Polling shows that Bernie Sanders’ supporters are less likely to turnout for the Iowa caucus than Hillary Clinton’s. The Iowa and New Hampshire races remain close, but nationally Clinton and Trump look strong. And few think Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has handled the water crisis in Flint well. This is HuffPollster for Tuesday, January 26, 2016.
BERNIE SANDERS’ SUPPORTERS COULD BE LESS LIKELY TO VOTE - Nate Cohn: “Mr. Sanders appears to be extraordinarily dependent on turnout from infrequent voters, even more than Democrats have recently been in general elections, and maybe more than Barack Obama in the 2008 Iowa caucuses — mainly because his support is so strong among the young….Compared with the supporters of Hillary Clinton, his are far less likely to report that they intend to vote; they have less history of voting; and they come from demographic categories who turn out in low numbers. This all adds considerable uncertainty to the pre-election polls, which always struggle to determine who is or is not likely to vote. The challenge for Mr. Sanders is most evident in Iowa, a caucus state where polls generally show a fairly tight race.” [NYT]
Polling methods offer additional insight - Cohn: “[Sanders] has not yet led in an Iowa poll that was conducted using data from voter registration files, the technique preferred by most campaigns but only occasionally used by media pollsters. All but one of the surveys using random digit dialing — a kind of poll that contacts all types of adults, including those who are unregistered — have shown a Sanders lead in the state.” [NYT]
NEW POLLS IN IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE - Two new polls of the Iowa GOP race show that businessman Donald Trump is continuing to build strength over Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Trump now holds a 5-percentage point lead in HuffPost Pollster's Iowa average, up 1 point since yesterday. There’s no change to Trump’s already-strong lead in New Hampshire. [Quinnipiac, ARG, Franklin Pierce, IA chart, NH chart]
Sanders continues to rise in Iowa. - Sanders has pulled up to within 1.5 percentage points of Clinton in the HuffPost Pollster average of Iowa, and continues to dominate in New Hampshire. [Fox News, ARG, Franklin Pierce, IA chart, NH chart]
TRUMP AND CLINTON MAINTAIN NATIONAL LEADS - New national polls continue to show Trump as the clear frontrunner on the Republican side. Ted Cruz is rising, but remains nearly 20 percentage points behind in the HuffPost Pollster national average. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson seem to be declining. On the Democratic side, Clinton has a 14-point lead over Sanders, but the gap is narrowing slightly. Keep in mind, though, there is not a national primary election, so national polls should be thought of as an indicator of the national mood -- not as what is likely to happen electorally. [CNN GOP, CNN Democratic, Post/ABC, Fox News]
AMERICANS ANGRY AT WASHINGTON, DON'T BELIEVE POLITICAL RHETORIC IS JUSTIFIED - Monmouth University: “In his State of the Union address earlier this month, President Obama spoke about a pervasive sense of anger in the nation’s politics. According to the Monmouth University Poll, more than 6-in-10 Americans believe that all (9%) or most (53%) of their fellow citizens are angry with Washington. Another 23% say about half the country is angry and only 1-in-8 say some (9%) or just a few (4%) Americans are mad at the nation’s capital….[M]ore Americans say that the harsh language used in politics today is unjustified (53%) rather than justified (39%) given the current state of the country." [Monmouth]
MORE AMERICANS TUNING IN TO 2016 RACE - Justin McCarthy: "Almost seven in 10 Americans are following news about the 2016 presidential election campaign closely, with 31% following it 'very closely' and 38% 'somewhat closely'....Republicans (42%) and conservatives (40%) are more likely than Democrats (33%) and liberals (27%) to say they follow the 2016 presidential election very closely. The higher level of attention that Republicans and conservatives are paying could reflect the larger number of GOP candidates in the race, the greater level of competition or the boisterous presence of Trump -- or it could reflect underlying demographics of the partisan groups. Specifically, groups that tend to be more Democratic politically -- nonwhites, younger adults and women -- are paying less attention to election news than their counterparts are." [Gallup]
LOW APPROVAL FOR MICHIGAN GOV. SNYDER - HuffPollster: "Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) is winning very few plaudits nationwide for his handling of the water crisis in Flint, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey shows. Among Americans who've been following the story, just 15 percent approve of the job that he's done, while 58 percent disapprove. Many think it's time for Snyder to resign, a step that Sen. Bernie Sanders and others have called for. Forty percent of those following the story agree that the governor should go; only 24 percent disagree. Not enough data exist yet to say whether that sentiment is widely shared by Michigan residents, who rated Snyder highly as recently as last summer." [HuffPost]
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TUESDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:
-Nate Silver asks whether "The Party Decides" still holds true for the GOP. 
-Nate Cohn discusses how a Trump win in Iowa could make it harder for mainstream candidates to win support later on in the race. [NYT]
-A poll of citizens from 25 countries finds that most think that their country is on the wrong track. [Ipsos]
-Moderate drinkers report less depression and sadness than heavy drinkers or nondrinkers. [Gallup]
-Demographic data show the impact of Flint’s water crisis. [Social Explorer]
-The Harris Poll finds definitive proof that pizza is the ultimate comfort food. [Harris]