Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Presidential State Polling--Aug 23

Several new state polls are out today for the Trump-Clinton presidential election. If one can take them at face value, they are stunning. On the one hand, what is unsurprising is that Trump leads in Utah, by what sounds like a yuuuuge margin, 20%, according to a Saint Leo University poll. However, the size of that lead is actually bad news for Trump--Romney beat Obama in Utah by almost 50% in 2012. Worse, that number drops to a 15% lead for Trump once you add in the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, who seems to be on the ballot in all 50 states (feel free to correct me if this is wrong).

Similarly, it is unsurprising that Trump is ahead in Missouri, according to a Monmouth University poll, but only by 1%. Again, in 2012, Romney beat Obama by almost 10%. Trump's 1% lead is well within the margin of error, so actually a statistical tie.

Here is where things get stunning, in case the 'more than halving' of Romney's lead in Utah wasn't enough--Roanoke University shows Clinton ahead by 19% in Virginia, and Saint Leo's shows her ahead in Florida by 14%! The former, Obama won by barely 4% against Romney in 2012, and the latter was close to a tie in 2012, with Obama beating Romney by less than 1%. Let's say you cut these leads by 1/2, or even 2/3--they are still outside of the margin of error, and they would still be larger wins than Obama got in 2012.

Last week I showed that the early August polling (Aug 1-20) was extremely predictive of who actually won that state, with a correlation value of r > 0.9. To put that into context, social scientists typically get excited about r > 0.5, with 1.0 being the highest possible value. I haven't looked back to see if late August polling gets worse or better. But I can't imagine these new polls are anything but disastrous not only for Trump's prospects for presidents, but also for the down-ballot races.

No comments:

Post a Comment