Analysis: As Controversy Swirls, Trump Slips Nationally, Stable But Trailing in Key States

Guy Benson
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Posted: Oct 14, 2016 1:35 PM
Analysis: As Controversy Swirls, Trump Slips Nationally, Stable But Trailing in Key States

Hillary's average lead in the national polling is just over five percentage points, a number held down by the conspicuous outlier Justin told you about earlier, but boosted by the latest Fox News survey -- which Katie wrote about, and is in line with most other polling. The previous two installments in Fox's series had Clinton up three and two points, respectively. Now? She's bounced out to a seven-point lead:

Looking at the internals, Trump's favorability is in very bad shape (35/63), while Hillary's have risen to a merely bad (45/54).  She blows him away on qualifications and temperament, and somehow even edges ahead of him on trustworthiness, although her numbers are atrocious on that front, too.  The poll also measures the generic Congressional ballot at D+6, which would spell big trouble for down-ticket Republicans. This poll's sample is a bit Democrat-heavy at (D+9), which predicts an electorate that's more Democratic than 2008's blue wave. I gave up on "unskewing" polls after 2012, but it'll be interesting to see if that number holds in the next round of Fox data. Putting aside methodological questions about any single poll, the problem for Trump is that the last five national surveys (featuring a four-way race) give Clinton leads of five, six, seven, nine and seven points -- excluding Rasmussen's sore-thumb Trump plus two.  The two-way ballot is worse for him, in case you're curious.  Regardless, national polling only goes so far.  What's happening in the states?  First, some good news for Team Trump, out of Ohio and New Hampshire:

He'd previously trailed in four consecutive Ohio surveys, after leading in six straight before that.  The NBC/WSJ numbers anticipate strong GOP turnout in Ohio compared to 2012, which is not an unreasonable bet.  Hillary has a slight lead there on average, but it's very tenuous.  And here's New Hampshire:

Trump is still down, but it's at least competitive and tightening.  On the flip side, the Trump campaign is pulling out of Virginia, losing ground (again) in Pennsylvania, struggling in Florida (and not just in the polls), and now consistently trailing in North Carolina:

One bright spot in all of this is the Senate picture, as we discussed earlier in the week.  Not a single Republican Senate candidate in a contested race has cratered, with virtually all of them running a good distance ahead of Trump in their states.  Fox noticed this trend, too, as did FiveThirtyEight:

It looks like Clinton is gaining against Trump, but her coattails currently look weak, non-existent, or negative.  Indeed, a new GOP poll in Indiana shows Todd Young overtaking struggling Evan Bayh for the first time in Indiana, and another indicates that Joe Heck's modest lead in Nevada is holding steady.  In the Granite State poll embedded above, Kelly Ayotte is tied with her Democratic challenger, with a substantial majority of voters in the state saying she did the right thing by unendorsing Donald Trump.  The rollercoaster ride continues, with more sordid twists and turns expected along the way.  Less than a month to go.  I'll leave you with this clever ad in Missouri's Senate race: