HUFFPOLLSTER: Hillary Clinton Takes A Slight Dip In Swing States

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes part in a discussion on 'our nation's urban centers,' and 'challenges from housing and transportation to education and workforce accessibility.' at the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington, DC, on March 23, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes part in a discussion on 'our nation's urban centers,' and 'challenges from housing and transportation to education and workforce accessibility.' at the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington, DC, on March 23, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton loses a few percentage points in general election matchups in three swing states. Americans want a deal with Iran, but have doubts the deal will be good. And pollsters take candidates at their word, except when they don't. This is HuffPollster for Thursday, April 9, 2015.

CLINTON SUPPORT SLIGHTLY LOWER IN COLORADO, IOWA, VIRGINIA - Quinnipiac University: "Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's lead is wilting against leading Republican presidential candidates in three critical swing states, Colorado, Iowa and Virginia, and she finds herself in a close race with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky in each state, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today. In head-to-head matchups, every Republican candidate effectively ties her in Colorado and almost all Republicans effectively tie her in Iowa. Secretary Clinton has lost ground in almost every matchup in Colorado and Iowa since a February 18 Swing State Poll by the independent Quinnipiac University....One bright spot for Clinton is Virginia, the largest of the three states, where she leads all Republicans, including 47 - 40 percent over Bush, compared to a 42 - 42 percent tie in February. Voters in each state say Clinton is not honest and trustworthy. Her overall favorability has dropped significantly in Colorado and Iowa, while Virginia is unchanged. Favorability ratings for the Republicans are lackluster, at best." [Quinnipiac]

AMERICANS WANT A DEAL WITH IRAN BUT DON'T THINK THEY'LL LIKE IT - HuffPollster: "Last week, President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. and Iran had reached a framework for a historic nuclear agreement. Standing in the White House Rose Garden, Obama stressed that the tentative deal is America's best option and that it is "not based on trust." But his attempt to reassure the public has had limited success. An Economist/YouGov poll conducted this past weekend found that while Americans support the nuclear negotiations, they still distrust Iran and many doubt that any good outcome will be reached. Sixty-one percent -- including majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents -- back negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. But Americans remain skeptical about the chances of a successful deal… Only 1 in 4 trust that Iran will follow through on a deal...In the YouGov survey, Americans also seemed divided on whether the framework agreement will lead to a final deal" [HuffPost]

WHY POLLSTERS ARE INCONSISTENT IN TESTING WARREN AND TRUMP - Natalie Jackson: "There’s something odd about the early polls on the 2016 presidential primaries… No, it’s not just that the first primary is still over eight months away. It’s the people the polls are testing as candidates. Recent trial heat questions exclude some who say they are running but include others who insist they’re not. Businessman Donald Trump says he will run but as of this writing appears in only three of seven New Hampshire Republican primary polls since the beginning of 2015. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has repeatedly denied she’s running but appears in five of six New Hampshire Democratic primary polls since January. Nationally, Warren has been included in 13 of 18 and Trump is in two of 15 surveys this year. Why ask about Warren but not Trump? Especially in the early months of a presidential race, when most of the eventual candidates haven't even declared their candidacy, pollsters have to make judgments based on what these individuals are doing, prior poll results and their own experience. The Huffington Post talked to a few pollsters about how these decisions are made." [HuffPost]

HOW PEW RESEARCH BUILT ITS ONLINE PANEL - Pew Research: "After considering various models, we opted to recruit the American Trends Panel via a large RDD telephone survey conducted in early 2014 on the subject of political polarization. The study had a total sample size of about 10,000, providing a large base for the panel recruitment...We decided that the standard mode of interview for panelists with access to the internet would be self-administration on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. To ensure coverage of individuals who do not have access to the internet or did not want to use the internet for taking surveys, we decided to build the capability to survey them by mail with a paper questionnaire. Providing computers and internet access was not, in our view, a cost-effective approach to cover this portion of the population. We also have the option to interview this group by telephone, and did so in the first wave of interviewing and on another wave that incorporated a test of interview modes. But concerns about mode-of-interview effects led us to prefer the option of a mail survey for this relatively small portion (12%) of the panel… Although we built this panel with the explicit goal of having it serve the research needs of our yearlong study of political polarization, it was also very much an experiment, given our lack of past experience with panel research." [Pew]

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

-The vast majority of Cubans welcome closer ties with the U.S. [WashPost]

-Americans think their taxes are too high. [Fox News]

-Chris Christie's job approval rating hits a new low in New Jersey. [Eagleton Poll]

-Millennials are just about as racist as their parents. [WashPost]

-Most young Americans support laws that protect people that identify as LGBT from discrimination, a poll for the left-leaning Center for American Progress finds. [HuffPost]

-Twenty-four percent of teens go online "almost constantly." [Pew]

-Mormons are the most Republican demographic group, while black Americans are most Democratic. [WashPost]

-Nate Cohn declares Jeb Bush the leader of the invisible primary. [NYT]

-Despite an increase, turnout in Michael Brown's home ward still lags behind others in Ferguson, Missouri. [538]

-Nearly one in ten Americans have severe anger issues and access to guns. [WashPost]

-A map shows U.S. counties where racial minorities have become majorities since 2000. [Pew]

-Josh Putnam reviews what we know so far about the Republican presidential primary timeline. [Sabato]

-Former NY Times polling editor Margie Connolly joins the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research as a senior fellow. [NORC]

-Margie Omero and Kristen Anderson interview HuffPollster for their podcast, The Pollsters. [iTunes]

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