Election Update: Polls Show Potential Fallout From Trump Tape

From FiveThirtyEight:

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Polls conducted since the disclosure of a tape on Friday, in which Donald Trump was recorded condoning unwanted sexual contact against women, suggest that he has probably lost further ground against Hillary Clinton. But the polls aren’t in much agreement, with some polls showing little change in the race and others implying that the tape has had catastrophic consequences for his campaign.

Let’s run through the nine national polls that conducted at least some interviews since the release of the tape late Friday afternoon. In some cases, the polls also contain quite a bit of pre-tape data, so it’s important to pay careful attention to the dates of each survey. We’ll start with the polls that didn’t show much of a shift away from Trump.

Four other polls show clear gains for Clinton, however:

What to make of this? Actually, this is pretty normal. For instance, if the video hurt Trump by a net of 2 percentage points, you’d expect some polls to show a 4- or 5-point shift toward Clinton and others to show no gain, or even a slight rise for Trump, because of sampling error and methodological differences.

I’m inclined to read this data pretty negatively for Trump, however, for two reasons. First, as I mentioned, a lot of these polls still have quite a bit of pre-tape data. So the potential effects are not yet fully priced in. Furthermore, the effects of the tape won’t necessarily become evident overnight. It will take a few days for more voters to learn about the contents of the tape and Republican leaders’ reaction to it. I often see reporters …

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