POLITICS

HUFFPOLLSTER: Nearly Half Of Republicans Think Their Party Is On The Wrong Track

Headed into the convention, the party looks divided.

Republicans nationwide aren’t so sure their party is taking the right path. Polls indicate that Hillary Clinton is leading Donald Trump, but a lot could happen over the next few months. And Latino voters seem to be turning against the GOP. This is HuffPollster for Monday, July 18, 2016.

A PLURALITY OF REPUBLICANS THINK THEIR PARTY IS OFF-TRACK - Fawn Johnson: “Almost half of Republicans (46 percent) say their party has ‘pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track,’ according to a new Morning Consult poll conducted the week before the Republican National Convention. The poll results signal that the unpredictability of the 2016 presidential election, with an unabashedly pompous nominee at the top of the ticket, is taking a toll on the party faithful, particularly among older Republicans. Still, 40 percent of Republicans say their party is on the right track, and 14 percent don’t know or have an opinion on the question….Notably, less than one-third of Republican voters 55 to 64 years old (27 percent) said the GOP is on the right track. That figure was twice as high for GOP voters between the ages of 30 and 44 (54 percent) who believe Republicans are going in the right direction.”  [Morning Consult]

HILLARY CLINTON LEADS IN NATIONAL POLLS - HuffPollster: “Hillary Clinton holds a modest but solid lead over Donald Trump in the race for president, according to three new surveys released on the eve of the Republican convention in Cleveland. New ABC/Washington Post, NBC/Wall Street Journal and CNN/ORC polls find Clinton with leads of 4, 5 and 7 points respectively in head-to-head matchups against Trump. Other surveys this month have shown a closer race, including a CBS/New York Times poll that found Clinton and Trump tied. A poll of 11 battleground states released Sunday by CBS and YouGov gave Clinton just a 1-point edge in those contests. HuffPost Pollster’s model, which aggregates all publicly available polls, gives the former secretary of state a lead of just under 4 points nationwide.” A new survey out Monday morning from Morning Consult shows Clinton up by 2 points. [HuffPost, Morning Consult]

FiveThirtyEight’s projection gives Clinton a 65 percent chance of winning - With both the new national polls and last week’s state polls factored in, the FiveThirtyEight poll-based forecast model gives Clinton a 65 percent chance of winning in November and Trump a 35 percent chance of winning. Model designer Nate Silver has noted that the relatively high odds for Trump ― up from about 20 percent at the end of June ― are a result of Clinton losing ground in some state polls. Silver also noted that their model is being very conservative due to uncertainty about what could still happen over the next few months. [538]

LATINO VOTERS MAY BE TURNING AGAINST THE GOP - HuffPollster: “A Telemundo/NBC News/WSJ poll of Latinos released Sunday afternoon shows Trump trailing Clinton by 62 points among Latinos in a head-to-head matchup. That’s a significant concern for any presidential candidate hoping to win over an increasingly diverse electorate. Republicans, though, face a bigger worry ― whether Trump’s status as anathema to minorities is likely to rub off on the party as a whole, turning Latino voters further against GOP candidates down the ballot or in future elections….Sixty-four percent of Latino voters now hold a negative opinion of the GOP, according to the new poll, up from 48 percent in February. The percentage with a very negative view has risen even more sharply, from 25 percent to a record high 44 percent….It’s never a good idea to read too much into the results of a single survey, especially one, like this, with a relatively small sample size. But if the change it shows is both real and lasting, the effects could ripple past 2016.” [HuffPost]

NEW POLL TRACKS PRESIDENTIAL SUPPORT DAILY - The University of Southern California Dornsife and the Los Angeles Times are launching a project to poll Americans daily on their vote preference and other key questions. From their methodology statement:Each day, 1/7th of those who have agreed to participate (more than 400 per day) are invited to answer three predictive questions: What is the percent chance that... (1) you will vote in the presidential election? (2) if you were to vote, you will vote for Clinton, Trump, or someone else? and (3) Clinton, Trump or someone else will win?”

This type of poll, which returns to the same group of respondents week after week, is valuable for tracking changes in opinion over time. However, HuffPost Pollster will not include the data in our averages because of the way the vote preference is estimated. The estimates from the USC-Dornsife/L.A. Times question are difficult to incorporate into the Pollster models since they are estimated from a percent chance question. The question is asked as “What is the percent chance that... you will vote for…” a candidate, rather than a typical ballot test asking a question along the lines of “Which candidate would you vote for if the election were held today?” [USC Dornsife]

FOCUS ON THE BIG PICTURE WHEN POLLS DIFFER - Nate Cohn: “Individually, [polls] have sometimes felt as chaotic as the news around the world. But together they tell a far clearer story: Mrs. Clinton holds a modest but clear lead heading into the conventions....This straightforward story can get lost in the headlines, which tend to give the most attention to the most surprising results — whether it’s a predicted Clinton landslide or a narrow lead for Mr. Trump in key states. The truth is probably somewhere between those extremes….If Mrs. Clinton leads by 4 points, you should expect polls that show her with a big lead or locked in a tight race, with others clustered around the average. That’s more or less what we saw this past week. It’s a lot like baseball. Even great baseball players go 0 for 4 in a game — or have rough stretches for weeks on end. On the other end might be a few multihit nights with extra-base hits, or a spectacular few weeks. Sometimes, these rough stretches or hot streaks really do indicate changes in the underlying ability of a player. More often, they are just part of the noise inevitable with small samples. Taking more polls is like watching more at-bats, and you need many if you want to be confident about whether a candidate is ahead or tied.” [NYT]

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

-Most voters barely know who Mike Pence is. [Gallup]

-Clare Malone takes an in-depth look at the changing Republican Party. [FiveThirtyEight] 

-Josh Putnam examines how the GOP’s rules committee made it harder for convention delegates to vote against Trump. [WashPost]

-Nearly three quarters of Americans say the country’s race relations are bad. [NBC]

-Americans are losing faith that churches, synagogues or other houses of worship contribute to solving social problems. [Pew]

Monday’s Trivia:

Question: Who did the Democratic convention nominate for President in 1860 after 57 ballots?

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