Well, yesterday, it became official: Hillary Clinton’s support in the polls is on the decline. A sigh of relief, given that some polls had her up double-digits over Republican nominee Donald Trump, who admittedly had a disastrous couple of weeks post-Cleveland. Once The Associated Press reported that more than half of Hillary’s nongovernmental meetings were with Clinton Foundation donors when she was at State, the ethical issues surrounding the nonprofit were injected back into the discussion. Clinton has the email fiasco that hasn’t gone away, and now possible pay-to-play allegations emanating from the Clinton Foundation, which has been accused of being a slush fund for the former first family. If not a slush fund, a place where the well connected can get access to some of the most powerful people on earth through a donation (or down payment) that usually ends in a financially beneficial situation arising that benefits that donor in the future. Is it illegal? Not necessarily from the information known to us, but it certainly questions the ethical nature of Hillary Clinton and erodes faith and trust in those manning the helm institutions of public service.
Over the weekend, Reuters noted that Clinton had dropped seven points in three days, with her still leading Trump 41/36. NBC News had her leading Trump 48/46, a two-point drop. She was leading by eight points. A Morning Consult poll had her six-point lead cut in half in a week, though Clinton still leads 43/40. Guy wrote about how Clinton’s 13-point lead has dropped to seven (46/39) in the latest Monmouth poll. Now, Public Policy Polling has Clinton leading 48/43, a five-point lead, though down nine from a month ago (via The Hill):
A new Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey found that although Hillary Clinton steadily leads Donald Trump by 5 points nationally in the presidential election, the popularity of both candidates is falling.
The newest poll shows that in a four-way race, the Democratic nominee leads with 42 percent support, her GOP counterpart with 37 percent, Libertarian Gary Johnson with 6 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein with 4 percent. Conservative Republican Evan McMullin, who launched an independent run early this month, had 1 percent support. Ten percent of voters surveyed were undecided.
In a head-to-head race, Clinton leads 48 to 43 percent. While other polls this week have shown a tightening in the race, the 5--point difference is the same as the PPP poll last month, but then, she led 50 percent to 45 percent. Undecided voters in a two-way race increased from 5 percent last month to 9 percent.
PPP also said that the candidates appear to be getting more unpopular as this race continues, but there’s another aspect to this poll. One is that PPP is left leaning. The sample size is slightly under the 1,000 needed (they polled 881), but most importantly, the skew is D+11. The liberal, moderate, conservative split among respondents was 28/32/39 respectively.
So, yes, Clinton’s lead has dropped, but she still leads. The silver lining is that Trump is within striking distance, but he needs to get serious about overtaking the former first lady soon—and we’re approaching a period where he cannot get into unnecessary fights with Gold Star families, or question the racial backgrounds of federal judges. The latest PPP is a D+11 skew and he’s only trailing by five. It’s a combination of Trump being more disciplined on the campaign rail and the new developments relating to the Clinton Foundation. Trump’s been hammering Clinton over relations to her Foundation, which multiple editorial boards have suggested that she, Bill, and Chelsea cut ties with immediately. While her dip in the polls is more due to the story rather than Trump’s campaigning style, it once again shows that Clinton’s a weak candidate that has ethical issues which are much bigger than she, and many on her staff, thinks at present. Say what you will about Trump, the FBI wasn’t investigating him. This baggage over her emails, her Foundation, and past ethical issues from the 1990s are still hampering her efforts to break 50 percent and stay there.
UPDATE: A few have commented that I left out the LA Times poll, which does have Trump up three over Clinton. Here's the link. Keep in mind, this is the only poll that has Trump ahead, though it's well within the margin of error. He's still trailing, though he's within striking distance.