A study of different ways to poll voters shows little overall effect from “shy Trump” voters. Hillary Clinton is in a better place than Barack Obama was four years ago. And Americans feel more of a connection to their political party than to other demographic groups. This is HuffPollster for Thursday, November 3, 2016.
FEW TRUMP SUPPORTERS ARE TOO EMBARRASSED TO ADMIT THEIR SUPPORT - Steven Shepard: “Donald Trump has insisted for months that polls are failing to capture the breadth of his support because some of his backers won’t admit it to a pollster over the telephone. He’s wrong. According to a new study commissioned by POLITICO and conducted this past weekend by Morning Consult, a hidden army of Trump voters that’s undetected by the polls is unlikely to materialize on Election Day. The study... showed only a slight, not-statistically-significant difference in their effect on voters’ preferences for president…. Overall, the POLITICO/Morning Consult study released Thursday showed Clinton with a 5-point lead among voters interviewed over the phone, 52 percent to 47 percent. The race was modestly closer in online interviews: Clinton’s share of the vote ticked down a single point, to 51 percent. Trump’s support inched up a point, to 48 percent…. A previous Morning Consult study late last year found a Trump ran about five points better among Republicans and GOP-leaning independent voters in online interviews than he did over the phone. But that same effect is not carrying over to the same extent in the general election.” [Politico]
There were a few differences by mode, though - Kyle Dropp: “Respondents entered the survey online and were asked a few background questions. Once completed, they were randomly assigned to complete the rest of the interview either by: Brief live telephone interview containing vote choice questions by calling an inbound call center (n = 1,249) [or] A short, identical online interview (n = 825). Once assigned to a live telephone interview or online interview, individuals answered a set of vote choice questions about the 2016 presidential election and other potential public actions related to support for a candidate... There is a social desirability effect with well-educated and higher income voters... Trump does perform worse on the phone with a live interviewer if the respondent has a college degree (Bachelor’s or post-grad). Trump performs 14 percentage points worse among college grads in live phone interviews. Trump also performs worse on the phone among households earning more than $50,000 annually. He trails Clinton among households earning more than $50,000 by 10 points on the phone, but is tied in such households online.” [Morning Consult]
POLLS SHOW CLINTON STILL LEADING IN KEY STATES - HuffPollster: “New polls from CNN/ORC in four states started the day on a mixed note for Clinton. Two of those showed Trump leading by 6 points in Nevada, and by 5 points in Arizona. Both are more pro-Trump than most other recent polls have been in those states, but Arizona is a traditionally red state, and Trump’s lead in Nevada has wavered back and forth a few times this year. CNN/ORC showed Clinton up 2 points in Florida, and by 4 points in Pennsylvania ― both well in line with recent trends. Quinnipiac University released a set of four polls Wednesday afternoon, giving Clinton the edge by 1 point in Florida, 3 points in North Carolina, and 4 points in Pennsylvania. The only bad news for Clinton in that set: She trails by 5 points in Ohio…. No poll on the HuffPost Pollster chart has ever shown Trump leading in [Wisconsin]. Marquette didn’t change that trend on Wednesday ― the poll showed Clinton leading by 6 points. The pollsters did note some effects from Friday’s FBI announcement about more emails pertinent to Clinton’s private server, but she had a strong enough lead that those effects didn’t change the outcome.” [HuffPost]
Nationally, Clinton is in a better place than Obama was in 2012 - More from HuffPollster: “In theHuffPost Pollster chart, Obama widened his lead to just 1.5 percentage points over Mitt Romney nationally ― but that was good enough for Simon Jackman’s HuffPost model and Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight model to give Obama a 91 percent chance of winning. Obama’s odds in the states were good enough that he was predicted to get 332 electoral votes (which is what he got). Clinton is currently about 6 points ahead of Trump in the HuffPost Pollster national chart, and our predictions give her 341 electoral votes. Assuming the polls haven’t become fundamentally more error-prone than in 2012, a 98 percent certainty of her election makes sense ― especially when compared with Obama’s 91 percent certainty with only a fraction of that lead. Maybe there are reasons to think 2016 is more uncertain than 2012 was; it certainly has been an unconventional year. But we’re trusting that pollsters have captured opinions reasonably well on average.” [HuffPost]
FORECAST UPDATE - Clinton still has a 98 percent chance of winning the presidency. Democrats are up to a 71 percent chance of getting 51 or more seats in the Senate; Republicans’ chances have dropped to 5 percent. The shift in the Senate comes from polls showing increasing leads for Democratic candidates in Illinois, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Wisconsin and Indiana will be races to watch ― Democrats maintain the lead in both states, but their margins have been decreasing in recent weeks. [Presidential forecast, Senate forecast]
AMERICANS’ DEEPEST AFFINITIES LIE ALONG PARTY LINES - HuffPollster: “There’s no shortage of demographic splits between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s supporters, whether it’s gender, race or age. But if you ask Americans which groups they have the most in common with during this election, they’re more likely to name their political parties than any of a slew of other demographic groupings. In a new HuffPost/YouGov survey, 30 percent of Americans picked ‘people in the same political party as you’ as being one of the two groups with whom they shared the most common interests and concerns, followed by ‘people in the same age group’ at 24 percent and ‘people of the same religion’ at 19 percent….Of course, people don’t always have a good sense of how the complicated mix of upbringing, circumstances, biases, beliefs and opinions translates into a decision on whom to vote for….Still, the results offer a look at how Americans believe their own demographic details influence their politics.” [HuffPost]
SUPPORT FOR GARY JOHNSON FALLS - With less than a week until the election, fewer voters still say they plan to support the Libertarian Party nominee. Johnson stands at about 4.7 percent nationally, according to HuffPost Pollster’s chart of polls that include him by name, marking a 3-point drop since the beginning of October.
EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT EXIT POLLS - Drew DeSilver: “The exit poll is a major operation. Edison [Research] expects to survey about 16,000 early and absentee voters by phone, [co-founder Joe] Lenski said, and another 85,000 or so voters in person….The exit poll is more a set of interlocking surveys than a single, uniform poll. Aside from the phone and in-person components, Edison will field state-specific questionnaires at 350 of its 1,000 or so polling locations, in addition to the national questionnaire all respondents receive….Edison’s response rate on its exit polls is considerably higher than is typical for phone surveys, Lenski said – about 45% of the voters the firm approaches agree to fill out questionnaires. But, he added, ‘Response rates in exit polls have gone down, but a lot more gradually than with traditional telephone surveys. When I started in this business, the response rate was more like 60%.’” [Pew]
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THURSDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:
-Scott Clement and Emily Guskin find Hillary Clinton recovering from a brief dip in enthusiasm among her supporters. [WashPost]
-Megan Thee-Brenan writes that Clinton still holds the edge over Donald Trump. [NYT]
-Dan Hopkins notes that most voters haven’t changed their minds all year. 
-A MassINC/WBUR survey of New Hampshire finds Trump polling just ahead of Clinton. [WBUR]
-Philip Bump demonstrates how fewer poll results can lead to higher election uncertainty. [WashPost]
-Justin H. Gross predicts that the Latino electorate could turn out at historic levels this year. [HuffPost]
-Julia Azari reviews research on the importance of a “presidential mandate.”