Here’s a stealth poll for you – one that, other than the LA Times, which has to show it because they are partnering with the research venue, most mainstream media will almost certainly be ignoring.
The USC Dornsife/LA Times poll shows that, since Monday’s debate, Donald Trump has gained ground against Hillary Clinton.
First, a an explanation of how the poll works.
USC Dornsife/LA Times uses a 7 day rolling average; that is, every day it adds a new “first day” to its average, and eliminates the oldest day, which, because the new day was added, has become the “eighth day”.
On Monday, September 26, the day of the debate, Donald Trump was winning in this poll by 46.3% to 42.4%.
Today’s data, which include three post-debate days, show that Trump is now at 47.3% and Clinton at 41.7%.
Do the math and you’ll find that, over those three days, Trump has not lost ground to Hillary Clinton, he has gained 1.7%.
And in order for 3 days of a 7 day poll to give Trump a 1.7% gain, it means, for those three post-debate days alone, he must have averaged about 4% more than Clinton.
For Trump fans, I suggest you don’t get too enthusiastic about this: there are other polls showing an opposite result.
My point is not to claim that Donald Trump is surging; it is that major, creditable polls differ on how voters reacted to the debate.
And, despite media’s virtually unanimous opinion that Hillary Clinton cleaned Donald Trump’s clock in the debate, which they have reported, very often, as fact rather than opinion, there is no clear winner here.
I hope this has been helpful.
UPDATE: In checking the realclearpolitics.com website, I find one other national poll that has been conducted post-debate. It is by PPP (Public Policy Polling), a Democrat-run outfit, but with a better-than-average record of accuracy.
PPP’s latest poll, conducted 9/27-28. has Hillary Clinton up by 4% (49% – 45%).
However, in its previous wave (8/26-28) it had Hillary Clinton up by 5% (48% – 43%). So, in the month since PPP’s last poll, Ms. Clinton did not gain at all – she dropped 1%.
The difference in those two polls is meaningless – 1% is nothing with nothing. But directionally, it suggests there is no Clinton post-debate surge.
(It can be argued that, within the month, Trump may have surged, and the debate brought Clinton back…or vice versa…but there is no way to know for sure.)