POLITICS
10/24/2016 07:59 am ET Updated Jan 03, 2017

HUFFPOLLSTER: Millions Of Americans Have Already Voted

The election is being held today.

In many states, the election has already started. Republicans’ election woes are creeping downballot. And many Donald Trump supporters aren’t prepared to accept a loss. This is HuffPollster for Monday, October 24, 2016.

NEARLY 6 MILLION AMERICANS HAVE ALREADY VOTED - Michael P. McDonald: “Another week of early voting has passed and as of Sunday morning at least 5.9 million people have voted in the 2016 election. The past week of early voting marked the start of in-person early voting is states like Georgia, Nevada, and North Carolina….Despite weakness for Clinton in the Midwest, Clinton looks well-positioned in other states Trump still needs for an Electoral College victory. We are entering the crucial in-person early voting period for Democrats. Democrats tend to vote at higher numbers than Republicans during in-person early voting, a behavior that is being born out in critical battleground states like Nevada and North Carolina. There are some clouds in North Carolina, as Democrats stand in long lines created by the opening of fewer polling locations in some key Democratic counties.  Will Democrats endure through to Election Day? Will in-person early voting wind up not as favorable for Democrats as it has been in the past? The next two weeks of in-person early voting will tell the tale.” [HuffPost]

THE SENATE MAJORITY IS UP FOR GRABS - HuffPollster, on Saturday: “Donald Trump’s unpopularity is threatening to take the Republican Senate majority down with him. With an influx of new data, the HuffPost Senate forecast indicates that Republicans have a 38 percent chance of keeping the majority. Democrats have a 30 percent chance of taking an outright majority, and there’s a 32 percent chance that the chamber will split 50-50. Accounting for the presidential race, the Democrats have a 61 percent chance of winning the majority and Republicans have a 39 percent chance of holding onto control….This is a big shift for the HuffPost model…. The flip was caused by new data in the Indiana race... Our model requires at least five polls on any given race in order to run. There was a dearth of information on Indiana until Friday, so we were using the race’s rating from Cook Political Report to produce a probability. The Cook rating is a ‘tossup,’ indicating that without polling information, we’d give each candidate a 50 percent chance. We got that fifth poll in, and all of the polls have indicated that Democratic candidate Evan Bayh has a considerable lead.” [HuffPost]

Forecast update - The forecast has since shifted to a 34 percent chance of Republicans keeping the Senate and a 33 percent chance of Democrats taking the majority. Accounting for Clinton’s 96 percent chance of winning the presidency, that becomes a 64 percent chance of Democrats taking over. On the presidential side, Donald Trump has only a 3.9 percent chance of winning, with essentially no path to an Electoral College victory as long as Clinton maintains her leads in Florida, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Michigan and Wisconsin. [Senate forecast, Presidential forecast]

MOST TRUMP SUPPORTERS DON’T THINK CLINTON CAN WIN LEGITIMATELY - HuffPollster: “No matter which presidential candidate comes out ahead on Election Day, many Americans won’t be ready to accept the results… a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds… Although Clinton is overwhelmingly the favorite to win, 42 percent of Americans who’d prefer to see her in the White House still say it’s possible that Trump could legitimately win in the election, compared to 36 percent who say he could win only if the election was rigged. Most of those favoring a Trump victory, however, see a legitimate Clinton win as an impossibility. Fifty-seven percent say she can win only in a rigged election, with just 30 percent believing she could win honestly. A 53 percent majority of Americans who’d rather see Clinton win the election say that if Trump wins, they will not accept him “as the legitimate president.” An even larger majority of those who’d prefer a Trump win ― 64 percent ― say that they wouldn’t accept Clinton as legitimate. [HuffPost]

A TRUMP WIN WOULD BE THE BIGGEST POLLING MISS EVER - HuffPollster: “Despite often-crazy election news cycles, polling numbers have been pretty boring in the past couple of months. Trump has never been ahead. Yet the narrative that polls could be wrong persists among liberals and conservatives… Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton now leads by a little more than 7 points in the HuffPost Pollster aggregate of national election polls in a 2-way contest with Trump. She’s just under 7 points ahead when third party candidates are included. If Trump wins the popular vote on Nov. 8, it would be a polling miss unlike we’ve ever seen before in a general presidential election. Even the “Dewey Defeats Truman” debacle in 1948, in which news organizations incorrectly called the presidential election for Thomas Dewey over Harry Truman based on polling data, was only about a 5-point polling miss. And that miss was mostly due to the fact that the few pollsters that existed in 1948 stopped polling a few weeks before the election. That would never happen now. Polls will be released up until the day before the election, and possibly on Election Day itself. And we’ve learned a few things about polling in the 68 years since then. It’s true that the field is in flux right now due to technological and societal changes, but it’s unlikely we’ll see an unprecedented polling failure.” [HuffPost] 

Trump leads in some polls, but those are likely outliers - HuffPollster: “The Donald Trump campaign is clinging to any shred of evidence it can find that shows the beleaguered GOP nominee in a competitive race with Hillary Clinton. Most polling and forecast evidence points to a sizable win for Democrats on Nov. 8. But there are a few national polls that team Trump can cherry-pick to claim a lead…. [T]he basics of polling error indicate that the polls showing Trump leading are likely “outliers,” either by statistical chance or by design. There are lots of opportunities for things to go wrong in polls. Survey experts generally point to five areas where things can go awry: sampling, coverage, nonresponse, measurement and post-survey…. Consistency in a large number of polls means they’re probably pretty close to reality. We have a whole lot of consistency in showing Clinton ahead nationally. Plus, national polls have a decent track record of being right in U.S. general elections…. Bad samples or other errors happen to even the best pollsters. When the Trump campaign or supporters try to leverage the three national polls that show him leading, keep in mind that more than 30 in October have shown Clinton ahead. The likelihood of that many polls being wrong is very low.” [HuffPost]

A new ABC poll shows Clinton up by 12 points nationally, while CBS swing state polls show Clinton leading by 3 points in Florida and trailing by 3 points in Texas. [ABC, CBS]

HUFFPOLLSTER VIA EMAIL! - You can receive this daily update every weekday morning via email! Just click here, enter your email address, and click “sign up.” That’s all there is to it (and you can unsubscribe anytime).

MONDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Carly Wayne, Nicholas Valentino and Marzia Oceno examine the relationship between sexism and support for Donald Trump. [WashPost]

-Sam Corbett-Davies, Tobias Konitzer and David Rothschild find high levels of GOP belief in debunked messages about voter fraud. [WashPost]

-Charles Franklin shows that most Americans have said the country is “on the wrong track” most of the time since 1981. [Twitter]

-Snopes investigates claims that Ronald Reagan came back from a 6-point polling deficit to win in 1980. [Snopes]

-The Canadian Association for Public Opinion Research and the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association are planning to merge. [CBC]

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