Swing State Pres

Friday, October 2, 2015

September 2015 Election Update: Snarly Carly on the Rise, Trump Slumps...and Has Hillary Hit Bottom?

The political campaigns had to compete for attention with an event-filled state world in September, as the Iran deal, the Pope’s visit, the Boehner resignation, the threat of another government shutdown and the Putin intervention in Syria topped the headlines.  But the campaigns made news as well, with departing GOP candidates, a new Democratic candidate, and rising stars in both parties (not named “Trump”).  Let’s tackle the key questions emerging in the past month.

1.     Who won and lost the GOP debate?  The answer to this is pretty clear, as the chart below, which compares 12 polls taken before the September 16th debate with 12 others taken after, indicates.  Carly Fiorina took advantage of her first time on the “big stage” and nailed it, standing firm versus Donald Trump and speaking in crisp, whole paragraphs directly to the camera.

      (See BTRTN’s exceptional debate review from Steve for the details on her Trump smack down: http://www.borntorunthenumbers.com/2015/09/no-mr-trump-youre-fired.html).   

      Fiorina vaulted from the micro-percentages to double digits and Top Tier status.  Donald Trump took a hit, and Ben Carson’s ascent was halted, but the three outsiders still command 53% of the GOP preference.  Only Marco Rubio showed upward momentum among the insiders, the rest of whom showed little movement at all – not what they need at this point, when debate performance is the only true catalyst to move up in the polls.

PERCENTAGE POINT CHANGE IN POLLS:
Pre-debate versus Post-debate National polls

Pre 9/16
Post 9/16
Change
Trump
33
27
-6
Carson
17
15
-2
Fiorina
3
11
8
Bush
9
9
1
Rubio
5
8
3
Cruz
6
6
0
Christie
2
3
1
Kasich
3
3
0
Huckabee
4
3
-2
Paul
3
3
0
Santorum
1
1
0
Jindal
1
0
0
Pataki
0
0
0
Gilmore
0
0
0
Graham
0
0
0

2.     Has Trump peaked?   The short answer is “quite possibly yes,” as the chart shows.  Trump is no longer the only story for the GOP – Fiorina in particular, but also Carson and Rubio won some airtime in the debate aftermath.  And while no one knows where this is going, some shaking out is starting to happen.   No one was surprised when Rick Perry packed it in, with a point in the polls and no money in the bank, but Scott Walker’s exit was a shocker.  He had dominated Iowa polls for months on end, but two atrocious debate performances and a handful of gaffes (most famously his call to build a wall between the U.S. and Canada) exposed him as far from ready for prime time.  

Clearly more exits will follow, the only question is how soon.  If after 5 months on the trail, a candidate has mustered only 3% of voter preference or less, that candidate has to recognize reality.  This is not 2012, when a weak field allowed for a flavor of the month.  Rick Santorum is not going to suddenly rise in Iowa as he did four years ago.  So…expect goodbyes soon from Christie, Huckabee, Paul, Santorum, Jindal, Pataki, Gilmore and Graham, with a gentle shove from their moneyed backers.  (I’m exempting Kasich from this because he is strong in New Hampshire, see below.)

3.     Has Hillary hit bottom?  This one is far less clear.  She took a 5-8 point hit in the polls nationally, in Iowa and in New Hampshire, and she clearly trails Bernie Sanders in the latter.  Email revelations keep dripping, and no apology, explanation or policy paper seems able to change that.  For the GOP, it has been the only bright spot of this campaign, the gift that keeps on giving.  The good news for Hillary – if anything – is that her approval rating did not fall further this month, stopping a three-month slide (below).  The Democratic debate on October 13 is a real opportunity to change the narrative and give the Democrats a reason to believe again, although perhaps she can score some points with her Benghazi testimony on October 22.

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
% Favorable
46.8
48
46.4
46.1
46.9
45.4
44.2
41.0
41.4

4.     Whither Joe Biden?  Still Biden his time…and apparently he has decided to sit out the first debate on October 13.  But presumably he will make up his mind before the Iowa filing deadline on October 31.

And oh yes, it is Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig who recently entered the Democratic race, in case you had not noticed.  No one else did either.

ELECTION DASHBOARD

In polls conducted in the month of September, Donald Trump remains on top of the national GOP polls as well as those in Iowa and New Hampshire (chart below).  He rose modestly in the national and NH polls and significantly in Iowa.  Keep in mind, however, from the chart above, that he peaked just before the debate and tumbled a bit thereafter.

Ben Carson jumped in all three segments, as well, based on the strength of his first debate performance (or rather, the last two minutes of the first debate).  But he too dipped a bit after the second debate.

Carly Fiorina’s jump is masked on the charts below.  She actually fell from August to pre-debate September, then rose again post-debate.

The other candidates all held or lost a bit, though, as noted above Marco Rubio rose a bit post-debate.

Also worth noting is John Kasich in New Hampshire.  He is a non-factor at this point nationally, and is not putting any effort in Iowa, focusing entirely on New Hampshire.  And he is definitely in the mix there – and beating Jeb Bush.  Jeb Bush must do well in New Hampshire to survive.

NATIONAL
Post-Aug 6
Sep '15
IOWA
Aug '15
Sep '15
NH
Aug '15
Sep '15
Trump
27
30
Trump
20
27
Trump
27
29
Carson
10
16
Carson
13
21
Carson
5
13
Bush
10
9
Cruz
8
8
Kasich
12
10
Fiorina
6
7
Fiorina
7
7
Fiorina
10
10
Rubio
7
6
Rubio
7
6
Bush
10
7
Cruz
6
6
Bush
7
5
Cruz
7
6
Huckabee
6
4
Huckabee
5
4
Paul
5
4
Paul
4
3
Paul
4
4
Rubio
4
4
Christie
3
3
Kasich
3
3
Christie
4
3
Kasich
3
3
Jindal
2
3
Huckabee
2
1
Santorum
1
1
Santorum
1
2
Graham
1
1
Jindal
1
1
Christie
2
1
Jindal
1
0
Graham
1
0

Graham
1
0
Pataki
1
0
Pataki
0
0
Gilmore
0
0
Santorum
1
0
Gilmore
0
0
Pataki
0
0
Gilmore
0
0
Other/NA
15
11
Other/NA
20
9
Other/NA
10
12
  
Bernie Sanders continues to rise in each segment, as does not-a-candidate-yet Joe Biden.  Hillary Clinton still leads but continues to decline.  The other candidates have made no imprint on the election (including newcomer Lessig) and one wonders how long they will pretend to be candidates.  Bernie is extremely well-positioned in Iowa and New Hampshire -- dream states for him as kick-offs -- but far less so in the south.  And at this point, he now has to worry a bit about disappointed in Iowa and New Hampshire, if he is outgunned on the ground by a better organized Clinton campaign.

NATIONAL
Aug '15
Sep '15
IOWA
Aug '15
Sep '15
NH
Aug '15
Sep '15
Clinton
51
44
Clinton
49
41
Sanders
40
45
Sanders
21
26
Sanders
26
36
Clinton
39
33
Biden
14
19
Biden
11
13
Biden
7
13
O'Malley
2
1
O'Malley
4
4
O'Malley
2
2
Webb
1
1
Webb
2
2
Webb
3
1
Chafee
1
0
Chafee
1
1
Chafee
1
1
Other/NA
10
9
Other/NA
7
3
Other/NA
8
5

THE HILLOMETER

The Hillometer fell for the 5th straight month and is now in negative territory.  The means Hillary Clinton must make a difficult comeback to become President.

April
May
June
July
Aug
Sep
Hillometer
33
22
19
17
1
-29

She now trails, the three GOP leaders (Trump, Carson and Bush) in head-to-head polling, though barely (on average she is losing to them 44.8% to 44.3%).  Her approval rating, as noted, is still at 41%, and Obama’s remains stuck at 46% -- no matter how the world roils, good and bad, Obama has been at 46% all year.  Mind have been made up. The Econometer continues to be solid, as higher consumer confidence, and lower unemployment and gas prices offset the deep drop on the Dow.



Raw

Final
As of September 30, 2015
Measure
Base
Score
Weight
Score
Hillary's margin vs GOP leader (Avg. Top 3)
-0.5%
0%
-0.5%
50%
-0.3
Hillary's favorability rating
41.4%
50%
-8.6%
25%
-2.2
Obama's approval rating
45.9%
50%
-4.1%
15%
-0.6
Econometer
101.2
100
1.2
10%
0.1
Sum




-2.9
HILLOMETER




-29

  

2 comments:

  1. Dear Born to Run Brothers:

    Excellent on what you have. Waiting for my table for lunch the other day at the Four Seasons, Charlie Rose and Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., and Maureen Dowd were right ahead of me. "So, why is Born to Run kicking both of your butts, again?" asked Arthur. They were all then led to their table, and I didn't hear the reply.

    For the next edition: Challenge to you, Tom. You are The One to come up with a Bill-James-Worthy statistic that combines polling, cash on hand, and pace of fundraising, and the time-to-Super Tuesday. If the Hillometer, for example, is predictive, surely a factor is all the money she is sitting on.

    What does Bernie's fundraising bump mean? How much money does Bernie need to talk him past Iowa and New Hampshire, into the real primaries?

    Heck, if I were Jeb at least, I might just stop campaigning for a while and let the others spend down.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bernie's money means he can take it to the south and west. He has clearly proven he can raise grass roots money, a la Obama, and that money should keep rolling. Whether he can actually do well in the south is another story. Thus far he lags Hillary by quite a bit in southern state polls.

    As for the modeling...wow, that's a hard one!

    ReplyDelete

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