Thursday, September 15, 2016

Poll Perusal

Perusal is one of the words that is most often misused in the English language.

You often hear someone say, "I will do a quick perusal of the document and we will start the meeting in a minute." You can't do a perusal of something if you are doing it quickly or are just skimming the material.

Perusal is "the activity of carefully reading, poring over or studying something with the intent of remembering it".(  The verb form of the word, peruse, actually comes from the 15th century where it literally meant to "use up" or "wear out".

I enjoy perusing poll data. Especially the internal tabular data that allows you to look at the underlying factors that are driving the overall survey results. This data can really tell a story. It can tell you why a candidate is struggling and it can also tell you the strategy that a candidate has to follow to move the numbers in their direction during the course of the campaign.

Here are three interesting data points I found in my perusal of various polls over the last week.

Consider these percentages that the Boston Herald/Franklin Pierce University poll of likely voters (Aug. 31-Sep 4) found in the Clinton-Trump matchup. It shows Trump drawing 36% support among Hispanics and 19% support among African Americans.

Let's put that in perspective.

In 2012, according to New York Times exit polling, Obama won 93% of the African American vote. According to this recent poll, Clinton is running 20 points behind Obama.

In 2012, Obama won 71% of the Hispanic vote. This means that Hillary is running 24 points behind Obama based on this polling data.

If the numbers in this poll are anywhere near these results on election day, Trump will no longer be referred to as "The Donald", he will be "The President".

The Boston Herald poll actually shows Clinton with an overall lead 43.7%-41.4% despite these numbers because Trump only Whites by 6 points. Romney took 59% of the White vote in 2102. This seems to be an outlier because most other polls have shown Trump's lead with Whites as being between 10 and 20 points,

Another interesting item I found was in the Quinnipiac Poll taken between September 8-13.

Consider how voters age 18-34 indicate they will vote in this year's Presidential election if the vote were hold today. This poll actually shows that the fringe party candidates (Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party) together capture 44% of the total Millennial vote! That is more than Trump or Clinton.

Trump actually runs third at 26% behind Hillary (31%) and Johnson (29%).

Looking at this, I guess I have to ask once again "Will History Be Kind To Millennials?". What exactly do these younger voters think that those votes are going to do for them?

Furthermore, look at the generational divide between older voters and younger voters in that poll. Trump is winning big with those 50 years and older. He loses big with those ages 18-49. What do older voters know that younger voters do not?

Perhaps the answer is in this poll of consumer confidence that I recently wrote about. There has never been a bigger gap in consumer confidence between younger and older Americans. Are they living in alternate universes?

Contrast that Quinnipiac Poll with the USC Dornsife/LA Times Daybreak tracking poll that surveys 3,000 likely voters daily and therefore should be better able to capture trends in the Presidential race. That survey showed Hillary Clinton leading by 1.5% points on September 11 right before Hillary's collapse on the sidewalk in New York City.

That poll shows that Hillary has also collapsed in the polls over the next four days.

That collapse has been driven principally due to a dramatic reduction in her support by 18-34 year olds in that poll.

Clinton was leading Trump among young voters by 46%-35% on September 11. Four days later she was trailing by 10 points! Younger voters seem to be particularly concerned about a candidate that may not be up to the job due to health concerns.

Interestingly, voters 65 years of age and older have actually rallied to Hillary's support in this poll even though this is the age demographic where she has consistently polled the poorest. I guess they understand better than others that everyone can have a bad day.

Hillary's problem now is whether it really was a bad day or whether there is truly something else going on behind the curtain that she is trying to hide.

She got back on the campaign trail today. I don't envy her.

Hillary is now under a medical microscope with the voters the likes of which no candidate in history has had to contend with. Every twitch, hitch, itch, hiccup and slip is going to be scrutinized, studied and discussed.

It is ironic that everything Hillary has done with her email and health was to maintain privacy. That seems to be all out the door.

Privacy is out. Perusal is in. For everything involving Hillary Rodham Clinton.

1 comment:

  1. Facts, Factors, Factoids, Statistics, and lies. The only pole that matters is in November. It reminds me of the drunk's first day at the greyhound races. He watches the seven races and notes that the rabbit wins every time. So in the last race he convinces a bookie to take all his money on the rabbit. Sure enough, the rabbit is first past the post. But when the drunk went to collect, the bookie says. "You saw it win, I saw it win, but lets just wait for the numbers to be posted on the board."