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New national poll shows Trump up by 3 points over Clinton

by | Jul 15, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

Just hours before Donald Trump announced that pro-life Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will be his running mate, a brand new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Daybreak tracking poll reveals that Trump has taken a slim 3 point lead over pro-abortion Hillary Clinton. The new poll, which Los Angeles Times reporter David Lauter says will be updated daily, has Trump up 43% to 40%.

“As Clinton stumbles, Trump takes an apparent slim lead in new tracking poll”–the headline to Lauter’s story about the survey–which “marks a significant shift in a race that most polls indicated Clinton has led since mid-May.”

As is always the case with surveys, this one is a snapshot. But if we liken a flurry of recent polls “both nationally and in battleground states, that show support for the former secretary of State declining since last week when FBI Director James B. Comey characterized her handling of classified material while in that office as ‘extremely careless,’” to an old Polaroid, certain features are beginning to come into focus.

For example,

Trump led among men, 47% to 36%, while Clinton had a smaller, 41%-34% edge among women. Trump led among voters 45 and older, Clinton among those younger.

Some of Trump’s strongest support comes from white voters who have not graduated from college, among whom he led 53% to 24%. Clinton, by contrast, dominates among minorities, leading 77% to 3% among blacks and 51% to 30% among Latinos.

Unfortunately, a link to the poll itself was not found with Lauter’s story or the USC Dornsife webpage. So for example, we don’t have the exact numbers that support this statement:

The poll also offers some support for a prediction that Trump’s backers have made – that he would appeal to disaffected voters who did not cast ballots in 2012. Those who did not vote that year or voted for a minor-party candidate were more likely to favor Trump than Clinton, the poll indicated.

The Daybreak tracking poll is different in two ways, according to Lauter:

(1)”Rather than questioning a different group of respondents for each poll, the survey relies on a panel, currently consisting of about 3,000 people recruited at random to represent U.S. households. …

“Because of the panel design, ‘we have the same people every time, so changes in the poll are really people changing their minds,’ rather than the result of variations in who answers a particular survey, said Arie Kapteyn, the director of the USC Dornsife center, who pioneered the approach for the 2012 election while at Rand Corp.”

(2) The respondents’ answers are “weighted.” That is, they ask “respondents to say what the chance is that they will vote as well as the chance that they will cast a ballot for Clinton, for Trump or for another candidate. The results are weighted based on those probabilities, so that a voter who is 100% sure of his or her choice has more impact on the forecast than one who is 60% sure.”

Categories: Donald Trump