With fundamentals irrelevant in a market controlled by central banks, the algos and early rising traders have found a new catalyst to trade off: the daily 7am release of the refreshed ABC/WaPo poll, and if anyone is wondering why the peso suddenly spiked...
... coupled with US risk assets suddenly going bid, it is becuase in the latest poll, Hillary Clinton has regained the lead from Donald Trump, who was leading as recently as two days ago, and was tied with Hillary yesterday.
Overall, likely voters divide 47-45 percent between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll. Third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein have 3 and 2 percent support, respectively.
As ABC writes, numerically the race has gone from +1 Trump to 0 to +2 Clinton in four-night averages in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. It notes that these are not significant changes given the survey’s sample size, about 1,100 likely voters, however the Clinton lead is all the algos needed to promptly launch buying programs and send futures to session highs.
Some more details:
Trump has had a non-significant but numerical advantage just twice in ABC/Post polls, +2 in a two-way test May 19 and +1 Oct. 30. Clinton, for her part, has held significant and even substantial leads, but these have been sensitive to events and propensity to vote, given the lukewarm nature of her (and Trump’s) support.
This is reflected in levels of strong enthusiasm for the candidates -– tepid overall, with patterns among groups that help identify their strengths and weaknesses. Trump has a 7-point edge in strong enthusiasm, given challenges in enthusiasm for Clinton among independents.
Another factor, early voting, has accelerated, up from 21 percent of likely voters Oct. 30 to 27 percent now. After starting better for Clinton, vote preferences in this group have tightened to 50-45 percent, Clinton-Trump, in the latest four-night average.
A look at core supporters: Clinton has shored up her support among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who preferred Bernie Sanders for the nomination –- 82 percent of them now support her, up from a low of 70 percent in July. Still, she loses 8 percent of former Sanders supporters to Trump and 7 percent to Stein or Johnson. Also, unhelpfully for Clinton, there’s a hint of some slippage in turnout; while the results don’t reach statistical significance, former Sanders supporters appear a bit less likely to vote at all.
Trump is said to be doing less well with Republicans and GOP leaners who wanted someone else to win the nomination; he has 75 percent support in this group, with 15 percent going to Clinton, 7 percent to Johnson or Stein. Two factors mitigate the damage: leaned Republicans have grown more apt to say they supported Trump in the first place (47 percent, up from 40 percent in August; and there’s no slippage evident in turnout among leaned Republicans who preferred someone else for the nomination.
As the poll notes, differences among voter groups abound, with one of the largest between evangelical white Protestants -– a core Republican constituency –- and those who profess no religion. The former back Trump by 77-19 percent; the latter, Clinton by 64-25 percent. The groups are identical in size, each 17 percent of all likely voters. The gap between them is typical.
Taking a look at voter enthusiasm, just 46 percent of Clinton’s supporters and 53 percent of Trump’s express strong enthusiasm about them, including fairly narrow majorities even within their own parties. It’s similar for Trump among independents who lean Republican, 45 percent, but drops to 35 percent for Clinton among independents who lean Democratic. Among pure independents, 28 percent are strongly enthusiastic about Trump, compared with only 10 percent who are similarly excited about Clinton.
As with vote preferences, variation in strong enthusiasm for the candidates illustrates the cultural bases of the two parties, most starkly by residential area and religion. In rural areas, 42 percent are strongly enthusiastic about Trump, vs. 16 percent for Clinton. In urban areas, by contrast, just 17 percent express strong enthusiasm for Trump, vs. 33 percent for Clinton. Suburbanites divide. Nearly half of white evangelical Protestants are strongly enthusiastic about Trump. Only 10 percent of those who do not identify with a religion feel the same way; instead, 36 percent in this group are very enthusiastic about Clinton.
By race, strong enthusiasm for Clinton peaks at 58 percent among black likely voters and 38 percent among Hispanics, dropping to 21 percent among whites. By contrast, strong enthusiasm for Trump reaches 30 percent of whites overall; it’s just 12 percent among nonwhites.
Finally, it is worth recalling that the poll is one which actively oversamples democrats, and in the latest edition, of the sample of 1,167 likely voters, the partisan divisions were 37 for Democrats, 30 for Republicans and 29 for Independents, with the last group on the verge of surpassing the Republican group entirely.