December 23, 2015
Is there a support group for people who spend too much time reading polls? If you know of one, please send me a link. Until then, enjoy these somewhat surprising nuggets from the new CNN/ORC national poll…
READER ADVISORY: This is a registered voter poll, not likely voter poll. Some of the individuals surveyed won’t vote in November, many will skip their primary or caucus.
This isn’t that predictive, but it does tell you how the populace is feeling about the polling front runners as we head into 2016.
In a Trump-Clinton Match There is no Gender Gap
These pseudo-matchups are very misleading this far out. It doesn’t matter if Hillary leads Donald by 2 points or 5. But the underlying data does offer a few clues.
You would expect a noticeable gender gap when the candidate who most frequently says things some/many women could find offensive is compared to the likely first female major party nominee.
Men: Hillary 48, Trump 47
Women: Hillary 50, Trump 46
Its an imperceptible difference and less than the gender gap between the two parties in the past few elections.
Another related surprise. Marco Rubio has a larger gap.
Men: Rubio 51, Hillary 43
Women: Hillary 49, Rubio 48
I would have bet anything that Rubio would run better with women than Trump. Technically he is, -1 instead of -4 in the comparison, but his advantage over Trump is with men (in a general election setting).
Best guess, this is driven by Rubio doing better than Trump with moderate educated male voters, particularly those who aren’t white. If you hack through the rest of the data, it seems to lead that way.
Trump Now Very Popular With GOP Voters/Leaners
There was a time when most Republicans did not like The Donald. As well as he was doing on the top line of polls, if you weren’t supporting him you probably really objected to his presence in the race. No more.
Wow. As a point of comparison, here are the other Republicans CNN asked about:
While Trump is in the same area code among Republicans as Rubio and Cruz, this does not carry over to Democrats and Independents. Overall:
A few thoughts….
Though things will ebb and flow as the campaign continues, at the moment Ted Cruz is not easy prey for Clinton. He’s significantly more popular than she is among Independents.
Trump looks like suicide in November, potentially only saved by Hillary’s own unpopularity. However, he was recently just as scorned by Republicans as he now is by the general electorate. We shouldn’t assume he can’t or won’t improve this.
Given he was more well known than his opponents when this whole thing started, the recovery is nothing short of remarkable.
Chris Christie is a step behind Trump on the same path. His +16 among Republicans is a major upgrade. He’s +40 or so in New Hampshire. For the past few months his Granite State number is predictive of his national rating 4-6 weeks later.
Jeb still has a ton of work to do. Like Christie, his New Hampshire numbers improved first. He’s actually showing a pulse there. Probably too late. Interestingly, he’s not that much less popular among non-Republicans.
John Kasich has achieved the rare feat of being slightly more popular with the opposite party. While Republicans dislike him, he’s neutral with Democrats. This will be John Weaver’s last go as a presidential campaign manager.
Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
You know how Trump can’t get through an interview without saying “we’re losing to China, we’re losing to Japan, we’re losing to Mexico. These politicians are stupid, they make bad deals. I’ll make great deals and Make America Great Again.”
Rinse, wash, repeat. Interjected always, even if he’s talking about ISIS, Hillary getting schlonged, Hillary’s bathroom break at the debate, Muslims celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey, etc.
CNN asked Republicans which candidate they trust most on the economy. Here are the top two:
This isn’t just grumpy less-educated middle-aged men with low incomes. It’s a full 4 out of 7 registered Republicans. Meanwhile, the same voters were asked if each candidate had the right qualifications to handle the presidency.
So, by a 7 to 1 margin, they think Trump is stronger on the economy, even though they think Cruz is slightly more qualified to sit in the Oval Office.
You might think it’s because Trump is a rich guy with a long business career, while many of the others are career politicians. Logical and feasible, but wrong.
CNN asked the same question at the end of June, before Trump made me hear him in my tortured sleep.
He’s tripled his score in 6 months. Repetition pays. Just keep repeating your core message day after day, while throwing in a few incendiary comments on the side.
In case you think Republicans need a collective lobotomy, Democrats are just as susceptible.
Bernie Sanders repeats his key lines about the economy being rigged to favor Wall Street, the millionaires and billionaires. We need to break up the banks and tax the wealthiest to pay for infrastructure and free college.
Many know this pitch well. It has worked. For months, Hillary led Bernie by a 2 to 1 margin when Democrats were asked who they trusted more on the economy. Now she only leads 47/39.
Bernie’s progress isn’t as quick as Trump’s, but he’s fighting a more established opponent. You may think one candidate or the other has a vastly better message, but repetition is helping them both.
Trump is getting the same result on illegal immigration:
Even some Republicans who don’t want to deport anyone who hasn’t committed a crime in the U.S. think Trump will be more effective.
His numbers on dealing with ISIS are rising too, as are Ted “glow in the dark sand” Cruz’s:
This is where Bernie can learn a trick from his GOP counterpart. While Trump is repetitive on many subjects, Bernie only has his pitch down on the economy.
Sanders desperately wants to contrast himself with Clinton on foreign policy and national security, but he won’t improve his anemic numbers in that area until he owns it and repeats it like his economics pitch.
“We need to build a coalition against ISIS” just doesn’t resonate the way “I’m going to build a big, beautiful wall and make Mexico pay for it” does.
Bernie has great language on helping working Americans make a living wage. If he can convince himself he needs great language on foreign policy to get nominated and make his plans a possibility he just might come up with something.