MAY POLLS WEREN’T KIND TO CLINTON - Steven Shepard: "From Bernie Sanders’ primary victories to the State Department inspector general’s report on her email server, the month of May hasn't been kind to Hillary Clinton — or her poll numbers. Her lead over Donald Trump has shrunk to the low single digits. State polls tell a similar story: Clinton and Trump have run neck and neck in two separate polls in each of four key electoral battlegrounds. Clinton’s favorable ratings — currently 41 percent favorable and 55 percent unfavorable, according to HuffPost Pollster — are virtually unchanged over the past month. But that was before the release of the inspector general’s report, which said Clinton didn’t comply with department policies when she used a private email account for government business and didn’t immediately turn over records of her correspondence. Clinton’s ratings on trustworthiness were already woeful: A Fox News poll two weeks ago found just 31 percent of voters think Clinton is honest and trustworthy, while nearly two-thirds said they don’t think she is. And overall, her numbers are significantly worse than Trump’s scores on the same question." [Politico]
Voters see her private email use as a problem - Eli Yokley: "About half of voters think former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server was illegal, unethical and is a 'major problem' as the Democrat seeks the presidency. According to a new Morning Consult national survey of 2,001 voters, nearly all of them (85 percent) have heard something or a lot about her private email usage – a key issue being raised against her by Republicans as they try to cast her as untrustworthy….Half of voters said Clinton’s use of a private email server was illegal, while more than a quarter of voters (27 percent) weren’t sure if it was legal or not. Just less than a quarter (22 percent) said they believed it was legal. Only 20 percent of voters believed her practice was ethical. Among all voters, 48 percent view the emails as a 'major problem,' while 24 percent see it as a minor problem. Just 18 percent of voters said it was no problem at all. But even among Democrats, a quarter of them think it is a major problem for Clinton, compared with 50 percent of self-identified independents and 78 percent of Republicans." [Morning Consult]
Some analysts are re-evaluating Trump's chances - Sean Trende: “My operating assumption has long been that Trump would run about as poorly as John McCain and Mitt Romney among African-Americans, and also would run significantly worse among Hispanics. This would require Trump to secure about 64 percent of the white vote in order to win – a tough haul. But Trump’s numbers among nonwhites have actually been relatively decent. If we assume that undecided voters are ultimately representative of decided voters (within groups), Fox News has him winning 7 percent of African-Americans and 27 percent of Hispanics – roughly Romney’s showing in 2012. The common rejoinder is that these polls represent the state of the race with Trump having wrapped up the Republican nomination, while Clinton is stuck in a nasty race with Bernie Sanders. Once she nails down the nomination, the race should shift back to her....But... the ABC News poll finds that Trump is, in fact, pulling in 11 percent of Democrats to Clinton’s 8 percent of Republicans, but that only 3 percent of Democrats are undecided, while 7 percent of Republicans haven’t made up their minds. The Fox News poll has similar findings, with Clinton and Trump both taking an equal number of voters from the other party, and showing a similar number of undecided partisans." [RCP]
But it's still early - Clinton’s decline in the polls is a warning sign that this could be a close race. However, we’re more than five months away from the election in November. A lot can, and will, happen in that time, including Clinton officially securing the Democratic nomination. The national trends are good indicators of the national mood right now, but closer to the election, the focus will shift to the handful of battleground states that will determine the outcome of the election.
HUFFPOLLSTER VIA EMAIL! - You can receive this daily update every weekday morning via email! Just click here, enter your email address, and click "sign up." That's all there is to it (and you can unsubscribe anytime).
DISLIKE FOR TRUMP AND CLINTON IS AT HISTORIC LEVELS - Kathleen Weldon: "Trump’s unfavorability ratings have been declining over the last few weeks, but the most recent Gallup poll still placed his unfavorables at 60%, with Clinton’s a lower but still dismal 54%. Other polls have found higher negatives still for both candidates. Just how bad are these numbers? A review of more than two thousand questions about feelings towards candidates from the historical polling data in the Roper Center public opinion archives indicates that they are very bad indeed….[I]n our review, even among likely voters, no non-incumbent candidates reached 55% unfavorable in any poll before Trump and Clinton…. [T]he highest negative feelings toward a candidate were found in an October 1968 poll. George Wallace, who ran in that election as the American Independent Party candidate, was rated negatively by 53% of the population." [HuffPost]
TRUMP MIGHT DRIVE GENDER AND EDUCATION GAPS WIDER - Scott Clement: "White Americans are splintering along education and gender lines at rates not seen in at least three decades. These contours are well-known among political watchers; whites without four-year college degrees and men tend to be more Republican than women and college grads. But while these cleavages are seen across elections, it’s easy to forget that the gaps are typically not all that large — at least in comparison to this year. Take 2012. Mitt Romney won 61 percent of non-college whites compared with 56 percent of white college grads. The gap was nearly identical between white men and white women, 62 and 56 percent. Now, according to the latest Post-ABC poll released last week: Donald Trump received 65 percent support among white registered voters without a four-year college degree, compared with 46 percent among white college graduates, a 19-point gap. If the margin holds, it would easily be the largest education gap among whites in presidential elections since 1980." [WashPost]
AMERICANS WANT THE NOMINATION SYSTEM TO CHANGE - Catherine Lucey and Emily Swanson: "Many Americans are not happy with the way presidential candidates are chosen and have little faith in the fairness of either the Democratic or Republican system, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research..[T]the public prefers open primaries to those that are closed to all but party members. They like primaries instead of caucuses, and they oppose the party insiders known as superdelegates, who have a substantial say in the Democratic race. According to the poll, 38 percent of Americans say they have hardly any confidence that the Democratic Party's process for selecting a presidential nominee is fair; 44 percent say the same of the Republican Party's process. Just 17 percent of Republicans and 31 percent of Democrats have a great deal of confidence in their own party's system being fair." [AP]
CHICAGO SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS DIFFICULTIES IN POLLING ON RACE ISSUES - Giovanni Russonello: “W]hat makes polling on race so difficult, and so interesting, is that so-called ‘desirability bias’ often takes hold: Many people know which kinds of responses will be seen as socially unacceptable or desirable, and that often shapes what they say. In our Chicago poll, a surprising finding was hidden beyond the responses. When asked how diverse their neighborhoods were, 45 percent of polled Chicagoans said that most people living around them were of a different race. Yet a close analysis of U.S. Census data shows that the true number is just 30 percent….Most notably, just 49 percent of whites said that they lived around mostly white people. But in a city where housing segregation was official government policy for much of the 20th century, 72 percent of whites actually live in majority-white Census tracts (typically made up of a few blocks). All of which make you wonder: what else do people, especially whites, get wrong when they talk about race?” [NYT]
WEDNESDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:
-Keith Poole, Howard Rosenthal and Christopher Hare show voters are unsure about Donald Trump’s ideology. [VoteView]
-A split in the Democratic electorate means a closer-than-expected race between Trump and Clinton in historically-Democratic New Jersey. [Monmouth]
-John Sides doubts that early attack ads against Trump will have a sustained effect. [WashPost]
-Kathy Frankovic finds that Trump voters are more likely than other voters to be concerned with terrorism and immigration. [YouGov]
-Scott Detrow talks to Republicans strategists who worry about Trump's disinterest in data. [NPR]
-Todd Schneider analyzes 63,000 New York Times wedding announcements dating back to 1981 to see how marriages are changing. [Vox]
-Millennials prioritize purpose over money when considering a job. [Gallup]
Correction: An earlier version said Trump had a lead in New Jersey. He doesn't; the poll shows a closer-than-expected race.