HUFFPOLLSTER: The Bad News Keeps Coming For Donald Trump

Trump’s comments about the Khan family haven’t been well-received.

Donald Trump is losing ground in horserace polls. Democrats are more optimistic than the public as a whole.. And few Americans have close friends with differing political opinions. This is HuffPollster for Thursday, August 4, 2016.

ARGUING WITH THE KHANS ISN’T HELPING TRUMP- HuffPollster: “According to a new Fox News poll, 77 percent of voters knew of the harsh words exchanged between Trump and the Khans in the wake of Khizr Khan’s fiery anti-Trump speech at the Democratic National Convention. Nearly 7 in 10 of those who have heard about the controversy think Trump stepped over the line. Even Republicans are split on Trump’s response: 40 percent say his criticism of the Khans was ‘in bounds,’ while 41 consider his reaction ‘out of bounds.’...According to a Morning Consult poll, Trump would be better off letting the issue go. Thirty-four percent of registered voters say Trump’s dispute with the Khans has made them less likely to vote for him….A 51 percent majority of registered voters agree with the Khans that Trump has ‘sacrificed nothing and no one’ in defense of the U.S.” [HuffPost]

POLLS CONTINUE TO SHOW SUBSTANTIAL CLINTON LEADS - A new Fox News national poll taken after the DNC shows Clinton leading Trump by 10 points, 49 percent to 39 percent. The double-digit lead marks an increase from Clinton’s already sizable 6-point edge in Fox’s last poll in late June. The HuffPost Pollster average shows Clinton leading by 7 points, up from about 3 points pre-convention.   

State polls are showing similar trends. New surveys from New Hampshire, Michigan and Pennsylvania all indicate Clinton is erasing any gains Trump might have gotten from the Republican convention. A WBUR/MassInc poll has Clinton leading by 15 points in New Hampshire, which has been a battleground state in recent presidential elections. A Detroit News/WDIV-TV poll conducted by the Glengariff Group shows Clinton up by 9 points in Michigan. And Franklin & Marshall College finds that Clinton is leading by 11 points in Pennsylvania. 

Trump’s bump might have been due to more Republicans answering polls - Mark Blumenthal: “While SurveyMonkey’s tracking poll showed only negligible movement to Trump the week of the Republican convention, Trump had gained significantly on both ballot tests over the course of the previous month….The movement toward Trump, particularly over the previous two weeks, had been accompanied by shifts in partisan identification in the Republican direction beyond the norm of SurveyMonkey’s 2016 tracking. Last week, for example, the number of Democratic identifiers (32 percent) was only a point higher than the number of Republicans (31 percent). This week, however, partisan identification snapped back, with 36 percent identifying as Democrats and 30 percent as Republicans. The net six percentage point Democratic advantage this week is only slightly better than the five-point advantage Democrats have held, on average, in SurveyMonkey’s tracking since February (34 percent Democratic, 29 percent Republican). Critically, the change in the partisan composition of our tracking polls over the past three weeks continues to be more dramatic than the changes in support among partisans.” [SurveyMonkey]

DEMOCRATS  MIGHT WANT TO CHILL OUT ON THE OPTIMISM - HuffPollster: “Democrats in Philadelphia last week seemed determined to make their convention look like the Happiest Place On Earth….But some Democrats worry that, to disaffected voters hungry for change, talk about the current greatness of the United States may sound like an endorsement of the status quo….In a HuffPost/YouGov survey taken after the Democratic convention, 72 percent of voters said they believed Clinton thought the country was headed in the right direction, while 87 percent believed Trump thought things were on the wrong track. Most ― 64 percent ― agreed with Trump. Among the voters who think the country is on the right track, 91 percent say they trust Clinton more to keep it heading that way. But of the voters who think we’re heading in the wrong direction, 54 percent think Trump is the candidate to steer the country back on course.” [HuffPost]

MOST TRUMP AND CLINTON SUPPORTERS LACK CLOSE FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE - Pew Research: “In an increasingly contentious presidential campaign, just a quarter of voters who support Donald Trump in the general election say they have a lot or some close friends who are supporters of Hillary Clinton. Even fewer Clinton backers (18%) say they have at least some friends who support Trump. Nearly half of Clinton supporters (47%), and 31% of Trump supporters, say they have no close friends who support the opposing candidate….Just 7% of registered voters say they would ‘rather other people not know’ who they are supporting for president. Most (58%) say they do not mind if people know who they support, but “don’t go out of their way to say it.” A third say they are “pretty outspoken with others” about their voting preferences. There are only slight differences between Clinton and Trump supporters in these views.” [Pew]

HOW POLLING CAN MAKE A NAME FOR COLLEGES - Nick Anderson: “[T]he leaders in this expansion of academic polling are hardly household names outside of politics, including Marist College in New York, Monmouth University in New Jersey, Suffolk University in Massachusetts and Quinnipiac University here in Connecticut. For these schools, polling in a polarized America yields a marketing bonanza akin to what others might reap through college football bowl games or the NCAA basketball tournament. They are building brands through surveys of political battlegrounds….’You do a statewide poll in Florida, it’s in 200 newspapers,’ said Quinnipiac President John L. Lahey. ‘It’s on every local station all over Florida.’....Many schools keep their polling budgets under wraps. One pollster said his school spends about $130,000 a year for a modest number of home-state polls. Other annual budgets are believed to range from several hundred thousand dollars a year to well over $1 million.” [WashPost]

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THURSDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Amy Walter writes that a bad week for Donald Trump doesn’t mean the election is over. [Cook Political]

-Kristen Soltis Anderson (R) looks at the “magic number” of electoral votes Trump needs to win. [Washington Examiner]

-Global Strategy Group (D) argues that voters aren’t looking for candidates who are true outsiders. [GSG]  

-Less than a quarter of the public is worried about someone in their family getting Zika. [CNN]

-Beer remains America’s’ beverage of choice. [Gallup]

-Is your favorite Olympic sport handball? You might be a Democrat. [NBC]