The Los Angeles Times has predicted that Donald Trump will beat Hillary Clinton by a margin of 48.2 percent to 42.6 percent—and that Trump voters are white, while black voters overwhelmingly support Clinton.
If the LA Times poll—valid as of November 6—is accurate, it will mean that Trump has managed to mobilize millions of white previous non-voters.
The USC Dornsife/L.A. Times Presidential Election “Daybreak” Poll asks more than 400 people each day about their voting intentions. The poll is part of the Understanding America Study (UAS) at the University of Southern California’s Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research.
Each day’s poll respondents are a subset of the UAS election panel, roughly 3000 U.S. citizens who were randomly recruited from among all households in the United States.
Results are weighted to match demographic characteristics, such as race and gender, from the U.S. Census Current Population Survey, and are aligned to the 2012 presidential election outcome using self-reported votes in that election.
In answer to the question “Who would you vote for?”, the latest poll found that 48.2 percent intended to vote for Trump, and 42.6 percent for Clinton.
The difference between the two outcomes was wider than the poll’s margin of error, called the “area of uncertainty,” meaning that the poll indicated that the result was too definite to be wrong.
The breakdowns by age, education, income, gender, and race provided further insight into how the LA Times poll saw the vote splitting:
Voters in the 35- to 64-year age range have so far shown the least volatility, splitting about evenly between Clinton and Trump. Trump holds the advantage among those 65 or older, but the two candidates have exchanged leads among younger voters.
Trump holds an advantage among voters without a college degree. White voters who have not graduated from college are a core source of support for Trump. By contrast, Clinton has done better among voters with college degrees than previous Democrats.
Clinton holds a distinct edge among lower-income voters, reflecting her strong support among blacks and Latinos. Trump has a lead among middle-income voters.
White middle-class voters are the backbone of Trump’s presidential run, as the poll shows. Black and Latino voters lean heavily toward Clinton.
The figures show that 57.4 percent of whites intend to vote for Trump, as opposed to 33.4 percent for Clinton.
However, 88.6 percent of blacks intend to vote for Clinton, and only 4.1 percent for Trump.
Interestingly, 45.8 percent of “Latinos” intend to vote for Clinton, while 42.4 percent intend to vote for Trump. This outcome is most likely the result of skewed racial classifications, but must also indicate that the controlled media smear campaign against Trump has been less effective than expected.
Finally, 47.6 percent of females said they intended to vote for Clinton, while 42.7 percent intend to vote for Trump. Among males, 53.8 percent said they intended to vote for Trump, and 37.6 percent for Clinton.
The LA Times poll is one of many recent such opinion polls to contradict earlier assertions which claimed that Clinton was far ahead.
Turnout on the day—particularly in the “swing states” of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin, will however finally determine the outcome of the election.