This is a volatile time when it comes to public opinion polling. A CNN/ORC survey released early on Monday has Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton by three points in a head-to-head match-up.
Another poll – this one from CBS News – shows the race essentially tied between the two candidates – unchanged from their pre-convention survey.
What’s going on?
The truth is that conducting public opinion polls between the two conventions is a fool’s errand. It’s hardly ever accurate given the fact that one candidate – in this case, Trump – is experiencing a temporary uptick in the polls.
As Greg Sargent of the Washington Post tweeted today:
So, re the new polling, let’s try to keep two ideas in our heads at the same time: pic.twitter.com/6S1D5kqnAo
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) July 25, 2016
Trump and the Republicans have just concluded a four-day infomercial. It should come as no surprise that his numbers have improved. Once the DNC in Philadelphia concludes, the polling will likely shift again.
As Sargent points out, it’s smarter to wait and see what happens at that point rather than panic now something most political observers expected to happen all along.
It’s also important not to lose sight of the fact that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats have structural and demographic advantages going into November.
A new electoral projection from Benchmark Politics – factoring in current polling and demographics – shows that it is still highly probable that Clinton will carry the required 270 electoral votes to win the election.
According to the model, the soon-to-be Democratic nominee is favored to win the swing states of Florida, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire – amassing a total of 308 electoral votes to Trump’s 230.
Keep in mind, these projections come in the midst of Trump’s post-RNC bounce. After next week, the national polling and electoral projections could look much different and potentially much better for the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Stay tuned – and don’t panic yet.