HUFFPOLLSTER: Donald Trump Is Lagging Far Behind Hillary Clinton

It’s not clear yet how much he’s declined in the last few days, but the initial numbers don’t look good.

New surveys spell further problems for the Trump campaign. Mitt Romney’s 2012 numbers are looking pretty good for the GOP right now. But Republicans downballot are so far being spared the effects. This is HuffPollster for Tuesday, October 11, 2016.

POLLS INDICATE TRUMP IS IN TROUBLE - Three new national polls show Donald Trump’s support declining, although by different amounts. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Trump down to 35 percent, with Clinton 11 points higher at 46 percent. That poll was conducted Saturday and Sunday, after the tape showing Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women was released Friday but before Sunday night’s debate. A PRRI/Atlantic poll conducted October 5-9, including time before and after the tape release, also shows Clinton with an 11-point lead and Trump with only 38 percent of the vote. A Politico/Morning Consult poll conducted Saturday showed Trump with 38 percent support, but that was only a 1 percent drop from their previous poll and only 4 points behind Clinton. A post-debate Morning Consult poll shows Trump dropping another point to 37 percent with Clinton holding steady at 42 percent. The margins between Trump and Clinton vary across these polls, but all show evidence of Trump declining into the 30s. That’s not a good sign 4 weeks out from the election. [NBC, PRRI, Politico, Morning Consult]

ANOTHER POLL FINDS LITTLE EFFECT ON VIEWS OF TRUMP’S RESPECT FOR WOMEN - HuffPollster: “Even before the release of a video that showed Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault, most voters didn’t think he respected women. But Friday’s revelation had only a modest effect on the minds of those who did, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov survey.Thirty-two percent of registered voters now think Trump respects women, identical to the percentage who said so in a poll taken days before the video’s release. The share who say he does not respect women rose from 54 percent to 59 percent, as some people left the ‘not sure’ camp. ...The lack of change shows how deeply opinions can harden along partisan lines, with voters willing to rationalize away criticism of the candidate they support….Surveys released so far this week have found varying results on how much the controversy has affected Americans’ opinions of Trump. The HuffPost/YouGov survey differs significantly from a poll by NBC and SurveyMonkey, which found the percentage of likely voters who think Trump doesn’t respect women at all jumping from 39 percent to 46 percent in the aftermath of the video’s release. One potential reason for the discrepancy: While the HuffPost/YouGov poll laid out a binary set of options ― Trump does or does not respect women ― the NBC/SurveyMonkey offered a more gradual scale, asking people whether Trump respects women ‘a lot,’ ‘some,’ ‘not much’ or ‘not at all.’” [HuffPost]

More than 450,000 votes were cast before anyone heard about the tape. [CNN]

Many Republicans will still vote for Trump - HuffPollster: “Sixty-seven percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said congressional candidates should still support Trump, according to the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. In the Politico/Morning Consult poll, 74 percent of Republicans agreed that party leaders should continue to back the embattled nominee…. Republicans who don’t want to support Trump face an unpleasant decision: Vote for Trump, or allow Clinton to become president…. For many Republicans (and Democrats), the idea of aiding the other party is anathema. In an April HuffPost/YouGov survey, 76 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents agreed that “the worst Republican candidate for president is still better than the Democratic candidates.” The same proportion of Democrats said the same thing about their party. More than half of Republicans, and just under half of Democrats, strongly agreed with the statement. Less than 10 percent of each group strongly disagreed. None of these numbers are surprising. Party identification is by far the strongest predictor of vote choice in American elections, and has been for decades.” [HuffPost]

Downballot Republicans don’t seem to be suffering - Janie Velencia and Grace Sparks: “Donald Trump’s boasts about sexually assaulting women could be causing him to lose some ground in the polls, but it doesn’t seem to be hurting down-ballot Republican candidates yet. Trump has declined by 2 percentage points among registered voters, according to YouGov/Economist polls conducted before and after the release of that notorious recording. At the same time, the GOP has seen a 2-point increase in generic House polling, which asks voters which party’s congressional candidate they’d vote for. Voters in his own party also seem to be targeting their ire at Trump specifically. Among registered GOP voters, Trump has dropped by 4 points, from 85 percent to 81 percent. But the generic down-ballot Republican candidate has seen no change, maintaining 88 percent support.” [HuffPost]

CURRENT HUFFINGTON POST FORECAST - Hillary Clinton has an 88.3 percent chance of winning the presidential election. Republicans have a 65 percent chance of keeping the Senate. [Presidential forecast, Senate forecast]

ALL ATTENTION ISN’T GOOD ATTENTION, 2016 EDITION - Geoffrey Skelley, via Twitter: “I noticed earlier this cycle that there’s a negative correlation between getting more attention than the other candidate & poll margin. E.g. during periods where Clinton was in the news more than Trump, her lead shrank and vice versa. Gallup and Google Trends provide data on who’s getting more notice in the news. Over the past month, correlation between Trump’s margin of being heard about in the news (Gallup) & HuffPost margin is a solid -.67!! Comparing Trump’s HuffPost margin to Google Trends margin between Trump and Clinton, correlation is -.55 over the past month. So we have 2 indicators where the correlation between Trump being in the news relative to Clinton & Trump’s margin is above .5! And let me add that there’s something to these correlations over time, at least going back to after the conventions.” [@geoffreyvs]

TRUMP WOULD KILL FOR MITT ROMNEY’S POLL NUMBERS RIGHT ABOUT NOW: HuffPollster: “In mid-October 2012, Romney lagged President Barack Obama by just about half a percentage point in HuffPost Pollster’s model of the race. By contrast, Trump’s current polling average, which still largely reflects polls taken before the latest revelations, puts him more than 6 points behind Hillary Clinton in a head-to-head race. That’s a gap more than 10 times larger than Romney’s…State polling tells a similar story. In most of the states where HuffPost Pollster has enough data for a model, Trump’s current margin against Clinton is less than Romney’s final margin against Obama in the 2012 election….And Romney, of course, lost the 2012 election by a larger-than-predicted margin. For Trump’s campaign to be on track to victory, he would likely need to be outperforming his predecessor. Instead, he’s behind and facing the specter of even worse numbers to come.” [HuffPost]

MARRIED VOTERS DON’T ALWAYS KNOW WHO THEIR SPOUSE IS BACKING - Will Jordan, via Twitter: “I may have cracked the code of the gender gap and how American families are not ripping themselves apart...Married WOMEN who say they are voting for Hillary Clinton: 45%. Married MEN who think their SPOUSE is voting for Hillary Clinton: 33%. Married MEN who say they are voting for Hillary Clinton: 31%. Married WOMEN who think their SPOUSE is voting for Hillary Clinton: 37%.” [@williamjordann]

PEW RESEARCH STEPS BACK FROM HORSERACE POLLING - Michael Dimock: “We’ve been getting questions about what people can expect to see from Pew Research Center in the final weeks before Election Day. Compared with past years, our October and November plans have changed significantly in that the Center will not be producing likely-voter estimates of the state of the race or making a final projection of the national vote total….[T]he field of pre-election ‘horse-race’ polling has become increasingly crowded, including by organizations rightfully putting a focus on polling in key battleground states. Putting resources toward an already saturated market doesn’t make much sense for us….The number of survey aggregators now giving the public a general sense of how the race is ebbing or flowing, however, makes this less of a loss. Our decision also takes away an opportunity for us to test our survey accuracy against an objective external reality: the national vote total. However, elections are only one way – and not necessarily the best way – to gauge polling accuracy…. Perhaps most importantly, this does not mean we believe that polling is no longer accurate enough to be used to predict election results. “ [Pew]

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

-Americans who like Donald Trump are more likely to report feeling financially insecure. [Gallup]

-Hillary Clinton and Trump’s supporters are “worlds apart” on views of climate change. [Pew]

-Steven Shepard writes that Trump’s campaign staring into the “polling abyss.” [Politico]

-Dhrumil Mehta and Jennifer Kanjana look at how Asian-Americans are voting this year. [538]

-Some news outlets may be scrapping unscientific online reader polls. [Business Insider]

-“My God, he’s even gotten to the pollsters.” [The Onion]