It’s safe to say that Donald Trump got some relatively good polling news today, particularly in the key swing states of Ohio and Florida. It didn’t take him long to tweet out the results, of course.
In Florida, CNN shows the Republican nominee leading Clinton by just three points among likely voters, within the poll’s margin of error. The Democratic nominee is leading Trump among registered voters, though.
In another swing state, Nevada, the race between Clinton and Trump is a statistical tie, with Trump ahead by two in a new Monmouth University poll released on Wednesday.
This single day of polls has caused some Clinton supporters to panic. I’m here to tell them not to – at least not yet.
Even if we treat these surveys as gospel, despite the methodology questions that many on social media have spent the day discussing, it’s important to remember that no single poll should dictate one’s thinking about the presidential race. It’s better, instead, to look at polls in the aggregate.
That’s just what Harry Enten of FiveThirtyEight noted today in his tweet about Bloomberg’s poll of Ohio:
1. Selzer/Bloomberg Ohio poll could be right. 2. You should average. 3. Trump needs to win Ohio. 4. Clinton doesn’t.
— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) September 14, 2016
Adding the CNN and Bloomberg polls into the average of recent Ohio polls –including one from CBS News/YouGov that shows Clinton ahead by 7 – gives Trump a lead of just over one point, which is much more realistic.
In Florida, RealClearPolitics shows the race essentially tied – again, not very surprising given the electoral history of the Sunshine State.
As Michael Cohen of the Boston Globe pointed out today, Trump doesn’t just have to win Ohio and Florida to become president; he has to run the table in all the swing states, which remains incredibly difficult:
Bottom line: for Trump he needs to win every swing state: OH, FL, IA, NV, NC; also GA & AZ AND one of NH, WI, VA, CO, MI …
— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) September 14, 2016
It’s also worth noting that these favorable polls for Trump were taken during a time of not-so-favorable news coverage for Hillary Clinton, whether it was her “basket of deplorables” comment the media labeled a huge gaffe or her illness.
And even with all of these factors clearly benefitting the Republican nominee, the race is a virtual tie at worst or – and this is more likely – still Clinton’s to lose, as Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight tweeted today:
The *good* argument for Dems not panicking is that:
1—News flow has been very negative for Clinton
2—Despite that, she's *probably* winning
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) September 14, 2016
So, no, I don’t think it’s time for Clinton supporters to panic just yet. It’s been a rocky weekend, both personally and politically for the Democratic nominee. I would argue it’s been the most trying of her campaign – and she is still the favorite in this race.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.