POLITICS
06/08/2016 09:09 am ET

HUFFPOLLSTER: Hillary Clinton Won A Bigger-Than-Expected Victory In California

Polls didn’t indicate she had such a large lead, but the AP’s Monday night call could have affected the race.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

POLLS INDICATED CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATS WOULD BE CLOSER - With 94 percent of the election day vote counted, Clinton has a substantial lead in the Golden State. As of this publication, she leads Sanders 56 percent to 43 percent. The HuffPost Pollster average, which includes all publicly available polling, gave Clinton a 4 point advantage. Several individual polls had Clinton up by a mere 2 points; others showed her with a 10-point or more advantage. In the last week, the race looked very close. What happened? In this case, blaming the pollsters and picking apart the polls isn’t necessarily the answer. Certainly the polls could have misjudged turnout or missed the vote margin among Latinos or other subgroups. But one big event could have affected the vote: The AP announced that Clinton had a delegate majority on Monday night. There’s no way polls could have taken that into account, and we’ll never know what its impact was.   

It’s all over (except DC) -  Even though the AP called Clinton’s delegate majority on Monday night, she officially won a majority of pledged delegates on Tuesday according to multiple outlets, buoyed by a substantial win in New Jersey and initial delegate estimates out of California. Delegate counts likely won’t be finalized for a few days while California finishes counting, but according to the HuffPost elections tracker (which relies on the AP’s counts), Clinton has a solid majority of 2,184 pledged delegates -- 2,755 when superdelegates are added in. The only primary left is in Washington, D.C. next Tuesday, where 46 delegates are at stake.

HOW CLINTON'S 2016 CAMPAIGN DIFFERED FROM 2008 - Philip Bump: "A year before the Iowa caucuses, Clinton had a massive lead over Bernie Sanders -- a much larger lead than she enjoyed over Barack Obama closer to those contests. In part, that's because there were three strong candidates in the race, including John Edwards. But it meant that as the race tightened last summer, Clinton fell much further, much faster than she did when she fell behind Barack Obama in 2008. After Iowa in 2008, her poll numbers plummeted. As contests continued, she continued to see her lead shrink, and then vanish. This year, her lead fell and rose in spurts, but declined downward until about April…. In part because Clinton maintained that national lead, she also built a quick pledged delegate lead which she then held. In 2008, she fell behind Obama fairly quickly, thanks in large part to his campaign's strategic organizing." [WashPost]   

ELEVEN STATES COULD DETERMINE WHO WILL BE PRESIDENT - Steven Shepard: "POLITICO's analysis of polling data suggests 11 states will determine the next president: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. All were battleground states in the previous two elections. But that doesn’t mean the map is constant: As the states’ demographics change, and the parties’ relative appeal among various groups transform, some states move toward one party or the other over the long term….While those changes – combined with the unusual nature of Trump’s campaign – add an element of uncertainty to the campaign, most pollsters agree that Clinton and the Democrats will enter the general election with a perceptible advantage: Of the 11 states most likely to determine the victor, President Barack Obama won all 11 in 2008, and 10 of the 11 in 2012.Polls show Clinton with a lead nationally, and in at least eight of the individual battleground states. And these polls mostly reflect a surge in Trump’s support after the real-estate mogul dispatched his GOP opponents last month — but were conducted before Clinton clinched her party’s nomination. Still, data has consistently shown Trump running strongest with white voters without a college degrees — potentially accelerating an already-in-progress trend of these voters moving toward Republicans rapidly over the past two decades." [Politico]

GENERIC REPUBLICAN VS. DEMOCRAT QUESTION SHOWS DEMOCRATIC STRENGTH - Tobias Konitzer and David Rothschild: "Lots of commentary has accompanied the 'Trump Bump,' as the alleged bump in Donald Trump’s poll numbers has been called....Huffington Post’s Pollster counts about 100 head-to-head polls for Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump since the start of 2016. Their model estimates that Clinton’s lead has shrunk to 4 points….Based on data we have collected using Pollfish, we see the opposite: a slow and steady rise for the eventual Democratic nominee….We have been fielding just one question since the start of the year: Who are you most likely to vote for in the upcoming presidential election? Respondents choose among these answers: definitely Republican candidate, likely Republican candidate, likely Democratic candidate, definitely Democratic candidate, or not voting….Rather than a shrinking lead for Clinton, we show a slow and steady rise for the Democratic nominee. Why should we believe that this trend is real? Besides the problem of strategic responses, the head-to-head polls suffer from noise in a way our data do not." [WashPost]

Data: Pollfish; Figure: David Rothschild

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WEDNESDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-David Moore thinks that Bernie Sanders' argument for fighting until the end is unwarranted. [iMediaEthics]

-Mark Mellman (D) says it's highly unlikely that superdelegates would shift to Sanders. [The Hill]

-Sanders' Democratic and independent supporters are slightly more liberal than those who prefer Hillary Clinton. [Vote View Blog]

-Public Policy Polling (D) finds Marco Rubio could face a tough Senate race if he seeks re-election. [PPP]  

-People outside of the U.S. widely prefer Clinton over Donald Trump. [Ipsos]

-Robert Erikson and Christopher Wlezien remind Americans to look at poll averages. [WashPost]

-New reports show obesity rates in the U.S. continuing to rise. [NBC]

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