HUFFPOLLSTER: Here’s What You Need To Know About The Latest State Polling

It's not great news for either candidate.

Some traditional swing states aren’t looking very swingy, but others could be close. Americans are already tired of this election. And views of race relations are at their worst point since Obama took office. This is HuffPollster for Thursday, July 14, 2016.

NEW POLLS POINT TO  CLOSE RACES IN IOWA, WISCONSIN, OHIO AND FLORIDA -  Polls released yesterday show Hillary Clinton up by a few points in Iowa and Wisconsin, tied with Donald Trump in Ohio and trailing by a small margin in Florida. Clinton has strong leads in Virginia and Colorado polls.

Iowa: Two new surveys both give Hillary Clinton a slim lead in Iowa, with NBC/WSJ/Marist polling showing her up by 3, and an automated Gravis poll putting her up by 2. HuffPost Pollster’s model, which also includes the results of an earlier Loras poll that had her up by double digits, gives Clinton a 4-point edge over Donald Trump.

Wisconsin: The latest release from Marquette Law School gives Clinton her narrowest advantage yet in the state. It shows her with a 4-point edge over Trump, down from a 9-point lead in Marquette’s poll at the beginning of June. The results line up with the other most recent survey, a late June release from CBS/YouGov, which had Clinton up by 5. HuffPost Pollster’s model, reflecting Clinton’s more substantial lead in past surveys, still gives her a nearly 9-point advantage.

Ohio: Two polls from NBC/WSJ/Marist and Quinnipiac both show Clinton and Trump tied in Ohio. HuffPost Pollster’s model has Clinton up by just over 2 points.

Florida: Quinnipiac, which last found an 8-point lead for Clinton in Florida, now gives Trump a 3-point edge in the state. That marks the fourth consecutive poll to find the Republican ahead, although the remaining three were conducted either by GOP firms or for conservative clients. HuffPost Pollster’s model gives Clinton 44 percent to Trump’s 42 percent.

Virginia: Fox News polling gives Clinton a 7-point lead over Trump in Virginia, after a spate of other surveys suggesting a somewhat closer race. HuffPost Pollster’s model has Clinton up by just under 5 points.

Colorado: Polls from Fox News and Monmouth University agree that Clinton has a solid lead in Colorado. The Fox survey shows Clinton leading by 10 points, and Monmouth has a slightly larger lead of 13 points. HuffPost Pollster’s model shows Clinton up by 5 points, 43 percent to Trump’s 38 percent, since earlier polls showed a closer race.

Pennsylvania: Two polls in Pennsylvania, one from Quinnipiac and one from NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist, had conflicting results, although the organizations agree that Ohio is tied. The Quinnipiac Pennsylvania poll has Trump up by 2 points, while NBC/WSJ/Marist has Clinton up by 9 points in the state. The primary difference is in Trump’s support: Quinnipiac has Clinton at 41 percent and NBC/WSJ/Marist has her at 45 percent, but Quinnipiac’s Trump number is 43 compared to 36 in NBC/WSJ/Marist. NBC/WSJ/Marist has 17 undecideds, compared to Quinnipiac’s 13 percent. There’s no way to know for sure which is more accurate. The HuffPost Pollster model averages out all of the polls to show a 3-point Clinton lead.

These polls indicate a slight decline in Clinton’s lead - Nate Silver: “[T]he bevy of state polls worked strongly to Trump’s benefit overall. His chances of winning the Electoral College are up to 29 percent, from 23 percent on Tuesday, according to our polls-only model. And they’re now 33 percent, up from 27 percent, in our polls-plus model, which also accounts for economic conditions. FiveThirtyEight’s forecasts are generally conservative until late in the race, so those qualify as fairly big changes by our standards….[W]e’re entering a period of rapidly moving political news. Bernie Sanders endorsed Clinton only Tuesday. Trump is expected to name his VP later this week. And then we’ll have the party conventions. The prospects definitely look better for Trump than they did a week or two ago, but the landscape also looks blurrier, and it may not be until mid-August that we have a chance to catch our breath.” [538]

National estimates show Clinton is strong overall, but some states are very close - Cameron Easley: “If the presidential election were held today, Hillary Clinton would top Donald Trump 320-212 in electoral votes to clinch the White House, according to an extensive Morning Consult analysis of 57,000 voters. The 2016 presidential race is far from over, however. Morning Consult’s polling data is within 2 percentage points in eight key states. Iowa is not included in the electoral count because it is a statistical dead heat. The other close states are Florida, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. When those states are removed from the electoral count, Clinton garners 241 electoral votes and Trump receives 190. If Trump wins a few of those states, he could come out on top.” [Morning Consult]

AMERICANS ARE FEELING WORN OUT BY THIS ELECTION - Jeffrey Gottfried: “A new Pew Research Center survey conducted June 7-July 5 finds that about six-in-ten Americans (59%) feel exhausted by the amount of election coverage, while 39% say they like getting a lot of coverage about the election. This feeling of fatigue is particularly true among those who aren’t following news about the election very closely – 69% of this group say they are worn out compared with about 41% of those who follow the election very closely. That said, just because Americans are worn out by the amount of coverage does not imply that interest in or attention to the election itself is low. In fact, a recent Pew Research Center report showed that there was greater interest than during previous campaigns. Further, in February, we found that 91% of Americans had learned about the election from at least one type of source in the previous week...There is only one topic that most Americans say has received too little coverage – candidates’ stances on issues (55% feel this is under-covered).” [Pew]  

AMERICANS THINK STAKES ARE HIGHER THIS YEAR THAN IN PREVIOUS ELECTIONS - Jim Norman: “Large majorities of all three major U.S. racial and ethnic groups agree the election stakes are higher this year than in prior years, with 66% of blacks, 63% of whites and 50% of Hispanics strongly agreeing....[R]oughly seven in 10 or more of each group agree they are afraid of what will happen if their candidate does not win, 64% of blacks, compared with 53% of whites and only 38% of Hispanics, strongly agree.” [Gallup]  

PERCEPTIONS OF RACE RELATIONS HIT LOWEST POINT IN OBAMA’S PRESIDENCY - Giovanni Russonello: “Sixty-nine percent of Americans say race relations are generally bad, one of the highest levels of discord since the 1992 riots in Los Angeles during the Rodney King case, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll….Relations between black Americans and the police have become so brittle that more than half of black people say they were not surprised by the attack that killed five police officers and wounded nine others in Dallas last week. Nearly half of white Americans say that they, too, were unsurprised by the episode, the survey found….Asked whether the police in most communities are more likely to use deadly force against a black person than a white person, three-quarters of African-Americans answered yes, and only about half as many white people agree.” [NYT]

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

-A new CBS/New York Times poll finds Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tied nationally. [CBS]

-Pew Research finds evangelical voters rallying around Trump. [Pew]

-Nate Cohn and Toni Monkovic discuss Trump’s strength among white men. [NYT]  

-The Huffington Post analyzes 810 deaths that have occurred in jail since Sandra Bland’s death. [HuffPost]  

-The team at FiveThirtyEight dives into data on gun violence in America. [538]