At 6 this morning, Quinnipiac University released a set of surveys of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania with the best polling news Donald Trump has gotten in a long time. In the version of the polls that includes third-party candidates — that’s the version FiveThirtyEight uses — Trump led Hillary Clinton by 5 percentage points in Florida, 1 percentage point in Ohio and 6 percentage points in Pennsylvania.
The results run in contrast to the preponderance of national polls, whichshow Clinton ahead by roughly 5 percentage points, on average. And some of the other polls released today weren’t as bad for Clinton. Some were even good for her, in fact. A Monmouth University poll showed her up by 13 percentage points in Colorado, while Fox News had her up by 9 points there. And a Marist College poll, contradicting Quinnipiac, had her up 8 points in Pennsylvania.
Nonetheless, the bevy of state polls today worked strongly to Trump’s benefit overall. His chances of winning the Electoral College are up to 29 percent, from 23 percent on Tuesday, according to our polls-only model. And they’re now 33 percent, up from 27 percent, in our polls-plus model, which also accounts for economic conditions.
Clinton is rightfully losing support after the FBI report showed her numerous deceptions over her e-mail server.
Ordinarily, this is the point at which I’d urge a little patience. There’s been a lot of news over the past two weeks — the conclusion to the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s emails and the Dallas shootings of police officers, in particular — and it would be nice to see how the polls settled in after a couple of slow weeks on the campaign trail. However, we’re entering a period of rapidly moving political news. Bernie Sanders endorsed Clinton only Tuesday. Trump is expected to name his VP later this week. And then we’ll have the party conventions. The prospects definitely look better for Trump than they did a week or two ago, but the landscape also looks blurrier, and it may not be until mid-August that we have a chance to catch our breath.
Once both party conventions are over, then things may look clearer.