US election: Donald Trump could still win vote by significant margin, according to latest LA Times poll

The poll has been consistently more positive towards Trump than most others – but had great success in surprise results of the 2012 election

Andrew Griffin
New York
Monday 07 November 2016 18:28 GMT
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign rally in Sarasota, Florida, U.S. November 7, 2016
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign rally in Sarasota, Florida, U.S. November 7, 2016 (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Donald Trump could be headed for a shock victory over Hillary Clinton, according to one poll.

Mr Trump could beat Ms Clinton by as much as 6 percentage points, according to recent data from the LA Times. Despite many polls suggesting otherwise, the tracking poll has taken to suggesting that Ms Clinton will win the popular vote by a significant margin.

That data has shown Mr Trump steadily growing his lead over the last week, since the FBI announcement about its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails on 28 October.

The LA Times tracking poll is an outlier among polling data before the election. But some polling experts have suggested that outliers might not necessarily be wrong, because of a phenomenon called herding that sees predictions tend to cluster around a consensus to avoid the potential embarrassment of being very wrong.

Most polls are predicting Ms Clinton ahead by three or four percentage points. But the LA Times has a gap of 4.8 points between the two, and had that difference even bigger earlier in the week.

The last week has also marked the first time in weeks that the LA Times poll has moved out of its own margin of error. Since the first debate, Trump has lost ground to Ms Clinton and then won that back – but throughout that time all of those movements were within the “area of uncertainty”, meaning that the LA Times accepted that the prediction of his win might be mistaken.

But since 2 November, the gap between the two candidates has opened up such that it is now larger than what pollsters think could be accounted for just by a mistake.

The poll found that across most demographics Trump is winning, too. In only a few specific groups – for instance college graduates, black people, and those on low wages – is Ms Clinton beating Trump, according to the LA Times data.

But perhaps the most important part of the LA Times’ poll is tracking how many of each candidate’s voters intend to vote. In that section, the candidates are nearly neck and neck – with 85 per cent of Mr Trump’s supporters saying they will vote compared to 85.1 per cent of Ms Clinton’s.

The LA Times poll has been by far the most positive for Donald Trump, throughout the campaign. Though it has occasionally shown Ms Clinton in the lead – just before her pneumonia was revealed, and just after Mr Trump’s lewd remarks and the second debate – it has almost always shown Mr Trump ahead.

The LA Times’ political writers have predicted that Ms Clinton will be elected president, despite their polling data.

David Later and Mark Z Barabak predicted that Ms Clinton will win after achieving 352 of the all important 538 votes in its final prediction. It came to that conclusion after deciding that Ms Clinton would win many of the most significant swing states.

The LA Times poll has traditionally been very accurate. It was one of the closest polls in advance of the 2012 election, coming precisely within its margin of error.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in