Wednesday, July 13, 2016


I gather I'm not supposed to take this seriously:
Did Donald Trump really just surge past Hillary Clinton in two of the election's most important battlegrounds?

New swing-state polls released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University show Trump leading Clinton in Florida and Pennsylvania -- and tied in the critical battleground state of Ohio....

Trump leads by three points in Florida — the closest state in the 2012 election -- 42 percent to 39 percent. In Ohio, the race is tied, 41 percent to 41 percent. And in Pennsylvania -- which hasn't voted for a Republican presidential nominee since 1988 -- Trump leads, 43 percent to 41 percent.
It's widely believed that Quinnipiac polls skew Republican -- but in late July 2012, a Quinnipiac poll done for The New York Times and CBS had President Obama up by 6 over Mitt Romney in Florida and Ohio, and up by 11 in Pennsylvania.

Oh, and if you don't believe Quinnipiac, Monmouth University has Trump up by 2 in Iowa.

Clinton still has a lead in the national McClatchy-Marist poll, but it's gotten smaller:
Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump has withered to 3 percentage points, signaling their battle for the White House has become too close to call heading into the two major-party national conventions, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll....

Either way, Clinton’s support has slipped noticeably, particularly in the one-on-one matchup with Trump. It was the first time her support had dropped below 50 percent in polls going back a year.
The good news for Clinton is that this is the immediate reaction to FBI director James Comey's Emailgate press conference, and the anger about this nothingburger will fade (somewhat). The bad news -- and this isn't news, because it's been true for months -- is that "Hillary is awful" has settled in as the default opinion of a plurality if not a majority of Americans, including some who'll vote for her in November.

When I say "default opinion," I mean that a lot of Americans now think Hillary is awful because that's what their friends and neighbors seem to think -- hating Hillary is a safe, mainstream, non-controversial opinion in much of America. It's easy. It doesn't require a lot of thought. It has the ring of truth because so many people say it.

Fortunately for Clinton, opinions of Trump are worse -- though not by much.

It would take an extraordinary effort on Clinton's part to turn this around, and I'm not sure it's possible before November, barring a major event such as a sudden death or health crisis in Clinton's family.

Disapproval can be contagious, and inexplicably so -- look at what happened to Jeb Bush in the Republican primaries. Was he really so far from the Republican ideal? Was he that much worse than Mitt Romney four years earlier? Is he that much more "establishment" than Chris Christie or Mike Pence, either of whom will be seen as having a golden glow by Trump fans if handed the glass slipper by the presumptive nominee this week? Sure, Jeb deviates from GOP orthodoxy on issues such as immigration and Common Core, but on how many issues does Trump deviate from GOP orthodoxy?

I don't like Jeb, but he got a raw deal. Hatred of him simply became a trend in his party, an easy way of saying "I'm disgusted with politicians in general." Nationwide, except among Democratic stalwarts, the same thing has happened to Hillary Clinton. As a result, despite the fact that the GOP is running the worst major-party candidate of our lifetime, this is going to end up a two- or three-point race -- probably in Clinton's favor, but don't bet the house on that.



Even if Clinton wins comfortably, I'd bet a small sum of money that she'll lose Ohio.


AllieG said...

Too early to tell. Could be close for sure. But so far anyway, Clinton's the only one of the two to open up bigger leads in head to head polling when the news cycle was running her way.

Jim Snyder said...

and if you don't believe Quinnipiac or Monmouth, NBC/WaPoop has HRC 42, Trump 39 in Iowa; HRC 45 Trump 36 in PA; and tied in OH.

McClatchy-Marist has HRC leading Trump nationally 42 to 39 ... and Steve Benen notes that HRC's support among Latino voters in the survey is 52%. If you believe 52% is correct, I have waterfront infrastructure in New York harbor that would be a great investment.

And somewhere (can't find the link) it's reported that Monmouth has HRC up 18 in Colorado.

I'll buy that Hillary was hurt by the e-mail flap kicked up by the GOP... she's down by a few points relative to previous survey in almost everyone's polls almost everywhere.

Surprises me, because I thought that was one big nothingburger ... but shows what I know.

Trump has a lot of speedbumps in his immediate future, among which the RNC Convention. I've heard that London betting markets expect 1-4 deaths, but after Dallas, who knows?

And then there's Trump's video deposition in the Trump U case. Scuttlebutt says that the tape is devastating. If that's true, and if Curiel releases the tape ...

As of a few days ago, HRC had a small lead among white college-edicated voters. (Don't have a link, don't remember whether likely or registered.) Obama lost the same cohort by something like 55-45 to RMoney. (I'm just spitballing the number, mid-50s to mid-40s.)

I see the polls, both national and state; I look at EC maps; and the election is closer than I expected ... but then I look at Trump's (un)popularity with almost all cohorts ... and I don't see how Trump has any chance of winning, other than a major external forcing event, such as Hillary choking on a pretzel.

Also, too: older white voters tend to be concentrated in states that already lean Trump (per Chait or Kilgore, I believe).

The time to panic (ie, make your reservations for that long overseas vacation) will be when Hillary has been behind in the aggregate polls for two weeks.

Unknown said...

These guys do pretty good:

Rand Careaga said...

In 1992 I was in the audience for a lecture Molly Ivins gave in San Francisco. That year's nominees, Clinton and Bush the Elder, had been chosen, and during the question period Ivins was asked which man she thought would win. She replied that the campaign reporters traditionally placed wagers on the outcomes of presidential elections, and that she had never come out on the losing end of one of these. Her secret? "I never place my bet more than three weeks out."

Jim Snyder said...

Here's Bloomberg on college-edicated voters yesterday:

for college-only voters (RMoney won in 2012) HRC is leading Trump 48%-37%.

@Careaga: wise, but not as much fun.

fqmorris said...

Hillary Clinton will win by a landslide against Donald Trump. I expect her to win 46 states, and if I am wrong, it is equally likely she will win more than 46 states in November, rather than less.

mathguy said...

It's July. Look back and see who was ahead in many of the previous presidential elections in July. If the numbers are still holding in October, then I'll worry.

Victor said...

Until after Labor Day, most polls are fairly useless.

Having said that, I'll take 'awful,' over dangerous, border-line insane, volatile, and bigoted every day of the week.

Hillary isn't really 'awful,' it's just 25+ years of bullshit Reich-Wing propaganda coming to fruition.

AllieG said...

Interesting crosstab in the Marist polls. In both Ohio and Pennsylvania, Trump received zero percent of African American respondents. I have never seen that before.

Luigi said...

I'll take that bet!

Unknown said...

The Obama coalition will prevail. I am not worried at all.

fqmorris said...

Hillary Clinton
Donald Trump

Jim Snyder said...

@fqmorris: NONONONONONO ... gotta distinguish between % of vote vs probability of a win.

But you knew that. (Silly me, on the first read I thought you were saying that Hils would get 70.7% of the vote.)

Also, too ... Sam Wang.

Me, I declare Trump's low-water mark to be 27% (of the popular vote).

He'll get more than that, because Republicans.

Jim Snyder said...

Correction of bogus numbers (plus link!): Monmouth HRC up 13 in CO h/t Goddard / PoliticalWire.

KenRight said...

I would agree with you that Jeb got a raw deal except he stalwartly defended his brothers lies and immoral illegal and unwon war until he literally
was pulled kicking and screaming from it by the Euro-American core and its allies.
Since the Iraqi populace got an authentically raw deal out of the thing, I have to put Jeb in the political sociopathic compartment for whom there are no raw deals.

Jim Snyder said...

@KenRight: +1

Jeb Bush is the designated spawn of the Bush Crime Family.

He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.

The world will little note, nor long remember what Jeb! said in his campaign, but nothing became him like the leaving of it.

Or sumpthin'.

Good riddance.

Jim Snyder said...

Faux Snooze sez Hitlery up by 7 in VA:

Srsly: Xanax.

Jim Snyder said...

WaMo's LeTourneau on the state of play:


what’s even more ridiculous is that the authors of this second piece feel the need to point out that “The polls contain some worrying signs for Clinton” – but not for Trump, who is either losing or tied in these “important swing states.” Such is the advantage of running as the underdog: our media that craves a close horse race will forever pump your “stunning” positives and completely ignore the negatives.

Perhaps I am overly cynical, but one could imagine that we're seeing a clickbait narrative.

Feud Turgidson said...

Jim Snyder - It sure worked, then!

I dunno .... maybe Steve M just got back from letting his worry frolic with his wart and this is backwash or something.

So much time to go, so many events. RNC Cleveland should be lively and efficacious. DNC Philly could help. Curiel's order on the video deposition in Trump U can't hurt either way and may well help. Trump's still talking and likely to keep on. Notorious and Warren are gonna keep kick that soft white lying ass of his. The Debates are always productive. I REALLY can't see Trump's Veep helping him but I can sure see downside potential. And there is HUGE upside potential if HRC goes full balls to the walls and picks Tom Perez - she does that, this things gonna zing. Hispanics are gonna go totally bananas, and Hellloooooo blue collar workers, where y'all been?

Perez is the note of frickin' veep-pickin' genius just waiting to be plucked, he first such genius note since JFK picked LBJ. Com'on Hillary, here's the ball, there's the goal line, pick Perez to lead the blocking and you are HOME!

Ten Bears said...

Weren't those states, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the ones who cheated for George aWol Bush in ought and ought-four?

Rand Careaga said...

I've been impressed by what I've seen and read about Perez, and it would be ludicrous for the GOP to attack him for his slender experience as an elected officeholder considering the top of their ticket—not that this would stop them for a picosecond, but sane people would laugh.

petrilli said...

Be prepared for a lot of "This is excellent news for Donald Trump." from Marc, and Todd. But not from Li'l Luke, whose long running internship in journalism ended today, which is excellent news for journalism.

Steve M. said...

I would agree with you that Jeb got a raw deal except he stalwartly defended his brothers lies and immoral illegal and unwon war until he literally
was pulled kicking and screaming from it by the Euro-American core and its allies.

Precisely why he should have on a huge vote from the GOP electorate, which loved the war (and mostly still does).

sdhays said...

Jeb Bush has less charisma than Mitt Romney (!) and no feel for politics. Without the piles of cash from his family network, no one would have considered him a possibility. You can see the energy W brings to a memorial ceremony, and it's clear he got all of the charisma juice in that family (of course, it's amazing that this silly man-child was President for 8 freakin' years, but that's besides the point).

Jeb(?) did not get a raw deal. He was always lousy, but without Trump, he probably could have barely defeated the rest of the pathetic losers he was facing. If he was a better politician, I still don't think he would have lost.

Ken_L said...

Hillary may not be "awful", but she's certainly a deeply flawed candidate. She doesn't compare favorably to losers like Al Gore and John Kerry. The extent of the political ineptitude she displayed in the email affair was beyond belief.

Hopefully she'll prevail thanks to the irredeemable awfulness of her opponent, but I expect her to be a mediocre one-term president. The DNC would do the country a favor by encouraging potential 2020 candidates to start building their national profile immediately.

Jim Snyder said...

@feud: yep. Everyone (which is to say, "the blogs I read") sez Perez is great. I don't know much about him, but he's dun' good as SecLabor.

@petrilli: sweet! (also, too: snap!)

@Ken_L in re e-mail and ineptitude: she's a flawed candidate because her unfaves are historically sky-high. How they got sky-high ... well ... partly because of the Great Reich-wing Conspiracy (h/t Victor), which isn't her bad. But taking $$$ from Goldman Sachs and then refusing to release a transcript? Self-inflicted damage, fer shore.

But e-mail. What the heck is that about? I'm gen-yoo-wine-ly not getting it, not as a serious thing.

IIRC both Colin Powell and Kerry used not-State-Dept e-handles. Rove and his goons used not-US e-mails for public business.

Depending on who you read, either NSA wanted Hils to use an unusable secure Crackberry (don't remember) or alternatively refused to provide her with a secure Crackberry (Slate) because secure mobile devices aren't.

WRT security, State's e-mail servers in that era were rumored to have been p0wn3d, and as recently as the past couple of years State's e-mail service was shut down for a couple of days to deal with a hack. The security of a home server? That depends on who set up the server and the maintenance / monitoring schedule. I ran across a post somewhere (no link, sorry) by someone who claimed to know the techie; the writer said the techie is really good ... but who knows? The FBI found no evidence of hacks, but you won't go too far wrong if you assume that a state actor can break into anything connected to the net, given time and incentive, without leaving breadcrumbs. Which is to say, Comey's statement that "the server could have been broken into" is a lot like saying "the sky is blue". I mean, duh.

And where was Hills' Security Officer? WTF?

Mebbe I'm off-base, but I'd guess that the only people of Hils' age who have a clue about cyber security are either military or have a background in computers. (Another reason to wonder about the Security Officer who didn't bark in the night.) Srsly, Hils graduated from Wellesley in the 60s ... long before Wellesley ramped up STEM. AFAIK Hils has no tech background. Expecting Hils to know anything about cyber security is ridiculous. She needed to be protected by a Security Officer. So would almost anyone over the age of (say) 50. (I know, I know: "age-ist".)

The most serious ineptitude (it seems to me) was mixing personal and State e-mails. Keeping them separate is just common sense no matter who you are or what you do; and jeez, deleting your personal e-mails from your mixed-mail account?? Gawd. How could she be that aggressively clueless? Entitlement? [shakes head]

But she has taken much more flak for exposing class e-mails... yet news reports mention so many mitigating circumstances that I can't figure whether her violations of protocol - if any - were serious or merely technical.

Happy to be edicated, should anyone care to explain all the fuss. Not the optics - yeah, the optics are terrible because Republicans - the reality. Where's the beef?

AllieG said...

A majority of those polled think Clinton should have been charged with a crime. What crime? They don't know, or care. Forty percent out of that majority are Republicans who believe being a Clinton is a crime. The other 15 or so are people who think anyone who's been in politics is guilty of something. Those wannabe wiseguys are the easiest people to con in our society. If Trump is elected, they'll be the ones who swing it.

Jim Snyder said...

@careaga: wrt "sane people would laugh", and with apologies to Adlai Stevenson ... we need a majority.

Jim Snyder said...

@AllieG: I read somewhere that ~40% of Democrats think Hils was guilty of something, so it's not just Hils-haters.

I don't get what crime that notionally sane 40% think was committed.

And I'm not a Hils fanboi. I'm with her, yeah, but she is way too hawkish for my taste.

AllieG said...

There isn't one American in 10,000, and I'm not one of them, who could tell you anything about the statute Clinton was investigated for. But the fallback position in this country on criminal justice is "guilty if suspected, even if proven innocent."

Jim Snyder said...

@AllieG in re statute: I'm not talking about the statute (IANAL), I'm talking Big Picture.

Is it "home server"? Is it "exposing class info"? "Lying to the FBI?" I could see "deleting emails you say are personal" from a mixed account ... but that doesn't seem to be it.

I'm guessing it's a "where there's smoke there's fire" thing.

re "guilty when proven innocent", +1. Kinda like renting your right to free speech. Or carrying heat when black.

Soviet psychiatrists back in the day committed refuseniks to mental wards on the grounds that anyone who took seriously the rights enumerated in the Soviet Constitution - a document that was rather more liberal than the US Constitution -
was obviously insane.

And you have to concede that they had a point.

Jim Snyder said...

BTW, The Conversation has a post about Hils' classified info problems here:

The writer is ex-DoD and ex-State.

And in other news, the NYT/CBS poll shows Hils and Trump tied. Her unfaves in the poll are worse than Trump's, ditto faves.

I wouldn't have thought that possible.