As we reported earlier this month, a sensationalized poll showing Hillary Clinton to be leading Donald Trump by an unprecedented 11 points (in a four-way race) was taking the media by storm. In a hypothetical two-way race, the poll showed Hillary leading Trump by a shocking 14 points.
The poll came out after the leaked 2005 Access Hollywood tape, and it was commissioned by ABC News, so it’s no surprise why the media bought it. But as we pointed out, the poll had far over-sampled those who lean Left, and that was the poll’s smallest problem. As it turned out, the organization that had actually performed the poll (Hart Research Associates) had received $225,000 from Hillary’s Priorities USA Super-pac in the month of September alone. Not only that, the president of Hart, Geoff, Garin, works for Hillary’s campaign.
That conflict of interest didn’t seem to make it into ABC’s report.
Despite all the flaws of that poll – would you believe ABC’s polling is now showing the race within a mere two points? To quote from ABC News: It’s a tale of two electorates in the ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll, with shifts in intended turnout moving a large advantage for Hillary Clinton a week ago to a far tighter 2016 presidential race today.
From a 50-38 percent Clinton lead over Donald Trump in the tracking poll’s first four days, Oct. 20-23, it’s a 47-45 percent contest in the latest results. The movement has been in Trump’s favor, +7, while the -3 in Clinton’s support is not significant, given the sample size.
Perhaps explaining the difference in findings is that a different polling organization was used for this poll: Langer Research Associates.
So what changed?
• As Trump’s controversies last week and the week before move further into the rearview mirror, Republicans are expressing greater likelihood to participate: Eighty-one percent of registered Republicans now are likely voters, up from 75 percent a week ago.
• In one example, there are 6 points more Republicans and GOP-leaning independents showing up in the ranks of non-college white women. This group was broadly for Trump a few weeks ago, then less so; it’s now back, favoring him by 59-29 percent.
• Loosely affiliated or reluctant Clinton supporters look less likely to vote, perhaps given their sense she can win without them — a supposition that looks less reliable today.
• Vote preferences also are part of the mix. At its lowest early this week, 82 percent of Republicans supported Trump. It’s 86 percent now. And his share of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents has gained 6 points, from 78 to 84 percent.
• Trump, meanwhile, has gone from a 6-point deficit to a 16-point advantage among independents, with more Republican-leaners in their ranks.
And here’s the real kicker: this poll was conducted before the FBI reopening their investigation into Hillary hit the news, for which we can thank Anthony Weiner. That clearly has damaged Hillary, as demonstrated by a nearly 10 point drop in her odds of winning the election, as reflected in the election betting odds. As more information from the FBI comes out in coming weeks, I can only imagine that Hillary will continue to get schlonged in the polls.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]