April 12, 2016
If you’re hoping for a Bernie upset or worse-than-expected numbers for Donald Trump, I have bad news. Just a few days ago, the data was headed in that direction, if still not there yet. We got numbers from a few new sources over the past couple of days and they all point in the same direction.
Trump is improving his position. Hillary is consolidating hers. With The Donald, we’re looking for how far above 50% he is and if Ted Cruz or John Kasich are making progress consolidating the anti-Trump vote. With Clinton, it’s her margin over Bernie.
Outside of the South, he often beats his final poll numbers, but the Michigan miss is a definite outlier now. New York’s closed primary makes it harder for Sanders to make a late push. He can’t rally Independents to turn out for him. As Trump’s kids realized to their dismay, the deadline for switching registration is past.
With a week to go, here’s where we stand:
Five polls released since we last examined New York:
Fox News (4/4-4/7): Hillary +16
Monmouth (4/8-4/10): Hillary +12
NY1/Baruch (4/5-4/10): Hillary +13
NBC/WSJ/Marist: (4/6-4/10): Hillary +14
Quinnipiac (4/6-4/11): Hillary +13
She’s ahead. Any Sanders momentum has hit the wall. Two weeks prior, Quinnipiac found the race one point closer. Making up a double digit gap in 3 weeks is definitely possible. Doing so in a week is tougher.
The unanimity of results isn’t in his favor either. Each of the last 8 surveys have the gap between 10 and 18 points. The four most recent are between 12 and 14. Lots of consistency, no movement.
There was progress prior to the past 7 to 10 days. His best result prior to late March was -21. Maybe everyone who was willing to abandon Hillary has. Maybe the “qualified” debate stopped his momentum.
Hard to say. I just know things have temporarily locked in place in a way favorable to Clinton. Sanders himself is saying he’ll do well in New York, not predicting victory.
He needs a game changing debate and/or very successful journey to the Vatican. If the election were tomorrow, Hillary would likely end the nomination contest.
Trump rarely exceeds his poll average. The final undecided voters usually go elsewhere. But he doesn’t usually fall short of it either. It’s rare for Trump to fade notably in the final week. He’s averaging 54.7%. The best number is 60%, the worst is 52%. That sure makes it seem like he’ll clear 50.
Before Trump’s “Week of Hell,” Quinnipiac had him at 56. With a little bit of that week in progress, CBS/YouGov had him at 52. At the end of the week, but before Wisconsin’s results were known, Monmouth showed 52. Right after Wisconsin, Emerson had him at 56.
That’s when we took our last look. At that point it seemed Trump was losing a bit of altitude. Emerson’s previous survey had him at 64. With much of The Donald’s mystique based around winning, perhaps a Wisconsin loss would ding him a bit.
Neat narrative, but the data doesn’t agree. Fox News surveyed from 4/4 to 4/7, half before Wisconsin, half after. 54 percent. NY1/Baruch took a post-Wisconsin look and found 60% for Trump.
NBC/WSJ/Marist does not poll well for Trump. Whether in national or state surveys, they are more bearish on him than any other regularly participating pollster.
They polled from April 6 to April 10. Wisconsin was in the rear-view mirror. Trump was surprisingly quiet. He’s resumed campaigning with several events in New York, but the polling period didn’t include most of them. The narrative was negative. Lots of talk about him being unprepared in statewide delegate selection conventions.
If you’d asked me on Saturday what this poll would show, I would have guessed 42 to 44 percent. Fifty-four. In what I would consider the perfect storm, worst possible poll for Trump, he easily broke 50.
Once again, Kasich is falling short, partially because he’s falling short. Some of the fundamentals are good, but there’s zero momentum. It looks like he’s going the wrong way after his dismal Wisconsin finish.
Before Wisconsin he scored 25, 20, 19, 22, 24. Post-Badger State, he’s 17, 17, 21. The Fox News poll taken half before/half after was 22. He’s not in a free fall or anything, but is clearly not making progress, despite spending a whole week campaigning in New York.
Cruz is not benefitting from this. NBC/WSJ/Marist tends to poll well for him. It’s the other side of getting relatively poor results for Trump. He’s at 18%, trailing Kasich by 3.
NY1/Baruch has him at 14%, the low number for any of the three in any of the 10 most recent surveys. Cruz trails Kasich by 3 here too. Pre-Wisconsin, Kasich led him by 3.4 points on average. After, by 2 points. Meh.
That’s great for Trump. If they can’t separate, it reduces the odds of him losing individual congressional districts. Embarrassing both opponents at the same time is all the better.
Kasich remains generally popular in New York. In the Fox poll, he actually only trailed Trump by a few points when combining first and second choices. Cruz was a distant third. He’s the lead second choice for both Trump and Cruz voters.
The considerable catch is that Trump voters aren’t going anywhere and there aren’t enough Cruz voters to get him into contention. Besides, he’s next up for 40% of pro-Cruisers, not 70%.
If. If he’d done better in Wisconsin, we’d really have something to talk about here, but for now, New York looks more like another nail in Kasich’s coffin, not the beginning of his resurrection.
If Cruz’s attempt to win over segments of the Empire State scored in more than the most targeted blocks of the most strategic congressional districts, it’s not showing in the data.