NBC/WSJ swing-state polls show no Comey drag for Hillary

While other polls suggest that FBI Director James Comey’s indicting non-indictment did some damage to Hillary Clinton’s standing with voters, a new set of battleground polls out this morning seems to show business as usual for the Democratic nominee. Marist polls in four key states conducted for NBC/Wall Street Journal show Hillary with significant leads over Donald Trump in four key swing states. The surveys began on July 5th, the day of Comey’s presser, and continued through the 11th:

Mrs. Clinton holds comfortable single-digit leads over her presumptive Republican rival in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, the polls found.

The results from the polls conducted July 5-11 suggest that Mr. Trump has a fairly steep hill to climb in a quartet of states that often decide presidential races. He trails Mrs. Clinton by 6 percentage points among registered voters in North Carolina, 7 in Florida, 8 in Colorado and 9 in Virginia, the surveys found.

In all four states, more than one voter in 10 didn’t pick either candidate, saying they would back neither one, another candidate or were undecided.

Here are the toplines in all four states:


So far, neither NBC nor WSJ have posted links to the Marist tables for any of the surveys. It’s worth noting that their results yesterday in Ohio almost exactly matched that of Quinnipiac, but their Pennsylvania results differed in favor of Hillary. Until we see the Marist tables, it’s not clear what is driving these numbers.

The favorability numbers are about what you’d expect, though:

Despite Clinton’s leads, she and Trump are both unpopular in these battlegrounds, although Trump is slightly more unpopular.

  • Colorado: Clinton 34 percent favorable, 62 percent unfavorable (-28); Trump 27 percent favorable, 67 percent unfavorable (-40).
  • Florida: Clinton 37 percent favorable, 58 percent unfavorable (-21); Trump 34 percent favorable, 61 percent unfavorable (-27).
  • North Carolina: Clinton 37 percent favorable, 58 percent unfavorable (-21); Trump 31 percent favorable, 61 percent unfavorable (-30).
  • Virginia: Clinton 37 percent favorable, 58 percent unfavorable (-21); Trump 29 percent favorable, 65 percent unfavorable (-36).

“The driving force behind voters’ choices is the negative impressions they have of both Trump and Clinton. Clinton’s single-digit lead in each of these states is due to her slight advantage in how voters perceive the two candidates,” Miringoff adds.

It’s a race to the bottom. However, with the exception of Colorado, the Marist numbers are not terribly close to the RCP averages:

Overall, pollsters put Florida and North Carolina as much closer races than we see here. One could argue that Marist might be picking up a trend, except that the only dramatic change in the survey period would arguably produce a trend in the other direction — and did with other pollsters. Without looking at the tables and the historical data from Marist, it’s again a bit difficult to understand where the differences originate.

All four states are covered in my book Going Red, and represent the GOP’s best chance for reversing their losses in 2008 and 2012 to Barack Obama. If the race is truly as bad as Marist paints it in North Carolina, then the Trump Rust Belt strategy becomes almost impossible. To win, Trump would have to flip Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Hampshire, and then Nevada too to get to 271 without North Carolina or the other three states in this poll. There are no other possible pickups and no margin for error, either.

And right now, Trump not only trails significantly in RCP averages in Michigan, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire, he’s never had a poll with a lead in any of these three states. Team Trump cannot afford to lose North Carolina, and Florida either.

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