“Political Pulse” polls conducted by email marketing and customer acquisition firm Fluent over the past month offer an interesting glance into voters’ opinions and perceptions of the 2016 presidential election.
Significantly, the polls point to a huge leap in electoral turnout when compared to any general election over the past century. Fifty-one percent of respondents (Democrat, Republican and Independent) in a poll released today were “absolutely certain” to vote in November.
Adding in the 20% who are “very likely” and the 12% “somewhat likely” to vote in November, we could potentially see an incredible 83% turnout. A much higher rate than the 50% to 60% we’ve seen in recent general elections.
It is difficult to tell who would benefit most from higher turnout.
According to the poll, 46% of Independent voters are undecided, and Donald Trump holds a 30% to 24% lead over Hillary Clinton in attracting those voters at this point.
Generating voter turnout will be particularly important for Democrats, who can rally behind what many see as extremely divisive rhetoric from the Republican nominee and his alienation of minorities.
Higher turnout among minorities and women will be essential for Hillary Clinton to defeat Donald Trump come November.
An earlier Fluent poll conducted May 10 had 21% of respondents (of all political affiliations) agree that the most effective attack against Donald Trump would be to accuse him of racism, closely followed by 19% of respondents who believe the most harmful charge would be that he is hostile to women.
The most recent poll (released today) had too impulsive (24%) and not understanding government (16%) as the most potent charges against the Trump candidacy. That illustrates that Democrats will have a variety of powerful attacks to levy against Trump.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, will need increased turnout from disaffected white voters, a dwindling and often apolitical section of the electorate whose turnout fell in 2008 and 2012 from a recent high of around 67% in 2004, according to the Census Bureau.
Unfortunately for Trump, he has claimed somewhat erroneously that he is bringing in a significant number of new voters to the Republican party.
The most poignant attacks that Donald Trump and his supporters could raise against Clinton, according to the Fluent data released today, include her email server debacle (17%), Benghazi (16%) and poor likeability (16%).
What is clear is that both candidates have the chance to use each other to galvanize their corresponding bases.