Making sense of the polls

Making sense of the polls

Trump, Clinton have emphatic wins in New York

Yesterday, Donald Trump won over 60% of the vote in his home state of New York. John Kasich was a very distant second with 25%, and Ted Cruz third with under 15%. Trump’s massive vote majority gave him all 14 statewide delegates, and he also won 23 of the 27 Congressional Districts (CDs) with majorities, giving him all three delegates in each CD in which he won a majority. As a result, Trump is likely to win 90 of 95 New York delegates, with 5 for Kasich.

Trump now has 848 delegates, to 558 for Cruz and 150 for Kasich. Trump has 47.2% of all delegates allocated so far, and needs 63% of remaining pledged delegates to reach a majority (1,237) on only pledged delegates. Though this 63% target is high, it was 67% before New York.

Next Tuesday (Wednesday Melbourne time), five northeastern states hold primaries, and a total of 172 Republican delegates are at stake. 86 of these delegates will be decided using winner takes all by CD and statewide. This method applies to all 38 Maryland delegates (eight CDs), 16 Delaware delegates (only one CD), the 15 CD delegates from Connecticut (five CDs) and Pennsylvania’s 17 statewide delegates.

The 19 Rhode Island delegates are allocated proportionally. The 13 statewide Connecticut delegates are allocated proportionally, but become winner takes all if one candidate exceeds 50%.

The 54 CD delegates in Pennsylvania (18 CDs) are directly elected by voters, but are officially unpledged, and no information about who they support is displayed on the ballot paper. However, many delegate candidates have already said they will support the candidate who wins their CD at the Republican convention. If Trump falls just short of 1,237 pledged delegates, the 54 unpledged CD delegates from Pennsylvania would be important for him.

Trump is currently leading in both Pennsylvania and Maryland by at least 14 points. In two recent Connecticut polls, Trump was at or just below 50%. A recent Delaware poll has Trump at 55%.

If Trump does as well as his polling currently suggests next week, he should win the overwhelming majority of the 86 delegates decided by winner takes all, and may also win all 13 Connecticut statewide delegates. If he wins most of Pennsylvania’s CDs, he should win most of that state’s unpledged delegates.

After next week, the Indiana primary on 3 May is pivotal for Trump’s quest for 1,237 pledged delegates. Indiana has 57 delegates that are decided winner takes all by CD and statewide. Either Cruz or Trump could plausibly win. Strangely, there has been no recent polling of Indiana.

Clinton crushes Sanders 58-42

Over the last four weeks, Bernie Sanders had greatly reduced Hillary Clinton’s pledged delegate lead with massive victories in low-turnout caucus states, and a 13 point win in the only primary state, Wisconsin.

However, Clinton’s big New York win gives her 139 delegates to 108 for Sanders, and she now holds an overall pledged delegate lead of 1,446-1,205. Next week’s big states are Pennsylvania (189 pledged delegates) and Maryland (95), and Clinton currently leads in both by double digit margins. She also appears to be ahead in Connecticut (55 delegates).

The Democratic contest looked over on Super Tuesday 1 March, when Clinton won the southern states overwhelmingly. Sanders made up much ground in low-turnout caucuses, but primaries in big diverse states have continued to heavily favour Clinton, and she will almost certainly be the Democratic Presidential nominee.

This week’s full Australian Federal polling

On Monday, the Senate rejected the ABCC bill for the second time, making it very likely that a double dissolution will be called for the 2 July shortly after the 3 May budget. For the next election to be a double dissolution, it must be called by the 11 May.

Here is this week’s full poll table, now including Essential and Morgan.

polls late April full.

As with Ipsos, Morgan’s respondent allocated preferences (a 50-50 tie) advantaged the Coalition by 1% relative to the previous election’s preferences.

Kevin Bonham’s poll aggregate is now at 50.1% Two Party Preferred (2PP) to Labor, a gain of 0.7% for Labor since last week, and the first Labor lead in this aggregate since Turnbull became PM. However, the Coalition is still projected to win a majority of seats (77 of 150) at this vote level.

The Poll Bludger’s BludgerTrack is now at 50.1% 2PP to the Coalition, a 0.7% gain for Labor since last week. Primary votes are 41.7% for the Coalition, 34.5% for Labor, 11.4% for the Greens and 4.0% for the Nick Xenophon Team, which makes its BludgerTrack debut. Since last week, the Coalition has lost 0.9%, with Labor gaining 0.8%. The Greens have lost votes to Others.

The High Court will hear a challenge to the Senate reform legislation on the 2-3 May, and should announce a decision soon after. This case could have a major impact on the election, though I think it is unlikely that the High Court will strike down the Senate reforms.

Essential asked half the sample whether they would support a royal commission into banking, and gave the other half a long prelude saying that Shorten had proposed the commission, but Turnbull opposed it. The first half supported the commission by 59-15, and the second half still supported it 54-21. The main difference was that Coalition voters were far more likely to oppose the commission when told that Turnbull opposed it.

56% thought that retirees receive too little support from the government, with just 7% thinking support was too much. 76% thought it was harder for young people to buy a house than for their parents’ generation, with only 7% for easier. Similarly, 55% thought it harder for young people to get a well-paid job, and only 17% easier.

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