NBC’s Chuck Todd broke down the tightening state polls and offered a very simple explanation for why Democrats don’t need to be worried about what looks like an election that is getting closer.
Todd said, “You look at the state polls are showing one thing, which is a closing race. Trump getting closer. The national polls have all shown something else. Looks like Clinton is opening up. Take a look at that dates these were conducted. All of the national polls have been conducted basically since last Friday. The birther announcement by him. Many of the state polls, including Quinnipiac, a lot of it conducted before, of course, that week was a very bad week for her, some in the post weekend, but I would say I would like to see what the numbers look like in a week to see an indicator, but I think the state polls are the lagging indicator right now.”
Chuck Todd takes a ton of criticism, sometimes justified, but the man can break apart polling data like few others on cable news.
Todd’s exactly right. Democrats are freaking out over these state polls, in part because the media reports the horserace headline without providing the context. The state polls are running about a week behind the national polls. What the state polls are measuring is the tightening that occurred during Clinton’s health scare bad week.
Immediately after Clinton returned to the campaign trail, she bounced back into the lead nationally, and that is where she has stayed.
A poll measures a snapshot in time, and it is important to be aware of what is going on at the time the poll is taken.
It is possible that if Hillary Clinton has a good debate performance on Monday, the state polls will show her numbers improving. Much of this improvement will be credited to the debate by some in the press, but that improvement will actually be a snapshot of Trump’s fall over the birther mess and Clinton’s return to the campaign trail.
The interesting state polls will come a week after the debate. Those polls should show how much of an impact the debate had on voters. A good debate for Clinton could result in two weeks of good poll numbers.
Democrats should relax about the polls, and Democrats really need to cool it with the gloom and doom fundraising emails, because not all polls are measuring the same thing at the same time.
As Chuck Todd pointed out the state polls are lagging behind the national numbers, which are looking very good for Hillary Clinton.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association