These National Poll Numbers Are . . . Not Moving around Very Much

As mentioned on a forthcoming episode of The Editors, it sure would be nice to have a big batch of state polls right now, preferably with a likely-voter screen, large sample size, and short window of asking questions. (The Morning Consult state polls look pretty bad for President Trump, but were asking questions from August 21 to 30.)

The national polling numbers since the end of the GOP convention are . . . eh, maybe some improvement here and there, but still not that good. The Suffolk poll has Joe Biden ahead, 46.9 percent to 41.6 percent, when Libertarian Party nominee Jo Jorgensen and Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins are included. Without the minor party candidates, it’s Biden at 49.8 percent, Trump at 43.3 percent. As noted yesterday, the Emerson poll had Biden’s lead down to two points.

The latest Selzer and company poll has Biden up, 49 percent to 41 percent. The latest Reuters-Ipsos poll has Biden ahead, 47 percent to 40 percent, “largely unchanged over the past three weeks during which both parties held conventions.” The latest USC poll shows little movement, with Biden ahead by about 9 percentage points.

By most measuring sticks, the GOP convention did its job well, but there’s just not a lot of movement towards Trump in the numbers yet. The state polls may be tightening, and we just haven’t seen public numbers to confirm that trend yet. (Also note that as of last month, the down-ticket numbers don’t look promising for Republicans either.)

But otherwise, Trump and his supporters will have to put even more faith in the notion that all of these pollsters are missing significant numbers of “shy Trump voters” and that the president will do significantly better than the polls suggest.

Back on August 18 I wrote, “Whatever happens in November, it is extremely unlikely that we will look back and think, ‘Yes, the convention in August was the turning point.’” So far, the impact of the conventions on the standing of the candidates looks pretty minimal.

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