Polls can be confusing – but US data editor Mona Chalabi advises if you select to salary attention, focus on as soon as it to be conducted, not once it to be published


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The vital question is even if it is Hillary Clinton’s lead is short-term or permanent. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
The vital question is even if it is Hillary Clinton’s lead is temporary or permanent. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton now has actually an 11-percentage-point command over she Republican opponent Donald Trump, according to a poll released by PRRI and the Atlantic top top Tuesday. If the weren’t currently reason enough for Trump supporters to worry, a poll from NBC and the wall surface Street newspaper released on Monday put Clinton’s command at 14 portion points. However why the distinction in numbers?

If you desire to follow polls in the 28 continuing to be days prior to the united state votes, i strongly introduce you disregard the date that the poll was published – and also focus instead on the dates that the poll was conducted. The PRRI/Atlantic vote was based on landline and also cellphone interviews that took location on 5-9 October while the data because that the NBC/WSJ poll to be gathered top top 8-9 October.

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Those dates are potentially significant given the on 8 October, a 2005 recording was released of Trump saying that, thanks to his fame, he had the ability to grab women “by the pussy”.

It’s very likely that a larger proportion the respondents to be interviewed after the trump recording to be made windy in the NBC/WSJ poll compared with the PRRI/Atlantic poll. That could mean a 14-percentage-point command is a much more accurate point out of Clinton’s present position in the race.

But the critical question is whether Clinton’s command is temporary or permanent. We’ll must keep one eye on numbers in the days ahead to know that.

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In the meantime, though, it’s worth looking beyond the horserace numbers that appear at the optimal of the survey and also digging a little further. In the PRRI/Atlantic poll, i was curious about a inquiry that noted the statement: “These days culture seems to punishment men simply for acting choose men” – 36% of respondent agreed. An additional 41% agreed v the statement: “Society together a totality has come to be too soft and also feminine.” Those perspectives could administer useful information for expertise why voters can support their particular candidates.