Donald Trump might not get much of a boost from the RNC. The GOP platform's anti-gay marriage plank is out of step with most Americans. And the current political environment isn’t great for Hillary Clinton. This is HuffPollster for Thursday, July 21, 2016. TRUMP MIGHT NOT GET MUCH OF A CONVENTION BUMP - Will Jordan: “There are lots of election myths out there, but the convention bounce – a candidate rises in polls after their party’s convention – has good supporting evidence. As outlined by political scientist John Sides, the bounce is real and can be spectacular (in 1992, Bill Clinton saw his support grow by 14 points). However, as Thomas Holbrook notes, the effect has been smaller in recent years….This year’s conventions are on consecutive weeks, but they also take place earlier in the summer, and, as we discussed last week, an unusually large number of voters have yet to rally to one of the major party nominees. So far, the GOP convention has been a bit chaotic. Officials had to squelch an anti-Trump revolt, some of the party’s biggest stars are sitting the event out, and – whatever you think about plagiarism – media coverage has probably focused less on ‘humanizing Trump’ than the campaign hoped. For me, the big question is whether Trump can break out of the high-30s/low-40s level where he’s been stuck all year. To win with those numbers, he would need third-party candidates to do tremendously well, preventing Clinton from reaching back into the mid-/high-40s, where her support was only a few months ago.” [YouGov]
Historical data shows such bounces diminishing in recent years - Lydia Saad: “On Aug. 18, 1988, Vice President George H.W. Bush accepted his party’s nomination for president at the Republican National Convention in New Orleans.…Before the convention, more voters thought Bush was a follower (52%) than a leader (37%). After the convention, the numbers nearly reversed. Similar gains in perceptions of Bush as ‘strong,’ ‘sincere,’ ‘confident’ and ‘intelligent’ resulted in a nine-percentage-point increase in his favorable rating and a six-point increase in support for Bush against his Democratic opponent, Michael Dukakis. As a result, after trailing Dukakis from May through August ― including by 17 points right after the Democratic convention in July ― Bush took the lead following the Republican convention and remained on top through the election….Bush’s six-point convention bounce roughly matched the 6.2-point average increase for both parties in Gallup polling from 1964 through 1992. More recently, however, the average convention bounce has been 3.8 points.” [Gallup]
THE GOP’S ANTI-GAY MARRIAGE PLATFORM ISN’T POPULAR - HuffPollster: “The Republican Party’s continuing opposition to same-sex marriage may have appeased the party’s social conservatives, but it appeals to a dwindling slice of the electorate, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds….’Traditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society and has for millennia been entrusted with rearing children and instilling cultural values,’ the platform reads in part. That position puts the party at considerable remove from the American public, which appears largely uninterested in seeking a leader who is against gay marriage. Just 23 percent of Americans polled say that they’d be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who opposes gay marriage, according to the HuffPost/YouGov poll. Thirty-five percent would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports gay marriage, while another 31 percent say it doesn’t matter.” [HuffPost]
THE POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT ISN’T HELPING HILLARY CLINTON - Mark Blumenthal: “This week’s SurveyMonkey Election Tracking poll finds a narrowing of the presidential race among registered voters nationwide….[T]he political environment of the last several weeks has been generally daunting for the Clinton campaign. First, the seemingly endless series of high profile shootings and attacks has boosted the salience of terrorism. In mid-June, immediately after the Orlando nightclub shootings, the percentage of registered voters who chose terrorism as the issue that matters most to them nearly doubled, from 12 to 23 percent and has remained at roughly that level for the past three weeks…. Republicans and independents who lean Republican mention terrorism as their most important issue more often (34 percent) than Democrats and Democratic leaners (13 percent) and independents who lean to neither party (18 percent). The increased salience of terrorism – an issue that motivates the Republican base – may play a role in narrowing the horserace numbers. Second, FBI Director James Comey’s recommendation of no criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server likely helped reinforce doubts about her ethics. Last week, four out of five voters (82 percent) said Clinton’s use of a personal email server while serving as Secretary of State was inappropriate and more than half (56 percent) disagreed with Comey’s recommendation against prosecuting Clinton.” [SurveyMonkey]
CANDIDATES ARE RELYING MORE ON SOCIAL MEDIA THAN TRADITIONAL WEBSITES - Elisa Shearer: “Roughly a quarter of U.S. adults (24%) turn to social media posts from either the Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump campaigns as a way of keeping up with the election, according to a new Pew Research Center survey conducted June 7 to July 5, 2016. This exceeds the portions that rely on the candidates’ campaign websites (10%) or their emails (9%)....What’s more, most of those who rely on the candidates’ websites and emails for news also turn to candidates’ social media posts for information, whether on Twitter, Facebook or some other platform….Individually, the Clinton and Trump campaigns have about an equal reach online: Roughly the same portion of Americans turn to each campaign’s social media feeds (17% each) and campaign websites (7% for Clinton and 6% for Trump). A somewhat greater portion turn to emails from the Clinton campaign (7%) than the Trump campaign (3%), but the figures are quite low for both.” [Pew]
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THURSDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:
-Many conservative voters haven’t yet formed an opinion of Mike Pence. [NBC]
-A new Morning Consult poll finds Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump with millennials and minority voters. [Morning Consult]
-Nate Silver does the math on the so-called “real Americans” namedropped at the RNC. 
-Nate Cohn and Toni Monkovic discuss whether Melania Trump’s plagiarized speech matters. [NYT]
-Harry Enten talks polling with The Guardian’s Tom McCarthy. 
-Pew Research finds a narrowing digital divide in internet use between Latinos and whites. [Pew Hispanic]
Senator Ribicoff (D-Conn) spoke at the Democratic convention in 1968. What did he say to provoke the wrath of Mayor Richard Daley?