July 7, 2016 — National polling shows a clear change in the presidential race when minor party candidates are included, but will they actually be on the ballot?
A new Suffolk University/USA Today poll (June 26-29; 1,000 US registered voters) finds Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump 46-40 percent, but the contest changes to a 39-35-8-3 percent split when the two outlying candidates, Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, are added to the ballot test questionnaire. Together, they change the contest, routinely driving both major party candidates below 40 percent.
Former New Mexico governor Johnson looks to be assured of 50-state ballot presence. In 2012, he was also the Libertarian nominee and appeared before 49 state electorates and voters in the District of Columbia. He failed to secure ballot access in only one state, Oklahoma. This year, he expects to qualify on all ballots.
July 6, 2016 — The media carried stories over the July 4th weekend that one or both of the presidential candidates is close to naming a running mate. It is a virtual certainty that Donald Trump will announce first, since there is little or no incentive for Hillary Clinton to do so. It is to her advantage to wait until after Trump makes his move, since the Democratic National Convention follows the Republican conclave.
Clinton has the opportunity to pivot from Trump’s eventual choice, and help use the VP choice to balance her own ticket and counter whomever the Republican eventually selects.
Some media reports are suggesting that Trump will unveil his running mate this week. It would make better political sense for him to wait until convention week, thus drawing more attention to the national assemblage, but there is one reason he might announce earlier.
July 5, 2016 — Often, people want to know which are the most accurate pollsters within the huge volume of data being released into the political marketplace. Bloomberg Politics reviewed the 2016 presidential pollsters who routinely release their numbers into the public domain and publicized their ratings late last week. They isolated a dozen polling firms and corresponding media organizations that picked the presidential primary winner in at least 70 percent of their studies. Polling frequency and reliability stats were also recorded.
The firm projecting the primary winner most often — 95 percent of the time — was Gravis Marketing, which conducted 19 surveys in 12 different states. The students who comprise the Emerson College Polling Society in Massachusetts, who have fared very well in previous performance review studies despite being amateurs, placed a close second in win predictability, proving correct 94 percent of the time. They polled 16 times in eight states. Completing the top five are Opinion Savvy (91 percent winner accuracy; 11 polls; eight states), NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist College (90 percent winner accuracy; 29 polls; 15 states), and the Survey Monkey (90 percent winner accuracy; 10 polls; eight states).
But capturing the correct victory margin proved to be another story for all 12 pollsters. None of them came within the average polling error margin pertaining to victory spread projection in relation to their cumulative polling average.
July 1, 2016 — New recently released national and specific state polls are providing differing views about the presidential campaign’s current status. Though the conclusions vary among the publicly released surveys in terms of margin, all find Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump nationally and in the key states. It the modern political era the early election cycle has always favored the Democratic presidential candidate so the fact that Clinton has the initial advantage is not unusual or unexpected.
Quinnipiac University (June 21-27; 1,610 US registered voters) just released their latest national survey, and find Clinton’s advantage over Trump and Libertarian Gary Johnson has slipped to just 39-37-8 percent, an indication that the gap is closing even though many establishment Republican leaders continue to make anti-Trump public statements.
The new Fox News poll (June 26-28; 1,017 US registered voters) finds Clinton to be in a bit stronger position than does Quinnipiac, however. Fox forecasts a 41-36-10 percent Clinton edge over Trump and Johnson.