchup including Gary Johnson (9%) and Jill Stein (3%) and by three points in a two-way head-to-head, 48% to 45%. That latter finding represents a 6-point convention bounce for Trump, which are traditionally measured in two-way matchups.
A five point lead in the four way race and three points head to head is still too close to call, but CNN’s poll has not been kind to Trump in the past and a six point swing is significant. None of this is meant to imply that Trump is suddenly a wildly popular or uncontroversial figure in America, but with Clinton and the Democrats so deeply embroiled in scandal and intrigue, what did you expect? For the moment, Trump is on the rise, and if you thought this election was a lost cause for the GOP you should probably reexamine your position.