posted at 10:01 am on September 14, 2016 by Ed Morrissey
Needless to say, this past weekend didn’t do Hillary Clinton much good. She kicked it off Friday by fumbling the obviously planned attack line “basket of deplorables,” all but erasing its effectiveness. She ended the weekend with a collapse at a high-profile event that exposed a series of lies and half-truths Team Hillary has been telling about her health. Hillary wound up sidelined until at least tomorrow after giving the public new reasons to question her judgment, honesty, and health.
How much any of that will impact polling is still anyone’s guess, but it certainly didn’t help much in Ohio. A Bloomberg poll taken over the weekend shows Donald Trump moving out to a five-point lead in both two- and four-way race questions, Politico reports:
The Bloomberg Politics poll, conducted by Iowa-based Selzer & Co., shows Trump leading Clinton among likely voters in Ohio, 48 percent to 43 percent. Six percent of likely voters said they would support another candidate, and 3 percent are undecided.
The survey was conducted beginning last Friday, the night Clinton publicly referred to half of Trump’s supporters as “deplorables,” some of whom are “irredeemable” because of their racist or sexist views. Pollsters continued to survey voters through Monday, one day after Clinton’s health scare in Lower Manhattan and the subsequent disclosure of her pneumonia diagnosis. …
In the Bloomberg poll, Trump maintains a 5-point advantage over Clinton with Johnson and Stein included, 44 percent to 39 percent, with Johnson at 10 percent and Stein at 3 percent.
The “deplorables” fumble probably represents more of a lost opportunity than something that will damage Hillary’s standing, and it still seems a little too soon for Hillary’s collapse to show up in polling. However, something seems to be shifting in Ohio. Hillary had either tied or led every poll in the state since late April until the most recent Quinnipiac poll put Trump up by one last week. A CBS/YouGov poll had Hillary up seven in the period between the Quinnipiac and Bloomberg polls, so one of these is an outlier — but which?
The polling sample might be an issue here, but that depends on what kind of turnout we can expect from Ohio. The sample here is R+4 with a D/R/I of 29/33/34. That’s similar to 2014, where Ohio turnout was 32/36/32, but somewhat off from the D+7 2012 presidential cycle of 38/31/31. It might very well be that Hillary can’t recreate Barack Obama’s magic and Ohio turnout will return to a Republican edge, but part of the reason it did that in 2014 was because of John Kasich’s superior organization — and the utter incompetence of Ed Fitzgerald as his opponent. Kasich isn’t supporting Trump, which shows up as a slim disadvantage for Trump in this poll; 24% are more likely to vote Trump because of Kasich’s refusal to endorse, while 31% are less likely, but Trump still leads by five anyway.
The Senate race might serve as a better measure of reliability. In the Bloomberg poll, Rob Portman has opened up a massive 17-point lead over Ted Strickland. The RCP average in this race has Portman up by ten points, but the two most recent polls besides Bloomberg’s have Portman leading by eleven and fifteen. The latter from Emerson had a sample that was D+10.5 and that way overshot the Obama/Romney race, 54/44 against the actual 51/48 result.
In other words, this Bloomberg result might be solid, but after this weekend, the race may be in too much flux to rely on polling until later in the month.