—Mike Pence touted a new poll where he and Donald Trump are leading Hillary Clinton, saying it shows Republican voters “coming home.” Data shows he may have a point.
Speaking at a campaign stop in Valley Forge, Penn., Tuesday, the Republican vice presidential nominee said that “the latest polls have Donald Trump leading nationwide in the race for president of the United States. Democrats and independents are joining this movement. Republicans across the country are coming home.”
Pence was likely referring to a new ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll, which showed Trump beating Clinton by 1 point. The only other time Trump has led Clinton in this poll was in May, shortly after he sewed up the Republican nomination.
The new poll does show some evidence for Pence’s thesis. The survey found that independents now back Trump 54 percent over 25 percent for Clinton. Trump has made small gains in Democrats, from 5 percent up to 9 percent, and he’s also seen a consolidation of support from Republicans and GOP-leaning independents, 86 percent of whom now back him, up 6 percentage points from the last poll.
Pence also said of the polls, “The momentum is on our side.” Here, he may be referring to the enthusiasm gap found in the data. Trump leads Clinton by 8 points among voters who are very enthusiastic about their choice, while strong enthusiasm for Clinton has dropped 7 points since the start of tracking. But ABC reports that enthusiasm is low for both candidates compared to past elections.
Trump’s 1-point lead is within the survey’s 3 point margin of error. The results were based on phone calls to a random sample of 1,128 likely voters between Oct. 27-30.