Polls show Hillary pulling away from Trump

Recent polls show that Hillary Clinton clearly in the lead over Donald Trump. She’s ahead in all four polls in the RCP list that were taken since the end of the Democratic convention. Here are the results:

PPP (7/29-30) Clinton +5 (1,267 LV)
CBS (7/29-31) Clinton +6 (1,131 RV)
CNN (7/29-31) Clinton +9 (894 RV)
YouGov (7/30-8/1) Clinton +3 (933 RV)

(Note that three of the four polls are of registered voters as opposed to “likely” ones. Conventional wisdom still holds, I think, that when registered voters are polled the results tend to favor the Democrats. However, Trump’s supporters claim that he will attract vast numbers of folks who typically don’t vote. If one believes this, then polling registered voters shouldn’t favor Clinton.)

These four polls suggest that Clinton is 6 points ahead of Trump. The RCP average, which includes four polls taken during the Democratic convention, gives Clinton a 4.4 point lead.

Based on the latest polls, Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight gives Clinton a 66 percent chance of winning the election. For what it’s worth, I see Clinton’s prospects as somewhat better than that.

It looks from the poll numbers like Clinton got a bigger bounce from the Democratic convention than Trump got from the Republican one. However, Clinton may also be benefiting from Trump’s comments over the weekend about the parents of Cpt. Humayun Khan, the Muslim soldier who died heroically fighting for the U.S. in Iraq (and perhaps also from Trump’s joke about Russia finding Clinton’s deleted emails).

Clinton may continue to benefit from Trump’s remarks about Khan’s parents. Polls taken during the weekend probably do not fully account for the negative effect of this error on Trump’s campaign.

I’d like to say Trump’s error was unforced. In reality, though, it was forced by Trump’s horrible personality, which was on full display during the primary season. Something like this was inevitable, and it won’t be his last such manifestation.

We all know that Hillary Clinton isn’t a good candidate; far from it. But in politics it’s often better to be lucky than good. With Donald Trump as her opponent, Clinton could hardly be luckier.


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