A new election forecast gives Donald Trump long, but not insurmountable, odds. Polls are about to get a lot more predictive. And immigration, guns and abortion divide voters even inside party lines. This is HuffPollster for Wednesday, July 20, 2016.
NEW YORK TIMES FORECAST GIVES TRUMP A 1-IN-4 CHANCE OF WINNING IN NOVEMBER - Josh Katz: “For now, at least, Hillary Clinton has a 76 percent chance of defeating Donald Trump to become president of the United States. A victory by Mr. Trump remains quite possible: Mrs. Clinton’s chance of losing is about the same probability that an N.B.A. player will miss a free throw. This electoral probability, the first forecast by the Upshot’s presidential prediction model, is based on the voting history of each state and on roughly 300 state and national polls of the race conducted since mid-April….Our model suggests Mrs. Clinton is a strong favorite in 14 states and the District of Columbia, enough to give her 186 of the 270 electoral votes she needs to win the White House. Add to this eight more states that polls currently show are leaning Democratic — including Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania — and Mrs. Clinton would have 275 electoral votes and the presidency. But, with 16 weeks remaining in the campaign, a lot can change. Using the same model, we would have said that Bill Clinton had less than a 20 percent chance to win the presidency with roughly four months to go in 1992.” [NYT]
How that compares to other forecasts - More from Katz: “The Upshot is not the only news organization trying to forecast election results. We believe each model provides useful glimpses of possible futures, so we are compiling forecasts from a variety of them into one easy-to-digest table. Viewed side by side, the differences among the models become clearer. Arizona, for example, is rated as a tossup by FiveThirtyEight, while our model has not yet seen enough polling evidence to revise its assessment of Arizona’s recent history as a Republican-leaning state. Similarly, while the betting markets rate New Mexico as almost a sure thing in the Democratic column, our model is not as certain, giving Mr. Trump a 21 percent chance to upset Mrs. Clinton there.” [NYT]
POLLS WILL BE MUCH MORE PREDICTIVE AFTER THE CONVENTIONS - Nate Silver: “There has been a lot of polling over the past few days in advance of the Republican National Convention, which got underway Monday in Cleveland… What’s relatively safe to say is that we’ll know a lot more in a month or so. Below, you’ll find a comparison of where national polls stood heading into the challenging party’s convention, and then 30 days after the incumbent party’s convention… The pre-convention polls missed the final margin in the race by an average of 6.4 percentage points. By contrast, the post-convention polls missed it by 4.0 points, a considerable improvement….But there are a couple of important caveats. One is that the conventions are being held much earlier than usual this year. There are 103 days between the conclusion of the Democratic convention on July 28 and the election on Nov. 8. By contrast, there were just 61 days separating the conventions and the election in 2012. The campaign is going to feel really long, and there will be several extra weeks for the poll numbers to gyrate around….By far the more important qualification, however, is that while you should be keenly interested in what the polls say a month or so from now, you ought to be careful in the interim. That’s because the conventions have historically been associated with large, but sometimes temporary, bounces in the polls.” 
IMMIGRATION, ABORTION AND GUNS ARE SOURCE OF SOME DISCORD WITHIN PARTIES - Scott Clement: “Presidential conventions are designed to patch up partisan disagreements — or at least to project a compelling pitch of the party’s core message as voters tune in to the general election campaign. But a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds a significant share of Democrats and Republicans disagree with their party on potential wedge issues and are not committed to supporting the party’s nominee....Sixty-percent of adults want the next president to support a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants, 52 percent want a president who supports legal abortion in most cases, and 57 percent want a president who supports stricter gun laws…Most Republicans and Democrats agree with their party’s broad position on immigration, guns and abortion, but a sizable minority do not. One in three Republicans and Republican-leaning independent voters say the next president should support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and support legal abortion, while almost as many (28 percent) support stricter gun control laws. While Democratic-leaning registered voters are more unified, there’s still some discord, with 1 in 6 opposing a path to citizenship and roughly 1 in 5 opposing legal abortion and stricter gun control laws.” [WashPost]
VOTERS LIKE PENCE MORE AFTER HEARING HIS RECORD ON BUDGET AND TAXES - Eli Yokley: “When Indiana Gov. Mike Pence addresses delegates here on Wednesday evening, he would do well to highlight his efforts to lower taxes and balance the budget in his home state, according to a new Morning Consult survey taken over the weekend. If he wants to tout his views on infrastructure, that will play well across the board. About half of self-identified independent voters — the key to this presidential election — say they have a better impression of Pence when they know that Indiana had a $210 million budget surplus at the end of 2015 and that Pence lowered property taxes and corporate income taxes; 49 percent of independents said the budget situation made them view Pence more favorably, and 51 percent said the same of the tax cuts. Those two messages about Pence also had the most positive impact on Democrats, Republicans and the population at large. But the poll, which tested 20 various positive and negative messages about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s running mate, also found that 55 percent of voters say Trump’s selection of Pence had no impact on whether they were likely to vote for him.” [Morning Consult]
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WEDNESDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:
-Melissa Deckman explains why Donald Trump won’t win over Bernie Sanders’ supporters. [WashPost]
-Nate Silver questions whether perceptions of “a world in chaos” will favor Trump. 
-A national Democracy Corps (D) poll finds Hillary Clinton suffering from rising negatives. [DemCorps]
-James Gimpel looks at how opinions on immigration fueled Trump’s rise. [Center for Immigration Studies]
-Paul Ryan is still popular among Republicans. [Gallup]
-Democratic presidents nominate more minority federal judges than Republican presidents do. [Pew]
-A poll finds that nearly two thirds of Brazilians believe the Olympics will do more harm than good. [Chicago Tribune]
-A survey mailed to homes in California may actually be an organization’s attempt at list-building. [LAT]
Which convention had the most ballots for President?