A 13-point lead for Hillary Clinton on July 14 has vanished in two weeks with Donald Trump now leading in the polls by 1 point. This is clearly unacceptable to the establishment and so Reuters/Ipsos is taking matters into its own hands... and 'tweaking' its polling methodology.
Trump has seena yuuge bounce since Comey and the convention as Clinton's bounce was marginal...
Something had to be done... so Reuters "tweaked" their methodology.
In a presidential campaign notable for its negativity, the option of “Neither” candidate appears to be an appealing alternative, at least to participants in the Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll.
Many voters on both sides have been ambivalent in their support for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump, complicating the task of the pollsters trying to track the race.
That sentiment may help explain an apparent skew that recently emerged in the Reuters/Ipsos poll results. Given the choice, a relatively large group of voters opted for “Neither/Other” candidate compared with other major polls, leading to an underreporting of several percentage points for one or other of the two major contenders at times in the race.
As a result, Reuters/Ipsos is amending the wording of the choice and eliminating the word “Neither,” bringing the option in line with other polls.
Tests found eliminating the word “Neither” from the “Neither/Other” response increased Trump support by between 3 to 5 percentage points on any given day leading up to the Republican convention. It also increased Clinton’s support, but by a smaller margin.
Since the convention, however, Trump’s support seems to have solidified among wary supporters. Now, the “Neither” issue appears to be affecting Clinton in the survey.
But while Trump's numbers had been hurt by the "neither" question, the results of testing its removal shows a notably bigger negative bias towards Trump appears among Hispanics, College-Educated, and young voters:
As Reuters explains, in our view, the inclusion of the word “Neither” is capturing Soft Trump supporters who, if given such an option, prefer not to make a choice. Here it is important to note that the soft supporter phenomenon also affects Clinton, but to a much lesser degree.
Reuters/Ipsos poll currently has Trump 40.2%, Clinton 38.5%, but, Reuters reports, eliminating "Neither" from the "Neither/Other" answer produced a different result. In that case, Clinton was ahead, 40% to 36%.
The amended Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll will be published later Friday.