Hillary Clinton’s advertising advantage isn’t going unnoticed. Donald Trump’s gains in the polls shouldn’t be overinterpreted. And gun background checks are still overwhelmingly popular. This is HuffPollster for Monday, August 29, 2016.
CLINTON HAS THE ADVERTISING ADVANTAGE - HuffPollster: “Hillary Clinton’s massive lead over Donald Trump on ad spending hasn’t gone unnoticed by the American public. Forty-seven percent of Americans polled in a new HuffPost/YouGov survey say that they’ve seen more ads from Clinton during the last month than they have from Trump. Just 7 percent say they’ve seen more Trump ads. Another 24 percent say they’ve seen an equal number for each candidate, while 15 percent haven’t seen any commercials and 7 percent are unsure….[T]he public’s impression that Clinton is outgunning Trump on the airwaves matches up with the numbers. Clinton’s campaign has outspent Trump’s campaign by a 17-to-1 margin, NBC News reported earlier this week, and even with outside groups supporting both candidates factored in, the Democrats retain a 6-to-1 advantage….Although Trump is losing on ad spending, he’s still getting plenty of airtime and ink. By a 27-point margin, 40 percent to 13 percent, Americans say they’ve seen more news stories about Trump than Clinton in the past month, with 38 percent reporting hearing equally about both.” [HuffPost]
DON’T OVERINTERPRET TRUMP’S GAINS IN THE POLLS - HuffPollster: “With about 10 weeks left until the election, the race is nowhere near over. Hillary Clinton seems to have a strong lead in the polls for now, but Donald Trump could rise by a few points in the coming weeks…. Trump is seeing gains in some polls already. A YouGov/Economist poll late last week showed the Republican nominee gaining ground within his own party....A new Morning Consult poll from this weekend put Clinton only 3 points ahead of on Trump, down from their previous poll that gave the former secretary of state a 6-point lead. Most of last week’s polls showed Clinton hanging on to a strong lead. Still, the gap between Clinton and Trump narrowed a little throughout August, and Trump’s low support means he has plenty of room to grow.” [HuffPost]
What a Trump increase would mean: Trump’s rebounding a little. That’s not terribly surprising ― the Democratic convention bump has faded a bit, and another campaign revamp has seemed to result in fewer horrible Trump moments (although they are still happening). The divided Republicans might just be coming back together a little after a rocky summer.
What a Trump increase wouldn’t mean: ‘OMG Trump is going to win!’ No, don’t go there yet. Trump has a long and difficult path to winning the presidency. [HuffPost]
Swing state polls aren’t offering much clarity - Nate Silver: “Polls in swing states were all over the place last week, meanwhile. In Florida, for example, we saw surveys showing everything from a 14-point lead for Clinton to a 3-point lead for Trump. If you squint, you can perhaps perceive some movement back toward Trump in some of the red-tinged swing states, such as North Carolina. But it’s hard to say for sure. A lot of the swing state polls released last week were from pollsters surveying the states for the first time, meaning that they didn’t have trend lines, or if they did have trend lines, they didn’t show much change from the previous version of the survey. The pollster that had Clinton up by 14 points in Florida, for example, had her ahead by 13 points when it previously surveyed the state in June.” 
SOME GUN REFORMS REMAIN POPULAR DESPITE GROWING PARTISAN DIVIDE - Pew Research: “For the past several years, large majorities of both Democrats and Republicans have favored making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks. Today, this proposal draws support from 90% of registered voters who back Hillary Clinton and 75% of voters who back Donald Trump….Other proposals are much more divisive, however. For instance, about twice as many Clinton supporters as Trump backers favor a ban on assault-style weapons (74% vs. 34%) and the differences are about as large in views of a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips (75% vs. 34%). Moreover, the gap in how candidates’ supporters view overall priorities for the nation’s gun policy is much wider today than it has been in any presidential campaign dating to 2000….By more than four-to-one (79% to 19%), Clinton supporters prioritize controlling gun ownership over protecting gun rights. By about nine-to-one (90% to 9%), Trump supporters express the opposite view – that it is generally more important to protect gun rights than control gun ownership.” [Pew]
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MONDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:
-A new Morning Consult poll finds Donald Trump making up some ground against Hillary Clinton. [Morning Consult]
-Aaron Blake looks into Trump’s struggle to win Catholic voters. [WashPost]
-Harry Enten notes Gary Johnson’s relatively stable numbers in the polls. 
-Jeremy W. Peters reports that some Republicans are worried about the GOP’s future in the West. [NYT]
-Trump’s harshest rhetoric on immigration is out of line with many Republicans’ views. [HuffPost]