Monday, November 7, 2016

Pols and Polls - the good, the bad, and the ugly

Summary for Nov. 7: Hispanics are voting in record numbers in Florida - over triple the number in 2012! Nate Silver’s 538 model gives Clinton a 65% chance of winning, a 48.4% popular vote to Trump’s 45.3% and predicts 292 electoral votes for Clinton. (The ABC tracking poll has the popular vote at 48 to 43.) The NY Times Upshot model gives Clinton a 84% chance of winning with 322 electoral votes. The HuffPollster is the most favorable to Clinton’s chance of winning at 98.8% with 325 electoral votes. These sources have the chances of the Senate flipping at 57%, 56%, and 67%. Clinton trails in the latest Ohio poll but is way ahead in early voting. Clinton is likely to carry NC and NH. There’s a good chance that the Senate seat will tip Democratic in IL, WI, PA, IN, and maybe NH. “It’s the economy, stupid.” Voters care more about the economy than other issues. That’s an opportunity for the incoming president to make the economy work for all Americans - as she has promised. And too keep your sanity in the face of all these poll numbers: ignore the momentary blips and attend to the trends. Averages are your friends. Observe that the numbers quoted here have not changed much for several days.

See more results below the fold.

AMERICANS CARE MOST ABOUT THE ECONOMY. THEY DON’T THINK TRUMP AND CLINTON DO - HuffPollster: “As atypical as the 2016 election has been, Americans are heading to the ballot box with the same top concern they normally have: the economy. The public, though, believes neither major party nominee shares that priority, with Hillary Clinton instead largely attacking Donald Trump’s character and Trump devoting much of his time to anti-immigration rhetoric. Asked in a new HuffPost/YouGov survey to pick the two issues most important to them in this election, 43 percent of Americans named the economy….Prompted to select the two issues that each nominee has spent the most time talking about, 32 percent said that Clinton had focused on the candidates’ personal qualities, and 26 percent that she’d focused on social issues….A majority of Americans, 53 percent, said that Trump’s campaign had focused mostly on immigration, with 27 percent saying he’d mostly addressed the candidates’ personal qualities….The perception that much of this year’s campaign has revolved around character attacks is especially out of step with Americans’ concerns. Clinton and her surrogates have repeatedly advanced the argument that Trump is temperamentally unfit to serve as commander in chief, while Trump and his allies have devoted much of their time to attacking Clinton as corrupt. Just 8 percent of Americans, however, consider each candidate’s personal qualities to be a top concern.” [HuffPost]

Forecast update from HuffPollster via email: - With one day to go, the HuffPost forecast model doesn’t see much room for the situation to change, so Clinton has a 98.8 percent chance of winning the presidency based on polls that show her leading in critical states. (Note: Due to a data error, Tennessee is showing up in the Clinton column this morning. That’s obviously not correct, and will be fixed on the next model run. That will impact the probabilities by less than 1 percent.) Trump’s 1 percent chance is mostly based on the chance the polls are completely wrong ― he would have to win every battleground state, plus a few solid Clinton states, in order to get 270 electoral votes. The Senate is less clear, but still favors Democrats: There’s a 66 percent chance they get 51 or more seats. Republicans only have a 10 percent chance of getting to the 51 seat mark. [Presidential forecast, Senate forecast]

HOW TO COPE WITH TONS OF POLLS TODAY: AGGREGATES - HuffPollster: “The end of the election cycle always coincides with a massive batch of poll releases. Most pollsters want to get their final measures out and capitalize on peak interest in polling numbers before Election Day. That means we’ll be swimming in data on Monday…. Perhaps the most important key to keeping your sanity with all the polls coming in is to not follow every single poll and every little bounce in the numbers. Polling aggregates are your friend. I don’t say that to minimize pollsters’ hard work ― many of them do high-quality surveys and deserve credit for that. But when there’s an overwhelming amount of polling data coming at you, the best way to deal with it is to let someone else deal with it. If you’re trying to keep up with multiple 50-state polls on top of the dozens of other polls released each day, you’re going to have a bad time…. Most importantly: Don’t panic, vote. And make sure all your friends and family do, too.” [HuffPost]

TargetSmart releases new poll - Trump barely ahead in Ohio

Hillary Clinton narrowly trails Donald Trump in the contest for Ohio’s 18 electoral votes, according to a new poll released today by TargetSmart and William & Mary. Overall Clinton sits at 40 percent and Trump garners 43 percent of the vote.

The poll included a sample of Ohio voters who have already participated via either absentee voting or early in-person voting, based on reporting from the Ohio Secretary of State that is tracked on TargetSmart’s voter file. Among these early voters, the survey finds Clinton with a 7-point lead over Trump, 48 to 41 percent.

The reason for the apparent discrepancy lies with white male voters in the poll who have yet to vote.

Trump’s overall lead in the poll is driven by a 6-point advantage, 44 to 38 percent, among voters who have not voted early. Trump is bolstered by a lead among white men who have yet to participate, attracting 57 percent of the vote among them to Clinton’s 27 percent.

[Snippets from 538 email]:

Control of the Senate comes down to whether or not Democrats can flip four or more seats; we give the Democrats 57 percent odds as of early Monday morning.

In Nevada, more registered Democrats have turned out for early voting than registered Republicans by a six percentage point margin. In 2012, 70 percent of Nevada voters did so early, so this sizable lead could mean that the Silver State is already decided for Hillary Clinton.

48.4 percent … That’s the expected share of the popular vote that Hillary Clinton is forecasted to win, based on the latest from the FiveThirtyEight model. Donald Trump is projected to get 45.3 percent, but there are a solid range of possibilities, so it’s worth checking out the model every minute of every day until you feel certain of your place in the world.

565,000 … According to a University of Florida professor’s analysis, that’s the number of Hispanic voters who had cast in-person early ballots in Florida as of Saturday, double the number in 2012. Factoring in absentee ballots, 911,000 Hispanic Floridians have already voted.

Clinton leads by five points nationally as Trump personality concerns persist, Post-ABC Tracking Poll finds.

After running even with Donald Trump early last week, Hillary Clinton now holds a five-point lead in the latest Post-ABC Tracking Poll overall, as well as clear advantages on several personal attributes.

A few days ago there was an editorial in the Daily Star in which two columnists made their pitches for Clinton vs. Trump. The pro-Clinton guy talked up Clinton’s strong points and made just brief mention of Trump’s negatives. The pro-Trump guy spent the entire column attacking Clinton. There was not one word about Trump’s positive aspects. This discrepancy is playing out in the national polls.

Enthusiasm for Clinton and Trump now stands at rough parity, both significantly lower than it was among supporters of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney four years ago. But Clinton has a clear advantage in affirmative support, with 55 percent of her backers saying the main reason they are voting for her is because they support her, compared with 43 percent of Trump voters. More Trump voters say they are voting for him mainly because they oppose Clinton.

The Post-ABC poll finds Clinton with a 48 percent to 43 percent lead in overall vote preferences, just on the edge of statistical significance but continuing a clear trend of improvement since the race was locked at 46 percent at the beginning of last week. Clinton has benefited from more united support from non-white voters as well as with “pure” political independents who do not lean toward either party.

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