Polls: Clinton, Trump Race Much Closer Than You Think

The polls for Clinton and Trump the last week have been mostly favorable for the Democratic frontrunner. One poll from ABC News and the Washington Post even had Hillary with a double-digit (12-point) lead over the presumptive Republican front-runner.

However, a new finding from the highly respected Quinnipiac University, as reported by CNN, has found that much of that support is overblown. In fact, at present, the data shows that she is up just two points overall (42 percent to 40 percent).

So how could there have been such a big swing over a week-long period? A look into the methodology of both polls for Clinton and Trump can answer that question.

According to the more Clinton-favorable ABC News/Washington Post poll, 33 percent more Democrats were included in the “random” 1,001-person sampling (36-24 percent). Furthermore, the “Independent” vote made up an additional 33 percent of polling, but no specifications were made regarding what types of political leanings those Independents had.

Were they socialist Bernie Sanders supporters or far-right tea party supporters more likely to vote for Trump? The poll did not reveal this information. Clearly, if the Independents skewed left, then it’s conceivable that ABC News and the Washington Post conducted a poll consisting of 69 percent left-leaning voters and 24 percent Republicans, hence the high margin of support.

Quinnipiac, on the other hand, tried to match the numbers up more evenly among the two major political parties with 31 percent Democrats and 28 percent Republicans. A further 33 percent identified as Independents, while 8 percent fell in the “don’t know/other/not applicable” grouping.

While Quinnipiac’s percentage of Independents were the same as that of the ABC News and Washington Post makeup, the greater equality between Democrat and Republican participation indicates that Independents may have been closer to the center than in previous polling.

Even if that wasn’t the case, however, the ABC/WaPo poll had a 12-point differential from the number of Democrats participating to the number of Republicans.

This pretty much explains how this contribution to the polls between Clinton and Trump could show a 12-point victory for Hillary.

Also, the margin of error for Quinnipiac was 2.4 percentage points, putting Trump clearly within it, while the margin of error for ABC News/WaPo was reported as 3.5 percentage points, though likely much higher.

What is the lesson here?

According to Quinnipiac, it’s that the race is far too close to call and that neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump are in a good position to win majority support in November.

Just to demonstrate how unexcited Americans are about this race, another contribution to the polls between Clinton and Trump reported yesterday by the Inquisitr showed that 13 percent of Americans would rather have a giant meteor hit the earth than vote for either candidate.

Trump criticism hones in on his tendencies to flip-flop on issues, his inflammatory statements toward certain groups of people, and his sketchy business history.

Clinton criticism hones in on her tendencies to flip-flop on issues, her private email server, history of attacking the First Amendment, and dubious ties to Wall Street illustrated through exorbitant speaking fees and unreleased speech transcripts.

Americans are souring on both candidates, making the unlikely more and more possible. Will that translate to a President Trump come November, or will voters decide to go with more of the status quo in Hillary Clinton?

The polls between Clinton and Trump at this point indicate that either of these scenarios could happen, that American voters are nowhere close to excited about it, and that whatever happens, voters will have no one to blame but themselves.

But what do you think, readers? Are the polls between Clinton and Trump to be trusted, and do you find them hopeful or discouraging? Sound off in the comments section below.

[Image via Colleen P | Flickr Creative Commons | Resized and Cropped | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]