Monday, September 12, 2016

8/10/16 The Exact Date Donald Trump's Path To The Presidency Commenced

Real Clear Politics aggregate "poll of polls' on August 9th had Trump behind Clinton by 7.9 points (47.8% to 39.9%). This was Trump's lowest percentage since June 17th when he was at his nadir of 38.3%.

Clinton hit her post DNC high of +48.4%, (her highest point since April 25th) although her lead was +6.3 as Trump had commenced his ascendancy by that point on August 10th with a clear spike up to August 12th as the graph indicates.

This almost exactly mirrors the trajectory of the three tracking polls in the aggregate with UPI/C being the laggard.

The massive rise for Trump from June 16th to July 27th included and reflected his "convention  (July 18-21)  bounce" as does Hillary's from July 30th to August 27th. Both these rises coincide exactly of course with their subsequent sharp declines.

Now that the convention bounces are finished and Labor Day has passed the "tribal" tightening of the polls has commenced with Clinton's lead down to 3.1 and the first debate, barring any Wikileaks or other shocks, may set the tone for subsequent bounces.

However the campaign ends in November if Trump does win the turning point can clearly be identified for his campaign as August 10th in the "one off " poll aggregates at RCP and the 13th in the three tracking polls.

Trump turned Hillary's largest aggregate lead of 4.2 points on 8/13 to an 0.7 lead on the 20th a near 5 point turnaround in 12 days.

Why August 10th-13th? There appears to be no clear indicator in the media or in positive statements or gaffes from other of the candidates. It may be that  Clinton's email problems and the decline in her 'trustworthiness' across numerous polls combined with Trump's "softened" approach, may have moved voters who were uncertain about him to his camp.

Here is a possible answer (from a Hillary supporter needless to say) to the "why" question' which seems reasonable;

"One month ago, 538 gave Clinton a 78% chance of winning the election -- a very very very strong favorite. Nate Silver phrased it, as being about the same chance as an NBA player making a free throw. Sure, they miss some of the time, but they make most of them. 
In just one month, his projections have dropped from 78% on August 15th to 68% on September 10th to 61% today in his "polls plus" forecast. 61% -- just slightly better than a coin flip.
His "polls only" model is more extreme -- On August 15th, the model was at 89% for Clinton -- a "can't miss" practically. By September 10th, he had her drop to 71% -- a reasonable advantage. Down to 63% today -- just slightly better than a coin flip.

Some would say that Clinton simply lost her convention bounce, but her high point was mid August, more than 2 weeks after the convention. If it was purely dissipation of convention bounce, that would have occurred much earlier.
So what changed as of the high point of August 15th?
From mid August to Labor Day, Clinton mostly left the public campaign trail to focus on fundraising. Thus, most of the stories about her were not about her public appearances, just negative stories about the emails and Clinton Foundation, etc. Meanwhile, Trump *somewhat* got his act together -- wasn't blatantly insulting Gold Star families, was using a teleprompter more. Thinks started to stabilize as she returned to the campaign trail Labor day, but I believe the weekend of "deplorables" and pneumonia are hitting her very hard."

The state polls, which in the end are what really matter as it is still the Electoral College, not the popular vote that counts, lag the national poll trends but now also show a realistic path to the presidency for Trump. 

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