Just over a month ago, Donald Trump shocked the establishment and took the lead in national polls.
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.
Today, however, a CNN national poll showed Trump regaining the lead (by 2 pts):
Donald Trump has a two-point edge over Hillary Clinton in the latest CNN/ORC national survey of likely voters out Tuesday, as the Democratic nominee's post-convention lead has largely evaporated.
Among those likely to vote in two months, Trump took 45 percent to Clinton's 43 percent, while Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson earned 7 percent and Green Party nominee Jill Stein had 2 percent. But among all registered voters surveyed, Clinton leads by 3 points, 44 percent to 41 percent, while Johnson took 9 percent and Stein 3 percent.
The Republican nominee has a slightly higher favorability rating than Clinton among likely voters, although both are still underwater. Trump is seen favorably by 45 percent and unfavorably by 55 percent, while Clinton is at 42 percent to 56 percent. The disparity between the two candidates is lessened among registered voters.
And so, as Politico reports, MSNBC decided another tweak was required:
MSNBC 'unskewed' a CNN national poll on Tuesday that showed Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton by two points, re-weighting the results to match the 2012 electorate and showing a four-point lead for the former secretary of state.
The poll of likely voters, released Tuesday by CNN/ORC, showed Trump ahead of Clinton nationwide in a four-way contest, 45 percent to 43 percent. But MSNBC host Chuck Todd explained that the poll, in his network’s estimation, may have oversampled white voters without a college degree, one of Trump’s strongest groups.
“Whites without a college degree appear to make up nearly half of their sample. In 2012, by the way, whites without a college degree was slightly more than a third of all voters,” Todd said.
“The point is, your numbers may not be wrong but your weighting may be, your assumptions. So the CNN folks assumed an electorate that is not an impossible scenario for Trump, but it would be an historic shift if it occurred.”
With the numbers adjusted to reflect how the electorate shook out four years ago, Clinton’s two-point deficit shifted to a four-point lead, 46 percent to 42 percent.
To this latest, and most entertaining, "non-GAAP" poll adjustment, we have one question: just how stupid do 'they' think the American people really are?