Clinton Goes Under Water; Trump Polarization Grows

Negative views of Hillary Clinton have jumped to nearly their highest on record in ABC News/Washington Post polls, while Donald Trump’s personal popularity has grown more polarized along racial and ethnic lines. CONT.

Gary Langer, ABC News

What Donald Trump Understands About Republicans

Donald Trump’s success is no surprise. The public and the press have focused on his defiant rejection of mannerly rhetoric, his putting into words of what others think privately. But the more important truth is that a half-century of Republican policies on race and immigration have made the party the home of an often angry and resentful white constituency — a constituency that is now politically mobilized in the face of demographic upheaval. CONT.

Thomas B. Edsall, New York Times

Weekly Economic Confidence Index Falls to 11-Month Low

Americans’ confidence in the economy continued to fall last week. Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index slid three points to -17 after also declining three points the prior week. This is the lowest the index has been since September 2014, and comes as international markets struggle amid volatility in China’s stock market. CONT.

Justin McCarthy, Gallup

U.S. Catholics Open to Non-Traditional Families

When Pope Francis arrives in the U.S. for the World Meeting of Families later this month, he will find a Catholic public that is remarkably accepting of a variety of non-traditional families, according to a new Pew Research Center survey that provides an in-depth look at American Catholics’ views on family life, sexuality and Catholic identity. CONT.

Pew

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The Science Behind Trump-Mania

Donald Trump’s startling transformation from reality TV star to serious presidential contender in the eyes of some key Republican voters happened because he’s been able to sell himself as the straight-talker most candidates aspire to be, a Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows.

A look underneath the poll’s headline numbers, which put Trump atop the GOP field in the state that holds the nation’s first nominating caucuses on Feb. 1, suggests the New York real estate mogul is making the sale in large part because of qualities that aren’t part of the average political résumé. Everything that conventional wisdom says would torpedo his candidacy is instead making it stronger. CONT.

John McCormick, Bloomberg Politics

The Politics of Distraction

… Pretty much every day someone (a candidate, or a campaign, or the media) will ‘‘hold up some bright, shiny object,’’ as Carly Fiorina put it on ‘‘Meet the Press.’’ That increasingly popular metaphor is an apt one, because the various images it conjures — an intergalactic body glowing brighter as it moves closer to dumbfounded earthlings, a ball on a string held by a hypnotist, a mobile hung above a baby’s crib — all, to varying degrees, seize attention, whether through their novelty or through manipulation. In politics, a shiny object is the preoccupation of the moment: the 14th Amendment, or so-­called birthright citizenship and anchor babies, or, inevitably, any poll. CONT.

Mark Leibovich, New York Times Magazine

CNN amends GOP debate criteria

CNN is amending the criteria for its Republican presidential debate on September 16, possibly opening the door for Carly Fiorina to join the other top-tier candidates on the stage.

The cause: a lack of national public polling following the August 6 debate has so far provided only three new polls to determine the lineup for the Reagan Presidential Debate, according to a CNN statement. CONT.

Mark Preston, CNN

Recent polls: GOP presidential preference

How Iowa’s Population Mix Might Scramble its High-Stakes Caucuses

… Though immigration has not been a central issue in local Iowa politics, attitudes about the growing racial diversity recasting this once monolithically white state could add an unpredictable new element to the presidential competition here. CONT.

Ronald Brownstein, National Journal

New poll shows how sharply partisan the debate on Iran deal has become

American opinions on the Iran nuclear agreement have grown sharply polarized along party lines, according to a new poll ­[PDF] released Tuesday as the White House closes in on support needed in the Senate to block Republican opposition to the deal.

A survey by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation finds that Americans narrowly support the deal, with 52 percent wanting Congress to approve it and 47 percent wanting the pact rejected. CONT.

Scott Clement & Carol Morello, Washington Post

How Iowa’s premier pollster sees the 2016 race shaking out

The release of new Iowa poll numbers by the Des Moines Register and Bloomberg Politics is one of the few stop-what-you-are-doing-and-see-what-they-say moments left in politics. The woman behind the poll, which gets Iowa right every time, is Ann Selzer. After the new Register numbers came out Saturday night, I reached out to Ann to see if she might expand on a few questions I had about the poll. She agreed. CONT.

Chris Cillizza, Washington Post

From the archives:
“The caucuses by their nature are hazardous duty for pollsters.”
From an article by J. Ann Selzer on the Iowa caucuses and the Iowa Poll