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Monday, August 29, 2016

Note regarding upcoming polling

Monmouth was the first of several polls that looked very good for Clinton right around the end of last month beginning of this month.  In the head to head matchup these six polls averaged nearly an 11 point lead.

  • Monmouth +13
  • Marist +14
  • CNN +10 
  • FOX +10 
  • NBC/WSJ +9
  • ABC/WashPost +8 

It was based on the strength of these double digit and high single digit leads, that many media pundits declared the race over. I would expect that much like the Monmouth poll (where Trump gained six points in a head to head and five points in the four way)...  that most (if not all) of these polls will move in Trump's favor. Obviously, I could be wrong, but I feel as a matter of simple gravity (as well as the logical idea that they will follow the same movement as the weekly and daily tracking polls) - that this will be the case.

Now the irony of this, is that most casual observers will suggest that Clinton is gaining momentum (as these polls are released) even if they show her losing overall support since the beginning of the month. The main reason is that most of your polling trackers only consider the most recent polls. So as these polls come out, other polls less favorable to Clinton will drop off.

(this is why I keep the past 30 days - it keeps all pollsters in the average)

The reality is that most of the pollsters our there are just pollsters, and are not commissioned by large media outlets like CNN, NBC, or ABC. Because the general public does not hear about them, they will not know exactly how many independent pollsters are showing the race very close. (If you removed national media polls from the average my spreadsheet goes from around five points down to just over three points)

But they do hear about the latest CNN poll, or the latest ABC/Washington Post poll. These media commissioned polls always garner the most attention (by design).  They are the polls that the Sunday Morning pundits will talk about.

If these numbers show something similar to the Monmouth poll (6-8 points) - will the media pundits really talk about the fact that it's no longer where it was (8-14 points)? Probably not. They will give us the impression that here comes a bunch of polls still showing Clinton's lead expanding, when in fact it will probably be shrinking.

You heard it here first boys and girls.

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