HUFFPOLLSTER: How Much Will Donald Trump’s Latest Scandal Hurt Him?

Huffington Post

Donald Trump’s polling numbers were declining before the latest scandal. Early polls indicate Hillary Clinton won the second debate. And some controversies stick to candidates more than others. This is HuffPollster for Monday, October 10, 2016.

POLLS SHOW TRUMP DECLINING BEFORE LATEST SCANDAL - HuffPollster: “New polls out Sunday morning show Donald Trump was the electoral underdog even before the news broke about a 2005 tape in which the GOP nominee made lewd comments about assaulting women…. The worst news for Trump comes out of Ohio. The Buckeye State had been tilting toward the Republican throughout September, but his lead has evaporated in the last two weeks. A new CBS/YouGov poll shows Clinton leading by 4 points, 46 percent to Trump’s 42 percent…. Florida has been leaning toward Clinton on average for most of 2016, but a few occasional polls have shown Trump leading. The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll continues a trend of Clinton leading Trump by a few points ― she’s up 45-42…. [Sunday] morning’s CBS/YouGov poll puts Clinton up by 5 points in Wisconsin, 43 percent to Trump’s 38…. Two polls in Pennsylvania show Clinton winning by sizable margins. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll has the Democratic nominee up by 12 points…. A CBS/YouGov poll finds an 8-point lead for Clinton, 48 to 40.” [HuffPost]

Will his numbers be affected by the video? - Friday’s tape release seems to have resulted in more reaction from Republican elites than previous missteps by Donald Trump: Many prominent Republicans withdrew their support from the presidential candidate over the weekend. This is an unprecedented situation in American politics, so there’s no guidance on what might happen in the polls from recent history. Simply put, we don’t know what will happen. And polls conducted this week will also reflect any effects from Sunday night’s debate. It will be very difficult to separate debate effects from the fallout from the video.

An initial one-day survey indicated little change nationally - Steven Shepard, Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer: “[A]t least for now, rank-and-file Republicans are standing by the party’s presidential candidate, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted immediately after audio was unearthed Friday that had the GOP nominee crudely bragging about groping women and trying to lure a married woman into an affair. Overall, fewer than 4-in-10 voters — 39 percent — think Trump should end his presidential campaign, while only slightly more voters, 45 percent, think he should not drop out…. As of now, GOP voters largely want the party to stand behind Trump. Nearly three-quarters of Republican voters, 74 percent, surveyed on Saturday said party officials should continue to support Trump. Only 13 percent think the party shouldn’t back him. Still, Hillary Clinton leads Trump in the four-way race for the White House by 4 percentage points, 42 percent to 38 percent, with 8 percent supporting Gary Johnson, 3 percent supporting Jill Stein and 9 percent undecided. [Politico]

But fewer voters think Trump respects women - Hannah Hartig, John Lapinski and Stephanie Psyllos: “After a 2005 recording of Donald Trump making lewd comments about women emerged on Friday, 63 percent of likely voters said they do not think the Republican nominee respects women, according to the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll. In the four days the poll was in the field prior to the revelation of Trump’s comments on Friday, 55 percent of likely voters said they did not think he respects women....The question regarding Trump’s respect for women was fielded the entire week, but the opinions were analyzed before and after the tape surfaced on Friday….Before the recording was made public, 64 percent of likely women voters said they did not think Trump respects women. After the recording was made public, 69 percent of women said they did not think Trump respects women, including 53 percent who said he does not respect women at all.” [NBC]

SNAP POLLS SUGGEST CLINTON ‘WON’ DEBATE - HuffPollster: “Those who watched Sunday’s match between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump think Clinton won, preliminary polls find, but the results suggest the event did little to change the race. In a scientific online snap poll from YouGov, Clinton won a relatively narrow victory, with 47 percent of registered voters who watched the debate saying she did a better job, 42 percent saying Donald Trump did, and 12 percent saying it was a tie….Clinton scored a bigger win in a snap poll from CNN/ORC, which recontacted people who said in a past poll that they planned to watch the debate. Fifty-seven percent of the debate-watchers polled said that Clinton won, while 34 percent favored Trump. Clinton’s advantage was in part due to the fact that those tuning into the debate are more likely to be Democrats than the nation as a whole, as CNN’s Jake Tapper noted. Both snap polls, in fact, suggest that few minds were changed by the debate. The share of those polled by CNN who thought Clinton won is nearly identical to the 58 percent of viewers who said before the event that they supported her. YouGov, similarly, found their respondents planning to vote for Clinton by a 48-42 margin, neatly mirroring the divide on who won the debate….[Trump] needed an exceptionally good night if he hoped to regain ground. The earliest results suggest that’s very unlikely to be the case.” [HuffPost]

CURRENT HUFFINGTON POST FORECAST - Hillary Clinton has an 86.2 percent chance of winning the presidential election. Republicans have a 63 percent chance of keeping the Senate. [Presidential forecast, Senate forecast]

WHY SOME CONTROVERSIES MATTER MORE THAN OTHERS - Kirby Goidel and Keith Gaddie: “One of the more perplexing riddles to those of us who spend far too much time pondering over politics is why some scandals, accusations, and missteps do damage while others seem to hardly matter at all….Donald Trump entered the fray by bragging during the first presidential debate that he was smart to not have to pay taxes….At least among his core voters, those authoritarian Republicans looking for a strong leader not constrained by social norms or constitutional constraints, Trump may well find a sympathetic ear. Authoritarians care less about cheating on government than other violations of traditional social norms….His most recent set of comments are unlikely to play well with a prudish authoritarian base that is more willing to damn violations of traditional sexual norms than cheating on taxes…. Why do some candidates survive scandals, gaffes and miscues while others falter? Part of the answer, we contend, likely resides in how the scandal fits with the candidate’s image and how it influences his or her political base.” [HuffPost]

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MONDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Michael McDonald summarizes the state of early voting a month out. [HuffPost]

-Independents may be swinging away from Donald Trump, Quinnipiac polling suggests. [McClatchy]

-Voters don’t think either candidate will help workers. [Pew]

-David Rothschild can’t find evidence of “shy” Trump supporters. [PredictWise]

-Julia Clark explains why she’d like people to stop “unskewing” her polls. [Ipsos]

-Robert Hutton argues that betting markets are a flawed method for predicting political outcomes. [Bloomberg]

-Two international survey organizations call on the Russian government to rescind its classification of a survey center as a “foreign agent.” [ESOMAR]

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