POLITICS

HUFFPOLLSTER: The Republican Party's Worries Go Beyond Donald Trump

The party is also facing a battle to keep their Senate majority.

The GOP is having a rough year. Twice as many people dislike Donald Trump as like him. And Millennials are becoming more concerned with police brutality and justice issues. This is HuffPollster for Wednesday, August 17, 2016.

REPUBLICANS’ HOPES OF HOLDING THE SENATE MIGHT BE DWINDLING - Harry Enten: “Donald Trump’s post-conventions polling slump seems to be having an effect on the Republican Party’s U.S. Senate candidates….Democrats need to gain a net of four or five seats to win control of the Senate, depending on whether Hillary Clinton or Trump wins the presidency. Before the conventions, polling in the 10 states whose Senate seats were most likely to flip between parties this November showed a pretty close race….In the eight states with competitive Senate races and both pre- and post-conventions polling, Trump had previously been down an average of about 6 percentage points; he’s now down an average of 9 points. And while Republican Senate candidates had been up by an average of a little more than 1 percentage point before the conventions in these eight states, they are now down by a little more than 1 point. That is, Republican Senate candidates in key states are still running ahead of Trump, but that cushion may no longer be enough to win now that Trump’s fortunes have worsened.” [538]

REPUBLICANS ARE KIND OF PESSIMISTIC ABOUT THEIR PARTY - HuffPollster: “Democrats are happier than Republicans in terms of the politicians their party has elected in the past, their nominees currently running for president and their prospects for the future, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds. Three-quarters of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters describe themselves as enthusiastic about or satisfied with the choice of Hillary Clinton as their nominee, while 24 percent are either dissatisfied or upset. A smaller two-thirds majority of Republican and Republican-leaning voters say they’re enthusiastic about or satisfied with Donald Trump, with 32 percent saying they’re dissatisfied or upset…. But perhaps the most significant gap is in regard to each party’s future. Seventy-one percent of voters on the Democratic side are at least satisfied, compared with 43 percent on the Republican side. Thirty percent of Democrats, but just 8 percent of Republicans, count themselves as enthusiastic.” [HuffPost]

VOTERS IN BOTH PARTIES EXPECT TRUMP TO LOSE - Samantha Neal: “Hillary Clinton is leading Donald Trump in recent polling by an average of 8 points ― and the difference is even more pronounced when you look at one particular metric, one that measures voters’ expectations of the race…. Clinton is outperforming Trump drastically on the expectations question. The University of Michigan’s monthly survey of consumers shows that the net share of households that expect Clinton to beat Trump in the general election rose to 39 percentage points in August. That’s up from 27 points in July and 14 points in June…. Other polls show a similarly sharp increase…. The most recent YouGov/Economist poll has Clinton up by 25 points on this question, showing a 13-point increase in just two months in people who believe Clinton will win the election….The expectations question is a powerful predictor of general election outcomes. And it’s one that Trump is critically losing. That’s no guarantee of a Clinton victory, but it’s also far from the only ominous signal for the business magnate.” [HuffPost]

TRUMP IS SLIPPING IN FLORIDA - Monmouth University: “Hillary Clinton holds a 9 point lead over Donald Trump in the crucial swing state of Florida….Among Sunshine State voters likely to participate in November’s presidential election, 48% currently support Clinton and 39% back Trump.  Another 6% intend to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 1% support Green Party candidate Jill Stein, with 5% who are undecided. Among self-identified Democrats, 92% support Clinton while 4% choose Trump and just 3% back a third party candidate.  Trump has less support among his own party base, with 79% of Republicans who back their nominee, compared to 12% who support Clinton and 5% who back another candidate.  Clinton leads Trump among independents by 47% to 30%, with 11% supporting Johnson and 2% backing Stein.” [Monmouth]

The Monmouth University Poll continues a trend of Clinton gaining over Trump. Before the conventions, polling in Florida showed a very close race with some polls showing Trump leading and some showing Clinton up. The trend has settled on Clinton leading by a few points, according to the HuffPost Pollster chart.

TWICE AS MANY PEOPLE DISLIKE TRUMP AS LIKE HIM - HuffPost Pollster puts Trump’s current favorability rating at 32 percent, with his unfavorability exactly double that number at 64 percent, for an overall net -32. After remaining flat for much of the primary, and showing a brief uptick post-convention, his negatives are now higher than they’ve been since two polls taken in May 2015, before he officially entered this race. Clinton, who saw her own negatives rise earlier this year, stands at an only-good-by-comparison net -14 rating, with an average 41 percent viewing her favorably, and 55 percent viewing her unfavorably. In the latest Gallup survey, just two thirds of Republicans and Republican leaning independents view Trump favorably, compared to 74 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners with a positive view of Clinton.

MILLENNIALS ARE GROWING MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM - Nick Bayer: “A new USA Today/Rock the Vote poll of Americans under 35 finds that millennials are increasingly concerned about civil rights, police brutality and criminal justice reform. The results, released Monday, show that criminal justice reform is now nearly as important to millennials as the economy, college affordability and foreign policy. Nearly one-quarter of those surveyed believe problems in the criminal justice system will be the most important issue for the next president. Only 17 percent of respondents said that in a similar January survey….Opinions about the intersection of police violence and race remain sharply divided along partisan lines... By a margin of 6-1, supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton say police brutality against black Americans is a problem. Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, however, are split in their responses.” [HuffPost]

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

-Gregory Holyk  finds Donald Trump carrying a historic lead among white male voters without college degrees. [ABC]

-Patrick Healy notes that early voting starts in some states in less than 6 weeks. [NYT]

-Google tracks changes in voter registration interest over time. [Google]

-Grace Sparks and Samantha Neal explain why Hillary Clinton’s lead in Virginia is a big deal. [HuffPost]

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