Saturday, December 5, 2015

Terrorism Boost for Trump?

Trump mocking a Disabled Reporter
Since the Paris attacks, Donald Trump has pulled away from the rest of the GOP field with a 13 point lead (according to the Real Clear Politics Poll Average) for the nomination with smaller boosts for Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.  The latest CNN poll gives him a 20 point lead with 36% over Ted Cruz's 16%.  

The CNN poll showed an 11% increase in Trump's support from the last CNN poll on Oct. 14-17 to an all time high.  The poll/survey shows that Trump leads among GOP voters who believe that he is best able to handle the economy (55%, 11% gain), illegal immigration (48%, 1% gain), foreign policy (30%, 8% gain), ISIS (46%, 14% gain), and the federal budget (51%, question wasn't previously asked),  Trump also leads when respondents were asked who had the best chance of winning in the general election (52%), who would be most effective to sole the country's problems (42%), and who can best handle the responsibilities of commander in chief (37%).

Trump does somewhat better among men (38%) than women (33%) but still leads the GOP field among both genders.  His support is higher among GOP voters aged 50-64 (43%) than those aged 65+ (28%) but also leads both age groups.  He has more support among respondents earning less than $50k (40%) than those earning more than $50k (33%).  The starkest demographic difference for Trump's support was seen among those without a college degree (46%) to those with a college degree (18%).  Trump leads among those without a degree but Ted Cruz leads among GOP voters with a degree with 22% which is within the margin of error.  This means that Cruz and Trump are in a statistical tie among those with a college degree.

CNN produced this graphic showing how Clinton fares in hypothetical general election match-ups.  Not included in those match-ups was Bernie Sanders.  Quinnipiac did produce a poll this week which included Sanders as well as Clinton in match-ups against four GOP candidates: Trump, Carson, Rubio, and Cruz (interestingly Bush was not included).  The means from the Qunnipiac Poll are presented in the table below with means and standard deviations.  Sanders has a mean advantage of 6.25% while Clinton had an advantage of 3.75% of the four Republicans.  The difference between the advantages of Clinton and Sanders (2.50%) is borderline significant (p=0.09)  According to the CNN graphic above, Clinton has a mean advantage of 0.8%. 

St. Dev

When I looked at the poll differences between Sanders and Clinton against 6 GOP candidates before the Paris and San Bernadino attacks Clinton had an advantage of 8.33% and Sanders had an advantage of 8.17%.  These differences were statistically identical.  The Real Clear Politics head to head averages for these candidates gives a 1.55% advantage for Clinton and a 1.42% advantage for Sanders.  Before these attacks, Clinton had an advantage of 1.53% for Clinton and 1.23% for Sanders. The averages have a lot more polls for Clinton than Sanders.

Obviously Trump has had a boost in the polls among the GOP faithful and the general electorate.  Clinton may have been hurt more against potential Republicans than Sanders.  Next time I will look inside the numbers for the Democrats.

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