HUFFPOLLSTER: Hillary Clinton Leads, But By How Much?

Disparate poll results place the Democratic nominee’s advantage between 2 and 12 points. Reality is likely somewhere in the middle.

The numbers are all over the place, but it’s clear Hillary Clinton has the lead in the presidential race. Young Americans trust Clinton over Donald Trump on race issues. And views of the direction of the country are, unsurprisingly, divided by partisanship. This is HuffPollster for Thursday, October 27, 2016.

POLLS VARY, BUT SHOW CLINTON LEADING - Janie Velencia: “Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is either slightly ahead or way ahead of Republican Donald Trump with just 13 days until Election Day, according to new polls released Wednesday. An AP-GFK poll shows Clinton leading by an astonishing 14 points, 51 percent to Trump’s 37 percent, in a four-way race. In a two-way heat, Clinton’s lead narrows to 13 points. A new Fox News poll finds Clinton ahead by a much smaller margin― just 3 points ahead in a four-way race, 44 percent to 41 percent. She also leads by 3 points head to head with Trump. Other recent polls show Clinton with a lead ranging from 2 points to 12 points. It’s best not to freak out just yet over which of Wednesday’s polls are right. Instead, consider the aggregate of recent polls for a more sober look at the race. According to the HuffPost Pollster aggregate, Clinton is leading by about 7 points in the four-way race, 46.6 percent to 39 percent.” [HuffPost]

Splitting the difference - The ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll released Thursday morning shows Clinton leading by 6 points. [WashPost]

Is the race tightening? - Nate Silver: “It seems like we’re overdue for another round of ‘is the presidential race tightening?’ And the answer isn’t totally clear. Our model thinks Donald Trump has probably narrowed his deficit against Clinton slightly, but the difference is modest enough that we’ve wanted to change our answer with every new round of polls. And in general, we’re reluctant to proclaim any turnaround in the race while we still have to squint to see a shift. But here’s what we think is a little clearer: Trump’s share of the vote has increased, as he’s picked up undecided and third-party voters, probably as the result of Republicans’ returning home after a disastrous series of weeks for Trump this month. Clinton, however, is at least holding steady and probably also improving her own numbers somewhat.” [538]

Forecast update - Clinton’s chances of winning are up to 97.6 percent, according to HuffPost’s presidential forecast. That number have been steadily ticking upwards as it gets closer to the election. The forecast gets more certain of the outcome as Election Day approaches, even though polls haven’t changed much. Trump’s chances are down to 2.4 percent, essentially the chances of all of the polls being wrong. Other models show Clinton’s chances between 86 percent and 99 percent. The main difference between the models deal with how likely they think there is to be major polling error. In the Senate, Republicans are down to a 29 percent chance of keeping 51 or more seats according to HuffPost’s model. Democrats have a 35 percent chance of winning 51 or more, and accounting for the presidential race, their likelihood of a majority becomes 70 percent. [Presidential forecast, Senate forecast]   

MILLENNIAL VOTERS FAVOR CLINTON - Nick Bayer: “[Hillary] Clinton holds a 28 point lead over Donald Trump among 18-29 year old likely voters, a new Harvard University Institute of Politics Poll finds. When asked how they would vote, 49 percent of millennials said they support Clinton. Trump wins the support of only 21 percent while Johnson and Stein take 14 percent and 5 percent respectively. ‘Her complicated relationship with members of this generation [is] starting to thaw a little bit,’ said John Della Volpe, Polling Director at the Harvard Institute of Politics on Wednesday morning. When asked about race relations, 78 percent of young Americans said they are concerned about the state of race relations in America today. What’s more, 85 percent of Black Americans surveyed feel that people of their racial background are under attack in America. Seventy-two percent of Hispanics feel they are under attack. Sixty-four percent of young Americans trust Clinton more to address inequality, the poll finds. Similarly, 62 percent of young Americans surveyed expect race relations would worsen in Trump were elected president.” [Harvard IOP]

AMERICANS SAY CLINTON WON THE DEBATES - HuffPollster: “Americans say by a 17-point margin that Hillary Clinton won this year’s presidential debates over Donald Trump, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov survey. Forty-two percent of Americans say Clinton did a better job overall than Trump in the debates, while 25 percent favor Trump. Twenty-two percent say neither candidate won, while 11 percent aren’t sure. Views were generally split along party lines, although Democrats were more pleased with their nominee than Republicans were with theirs. Seventy-eight percent of Democrats said Clinton did a better job, while just 53 percent of Republicans said the same of Trump….Fifty-nine percent of Democrats, compared to just 43 percent of Republicans, said the debates had strengthened their opinion of their chosen candidate.” [HuffPost]

POLITICALLY DIVIDED COUPLES ARE HAVING  A ‘TRAINWRECK’ OF A YEAR - HuffPollster: “If Donald Trump wins the presidential election, he’ll keep the country safe and improve the economy, Kyler, a North Carolina father of two, told a focus group Tuesday night. If Trump wins, Kyler’s wife Tasha retorted, she’s moving to Italy….Most Americans don’t have a close relationship with anyone who backs a different presidential candidate. A very small percentage, though, know at least one such person all too well. About 3 percent of voters backing Trump or Hillary Clinton say their spouse or partner is supporting the opposite candidate, according to Pew Research….[P]ollsters brought together five couples who disagree on the election for a political conversation that occasionally veered toward group therapy. ‘I really, genuinely think that our marriage has been the worst it’s been ever this season,’ Tasha said. ‘It’s a trainwreck. I have gotten to the point where I don’t even want to hear it.’...Just 15 percent of all voters say they’ve argued with their spouse or partner about this year’s elections, according to Pew. Even for couples who disagree, getting into fights about it isn’t the norm. Although 41 percent of voters in split-ticket relationships say they’ve clashed over the election, the survey found, 59 percent have managed to avoid any conflict.” [HuffPost]

VIEWS ON DIRECTION OF THE COUNTRY ARE DIVIDED BY PARTISANSHIP - Jennifer Agiesta: “More Americans than at any time in Barack Obama’s presidency now say that things in the United States are going well, a sharp uptick in positive views and the best reviews of the country’s trajectory since January 2007, according to the latest CNN/ORC poll. Overall, 54% say things in the country today are going well, 46% badly. That’s a reversal from late July when 54% said things were going poorly and 46% said they were positive. The improvement in impressions of the country’s path stems largely from shifts among Democrats and independents. Among Democrats, 85% say things are going well, up from 76% in late July. Among independents, 51% now say things are going well, up 9 points since this summer. There’s been no significant shift, however, among Republicans: 21% now say things are going well, not significantly different from the 17% who said so in July. There’s also a stark divide between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. More than 8-in-10 of those behind Trump, whose campaign slogan suggests America has gone off on the wrong track, say things in the US today are going poorly. Among Clinton’s supporters, almost 9-in-10 say they’re going well.” [CNN] 

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

-Steven Shepard takes a closer look at three of Donald Trump’s favorite pollsters. [Politico]

-Harry Enten finds that GOP senate candidates may not be outperforming Trump by enough to win. [538]

-David Wasserman expects Democrats to pick up between 10 and 20 House seats. [Cook Political]

-Pollsters Peter Hart (D) and Whit Ayres (R) share their predictions for Election Day. [PBS]

-Justin H. Gross and Kaylee T. Johnson review Trump’s history of “punching down” on Twitter. [WashPost]

-WPA Research (R) explain why this “very odd election” led them to change their methodology. [WPA]