The good news in the polls for Clinton

Now, it’s still too early to know what impact the FBI actions will have, but even before that, when you look further into the polls, there’s been very good news for Clinton.  As Waldman recently wrote, Democrats are coming home to Clinton:

If a round of recent polls is correct, Hillary Clinton is consolidating support among Democrats in general, young people, Latinos — in short, all the groups she needs to win, but who at various points in the campaign weren’t yet behind her in as large numbers as they might have been.

She may not wind up as the most beloved presidential candidate in memory, but she’s beginning to look much like other recent Democratic nominees — which would be more than enough for her to win. I’ll explain why I think this has happened in a moment, but let’s do a quick run-down first:

Democrats: In recent elections, both nominees have had overwhelming support among their partisans. But since there are slightly more Democrats than Republicans, if both do equally well, then the Democrat wins. For example, in 2012 Barack Obama won 92 percent of Democratic votes and Mitt Romney won 93 percent of Republicans; in 2008 Obama got 89 percent of his partisans and John McCain got 90 percent of his. You’ll recall who won those two elections.

Clinton is fast approaching a comparable level, while Trump trails slightly behind. [emphasis mine]

And, Jeff Stein on Hillary and young voters:

Hillary Clinton has dramatically reversed her struggles with youth voters and is now on track to do about as well with them as Barack Obama did in 2012 — a result that seemed inconceivable just a few weeks ago.

Through most of this fall, it looked like Clinton was letting young voters slip away from the Democratic coalition. She was running way behind Obama among this voting bloc, by as many as 25 points. Some polls had her down to the low 40s among those under 30, setting off a flurry of liberal panic about millennials’ “third-party revolution.”

But if the latest polling is right, this challenge has mostly if not completely dissipated. Young people considered Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and toyed with staying on the couch on Election Day — they have instead decided to come back into the Democratic Party tent.

Clinton is now projected to get exactly the same youth vote share as Obama did in 2012 (60 percent), according to a massive new study released Monday by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago, as part of its GenForward survey series. It’s a stunning turnaround for a campaign that has faced months of fierce criticism and second-guessing over its apparent inability to shore up its millennial support.

“Over time, young voters have really come to think that Gary Johnson doesn’t represent their interests, that [Green Party candidate] Jill Stein is not going to win, and that the stakes are very high in this election,” says Cathy Cohen, a political scientist at the University of Chicago and the study’s lead author, in an interview. “And while they still don’t have great love for Clinton, it looks like they’ve decided to vote for her.”
I think the latest email nonsense makes it more likely that some doubting Republicans return to Trump, but given the lack of any evidence for a there there in Abedin’s emails, hard to see how this actually changes Democrats votes.  And if Hillary Clinton has the support of over 90% of Democrats, she is going to win this election.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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