As the Republican National Convention gets underway, it seems like a good time to take stock of the state of the race with three major national polls, each of which were released yesterday.
Hillary Clinton: 46% (unchanged since June)
Donald Trump: 41% (unchanged since June)
Hillary Clinton: 47% (down from 51% in June)
Donald Trump: 43% (up from 39% in June)
Hillary Clinton: 49% (up from 47% in June)
Donald Trump: 42% (unchanged since June)
And so, on the eve of the Republicans’ convention, Clinton’s lead is getting smaller in one poll, getting bigger in another, and staying the same in a third. When we talk about the importance of averages, this is why.
Note, each of these polls was conducted after FBI Director James Comey condemned Clinton’s email server protocols, leading to brutal media coverage of the Democrat. The story is widely seen as having taken a toll on Clinton’s support.
There’s going to be a fair amount of new polling coming out very soon, and it’s likely that the results are going to be pretty volatile. National conventions traditionally give candidates a bit of a bounce, and it’ll be interesting to see how the public reacts to Trump’s and Clinton’s vice presidential nominees, if the public reacts at all.
But at least at this phase of the race, Clinton enjoys a national edge of about four points, which is hardly overwhelming, though it’s better than President Obama’s standing at this point four years ago – and he ended up winning with relative ease.
Postscript: Speaking of the incumbent, it’s also worth keeping in mind that President Obama’s support continues to give Clinton and Democrats an edge. Though the CNN poll didn’t include this question, at least not in the results the network released yesterday, the NBC poll put the president’s approval rating at 51%, while the ABC poll showed it at 56%.