HUFFPOLLSTER: Hillary Clinton Could Benefit From Motivating Unlikely Voters

She leads among those who say they aren't planning to vote.

Who turns out to vote will make a big difference in the election. State polls indicate Clinton might be gaining on Trump. And a new report highlights the racial divide in perceptions of police performance. This is HuffPollster for Friday, September 30, 2016.

‘UNLIKELY VOTERS’ FAVOR CLINTON OVER TRUMP - John McCormick: “[I]n a close election like this year’s presidential race, those who aren’t currently planning to vote could matter a lot, if the campaigns can move them from the sidelines to polling places. The latest Bloomberg Politics national poll shows that Hillary Clinton has more of a stake in trying to motivate them than Donald Trump. The Bloomberg survey for the first time asked unlikely voters who they would back, if they had a change of heart and decided to cast a ballot. What it showed is greater support for Clinton than Trump among those not likely to vote, as well as a non-voter profile that skews Democratic. The findings show that those not planning to vote back Clinton over Trump, 38 percent to 27 percent, if they did indeed cast a ballot. That 11-point difference, although subject to a margin of error of plus or minus 5.5 percentage points, helps underscore the importance of turnout for the Clinton campaign.” [Bloomberg]

Millennials are less likely to vote than older age groups - Philip Bump: “[I]n the new Post-ABC poll… 41 percent of those age 18 to 29 say that they are certain to vote, with an additional 15 percent saying they’ll probably vote. Older voters are much more likely to say they’re committed to going to the polls…. If we look only at registered voters, younger people are still less likely to say they’re certain to vote than older ones, but by a smaller margin. They’re also more likely to say they’re certain to vote this November than 18-to-29-year-olds were to say it in 2012. Now, nearly two-thirds of registered voters under 30 are certain to vote, compared with 54 percent four years ago. A critical note at this point: The number of respondents in the poll who are under 30 was relatively small, meaning that the margin of error was bigger. So the bars on these charts are a bit hazier than they might look.” [WashPost]

Trump could benefit if white nonvoters register and turn out - David Wasserman: “Here’s a scary stat for Democrats: In 2012, President Obama won re-election by almost 5 million votes, but about 47 million eligible white voters without a college degree — including 24 million men — didn’t bother to vote. In 2016, these nonvoters are part of the demographic that is most strongly in favor of Donald Trump. If Trump rouses even a fraction of these notoriously disaffected Americans... he could surge to victory…. If Trump were able to activate merely one of every eight of these “missing whites” to vote for him, he would wipe out Obama’s 2012 margins in three states — Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania — and win both the Electoral College and the popular vote. If he were able to activate one of every five, he could add Virginia, Nevada, Iowa and New Hampshire. But back to the catch: Although Trump may be converting plenty of existing voters to his side, there’s really very little evidence that previous nonvoters are coming out of the woodwork in large numbers for him.” [538]

EARLY POLLS SHOW A MODEST POST-DEBATE BOUNCE FOR CLINTON - Nate Silver: “ [T]he data that we have so far suggests that Hillary Clinton has gained ground as a result of Monday night’s debate — it’s mostly a question of how much her position has improved. Four national polls have been conducted entirely since the debate: They have Clinton ahead of Donald Trump by 5 percentage points, 4 points, 3 points and 1 point….If that’s where the numbers wind up settling, that would reflect a meaningful bounce for Clinton, who was ahead by just 1 or 2 points nationally before the debate and in a tenuous position in key Electoral College states, such as Pennsylvania and Colorado. The map starts to look a lot safer for Clinton if she’s up by 3 to 5 points instead.” [538]

New state surveys give Clinton the lead in Florida - Marc Caputo: “Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 4 points in the first likely Florida voter poll taken after their first presidential debate, which the Democrat was widely credited with winning. Clinton’s 46-42 percent lead over Trump in the Mason-Dixon Polling & Research survey only represents a 2-point shift in her favor since the last time the Jacksonville-based firm surveyed the race in August. The poll’s error margin is 3.5 points.” [Politico]

...in New Hampshire - Anthony Brooks: “According to a new WBUR poll Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by seven points among likely voters in New Hampshire, one of the key battleground states that could determine the outcome of the presidential election. The survey also found that by a wide margin, voters believe Clinton was the clear winner in Monday night’s debate against Trump….The new poll is in line with a number of national and battleground state polls that have come out since Monday night’s debate. They suggest that after watching her sizable post-convention lead over Trump all but disappear, Clinton has put the brakes on her fall and has gained some ground. According to the WBUR poll, in New Hampshire, she now leads Trump 42 to 35 percent.” [WBUR]

...and in Michigan - Chad Livengood: “Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has moved to a 7-percentage-point lead in Michigan over Republican Donald Trump in a statewide poll conducted after the candidates’ first debate Monday night. Clinton leads Trump 42 percent to 35 percent in a four-way race and maintains a seven-point lead in a two-way matchup against the New York billionaire, according to the poll commissioned by The Detroit News and WDIV-TV….After Monday’s debate, 62.5 percent of voters said Trump is unqualified to be president, compared with 57 percent who believe Clinton is qualified after years in the public spotlight as first lady, U.S. senator and U.S. secretary of state.” [Detroit News]

What the averages show - Clinton has consistently led in HuffPost Pollster’s averages for all three states, albeit by varying margins over the course of the campaign. Our models currently show her up by just under 2 points in Florida, about 5 points in New Hampshire, and about 4 points in Michigan (where the latest set of numbers aren’t yet incorporated). [Florida chart, New Hampshire chart, Michigan chart]

ELECTION FORECASTS VARY BASED ON DECISIONS ANALYSTS MAKE - Josh Katz: “Hillary Clinton currently has a 71 percent chance of winning the presidency, according to The Upshot’s forecasting model. This is down from 90 percent last month, but higher than some other models we’re tracking, which put the odds between 58 percent and 85 percent…. [M]ost of the difference has to do with different model assumptions. Poll-based models need to take a position on two key questions: How useful are older polls? And to what extent do states move together? The answer to the first question informs how heavily the model weights new information. Weighting new polls very heavily means you can be quicker to respond to new trends and to pick up turning points, but it also makes your forecast more unstable and more likely to react to noise (what we like to call ‘chasing shiny objects’). Ideally a forecast finds a balance between these two extremes, trading some quickness for stability. The second question informs how much a shift in one state causes shifts in the others…. Different choices for these parameters lead to different forecasts, and different views of how the race has shifted.” [NYT]

PERCEPTIONS OF POLICE PERFORMANCE DIVIDED BY RACE - Rich Morin and Renee Stepler: “The deep racial tensions seen in many areas of American life underlie how blacks and whites view police in their communities, as well as their reactions to the deadly encounters in recent years between blacks and law enforcement officers, according to a new survey by Pew Research Center. Only about a third of blacks but roughly three-quarters of whites say police in their communities do an excellent or good job in using the appropriate force on suspects, treating all racial and ethnic minorities equally and holding officers accountable when misconduct occurs. Roughly half of all blacks say local police do an excellent or good job combating crime – a view held by about eight-in-ten whites.” [Pew]

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

-Sam Wang says that the 2016 polls have been unusually stable. [PEC]

-Irin Carmon writes that Trump’s first debate raised concerns for female voters. [NBC]

-Support for the death penalty hits a four-decade low. [Pew]

-Most Republicans disapprove of the Supreme Court. [Gallup]

-Question wording matters when asking if the public trusts the media. [iMediaEthics]

-”Hopeless Resignation Receives Massive Post-Debate Bump” [The Onion]