Polls show conflicting view of Clinton-Trump race is it closer than it seems?
By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS
Two new polls show a conflicted presidential race that should make voters question the validity of this election’s polls. On Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, an ABC News 2016 tracking poll released showed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with her largest margin of support. While on Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, the Investor’s Business Daily/TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence Tracking Poll showed Clinton and Republican nominee Donald tied. The poll was considered the most accurate of the 2012 presidential election. Then a CNN/ORC poll was released Monday afternoon, Oct. 24 and went halfway giving Clinton a 5-point advantage over Trump. The polls’ disparity buys into Trump’s accusations that the polls are rigged towards Clinton.
According to the ABC News poll released on Sunday, Clinton had a 12 percent advantage over Trump, the largest margin of all recent polls. In a four-way race, Clinton has reached 50 percent support, while Trump has only 38 percent. Third party candidates, Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson had 5 percent, and the Green Party nominee Jill Stein had just 2 percent support.
According to the ABC News poll that saw Trump at his lowest voters were turned off by the recent turn of events in his campaign. According to the poll, 69 percent of voters disapproved of Trump’s response to the over ten women accusing him of sexually inappropriate behavior. Trump’s repeated claims that the election is rigged, is also eliciting negative responses, with 59 percent disapproving of his rhetoric. Additionally, 65 percent of voters oppose Trump claiming he would not necessarily accept the election results or would he concede the election if he lost.
The ABC News polls sharply contrast with the Investor’s Business Daily/TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence Tracking Poll released on Monday that showed that the candidates are tied. The results show a closer race than the majority of polls that give Clinton an advantage in the high single or double digits. In the IBD/TIPP poll Clinton and Trump, each had 41 percent in a four-way race. Johnson had eight percent, while Stein had three percent. In a two-way race Clinton and Trump both had 42 percent. In the 2012 election pollster Nate Silver, when he was at the New York Times called the IBD/TIPP poll the most accurate poll of the election with the least amount of bias for either party.
Coming in between was the latest CNN/ORC poll released on Monday afternoon, Oct. 24. In the CNN poll, Clinton has a reasonable 5-point lead over Trump, with 49 percent support to Trump’s 44 percent. Meanwhile, Johnson has three percent, while Stein only has two percent.
Clinton and Trump’s support is increasing in different demographic groups where they have their primary support. Clinton has gained support among those under 45 years old, with 53 support. Trump has the majority of support from voters aged 50–64, with a four percent lead over Clinton. Clinton has the overwhelming support of non-white voters with 72 percent support, and Trump has the support of 54 percent of white voters. Clinton has the women vote with 53 percent support to Trump’s 41 percent, while Trump leads slightly among male voters 48 to 45 percent.
The RealClearPolitics average of polls gives Clinton a 5.8 percent advantage over Trump with 45 percent support, while Trump only has 39.2 percent support. Trump is trailing in most polls except the IBD/TIPP Tracking, LA Times/USC Tracking, where there are a virtual tie and the Republican-leaning Rasmussen Reports where Trump currently has a two point lead.
The disparities between the polls are glaring, earlier on Monday Trump continued his call that they are “rigged” benefitting Clinton. Trump tweeted, “Major story that the Dems are making up phony polls to suppress the Trump. We are going to WIN!” The website Zerohedge.com is claiming that the polls giving Clinton the greatest leads might be skewing towards Democrats, not providing and same sample of voters to make them non-bias.
What is for certain, Clinton is leading the polls just two weeks before the election, not only nationally but also in most battleground states and even creeping up in traditionally red states. Most pundits are calling the election already for Clinton and trying to figure just how large her margin of victory will be. The predictions give Clinton between 330 and 352 Electoral College votes, which secure for her a clear mandate. If predictions hold true, the question remains how will Clinton in her history-making victory go about uniting a deeply divided nation after one of the longest and nastiest election cycles in history.
Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert in presidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.