US Elections: Trump Leads Clinton Nationwide, According to Poll That Called 2012

US Elections: Trump Leads Clinton Nationwide, According to Poll That Called 2012

POLITICS 00:23 19.10.2016

While most national polls project Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton winning the presidential election in a landslide victory, one prominent survey shows Republican rival Donald Trump narrowly ahead.

In light of multiple sexual assault allegations being leveled against the billionaire, Trump has suffered in national polling. The national average shows Clinton leading by seven points, and Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight puts her odds of winning at a staggering 87.6 percent.

But the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times “Daybreak” poll paints a different outcome. Tracking the opinions of roughly 3,000 eligible voters, the results are updated each day. As of Tuesday, the poll gives Trump a narrow victory, polling at 44.9 percent to Clinton’s 43.3 percent.

While slim, that gap has grown steadily since Saturday.

As David Lauter points out for the Los Angeles Times, the Daybreak poll was one of the most accurate predictors of the 2012 election between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

“It predicted that President Obama would be reelected with a margin of victory of 3.32 percentage points,” he writes. “He won by 3.85 points. Most other polls underestimated Obama’s margin by more than that.”

The US Dornsife/LA Times survey approaches polling slightly differently than others. For one, the opinions of participants are weighted based on how certain they are. Someone who is only 60 percent sure of their vote will count for less than someone who is 100 percent sure.

The Daybreak poll also relies on the same group of people.

“Unlike typical polls, which contact a different sample of people for each survey, the Daybreak poll uses the same panel of approximately 3,200 people, questioning about 450 of them each day in order to get to everyone each week,” Lauter explains.

“By using a panel of the same people, we can ensure that when the poll results change, that shift reflects individuals changing their minds.”

Still, there’s one option that Daybreak fails to take into account. A new UMass-Lowell/Odyssey Millennials survey found that younger voters are deeply dissatisfied with both candidates. Among Americans between the ages 18-35, roughly 23 percent would prefer a giant meteor strike to either candidate.

“We do not take our respondents at their word that they are earnestly interested in seeing the world end, but we do take their willingness to rank to constitutional crises and a giant meteor ahead of these two candidates with startling frequency as a sign of displeasure and disaffection with the candidates and the 2016 election,” said Joshua Dyck, co-director of UMass-Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion, according to the Hill.

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