A front page story in today’s New York Times dives into the difficulties Republicans are facing following Donald Trump’s declaration that “the shackles have been taken off me,” and his willingness to go against the Republican Party. The story lists lists states and GOP candidates who are at risk of losing, but it also includes this:
Democrats are moving swiftly to exploit Mr. Trump’s crumbling position in the presidential race, aiming to run up a big margin of victory for Mrs. Clinton and extend their political advantage into the congressional elections next month.
Mrs. Clinton’s campaign has concluded that at least two traditionally Republican states, Georgia and Arizona, are realistic targets for her campaign to win over. And Republican polling has found that Mr. Trump is at dire risk of losing Georgia, according to people briefed on the polls, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Current public polling still seems to keep the Peach State in Trump’s camp. The Real Clear Politics average has Trump up by 4.7 points. FiveThirtyEight gives Trump an 80.2% chance of winningn in its polls-plus model, although all three of FiveThirtyEight’s models show some deterioration in Trump’s chances. And the Times’s Upshot model gives Trump a 78% chance of winning here.
Of course, the conventional wisdom says that private polling done by the parties is more accurate than public polls. You can look back to 2014, when the polling done by the Georgia GOP showed wins by Nathan Deal and David Perdue, according to GOP officials, despite some public polling that showed Jason Carter or Michelle Nunn ahead. And those party polls are by definition not public, although if someone wants to share, we’re right here, you know.
:: Update ::
With respect to public polling vs. private polling, Mark Rountree of Landmark Communications called to remind me that my memory of the late public polling in the 2014 elections compared to the internal GOP polls was unclear. While it’s true that many polls showed Deal or Perdue behind or tied in their races, Landmark’s polling was in general more accurate than national polling firms, and, in the end, got the races right. And our own Will Kremer had the play by play at the old place, as GAGOP Chair John Padgett castigated the polling in an interview with Tim Bryant, and later Rountree had a chance to respond.
We’re glad to clarify what happened, as usual we regret the error and blame others, and are eagerly awaiting updated presidential polling from Landmark.