THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE: LESS THAN 3 MONTHS TO
If you are a casual reader of the presidential polls being published by the Main Stream Media crowd, you are probably confused. Given the number and frequency of these polls, confusion besets many of us.
If you follow the two primary survey tracking services, Real Clear Politics and Nate Silver’s 538, a compilation of polling averages over the past months is what they report. While each makes the case this compilation is an accurate estimation of the likely election outcome, the question remains: what is happening now and not 6 months ago? When you consider the fluctuations in the polls, currency becomes even more important.
Given this, what is the condition of the presidential election over the last week? There have been 6 surveys reported during this time frame. They are listed below along with the how the sample is constructed.
Reuters Online/Internet/General Population Pew/Registered Voters
Clinton 39 Clinton 41
Trump 35 Trump 37
Johnson 7 Johnson 10
Stein 2 Stein 4
Economist/Online/General Population Rasmussen/Likely Voters
Clinton 41 Clinton 41
Trump 35 Trump 39
Johnson 7 Johnson 9
Stein 3 Stein 3
NBC News/Online/General Population
Average Lead for Clinton (Composite): 4.25%
The left column above presents the reader with polls done via the internet with the general population who takes time to answer the polling questions. Those who answer these surveys may or may not be registered voters. The average lead for Clinton among these general population polls is 5.0%.
The right column contains two polls. One is a registered voter poll, meaning the respondents are actually registered to vote in the 2016 presidential race (or say they are). The Rasmussen poll is composed of likely voters, meaning voters who are likely to make up the actual voters who make their way to the polls on Election Day. These polls average a 3.0% Clinton lead.
In short, and I have witnessed this throughout this presidential year, when polls more tightly screen the respondents, the closer the race and the better Trump performs.
When one compares the above polls to the average of polls over the last year, one finds that Clinton lead is about 1.5% less than the compilation of polls. In short, it appears Trump has some new found momentum especially among voters who are likely to show up to vote.
Finally, there’s one recent poll omitted in the above chart, the Los Angeles Times daily tracking poll. It is omitted because the methodology for this poll is unique. Basically, it is what the pros call a panel-back poll, meaning a subset of 2,000 of the same people is polled on a regular basis. It’s a respected method for survey research and this poll called the 2012 election almost to the exact 1/10th of 1 percent.
The Los Angeles Times poll has the election as a dead heat and has had so over the last few days…44 to 44 for Clinton and Trump. Over the last week, Trump has closed to make it dead even, thus adding to the idea that Trump does have some momentum.
…more to come…