Political analyst Pat Caddell offered his take on the latest Breitbart News/Gravis poll on Tuesday morning’s Breitbart News Daily with SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon.
The topline result of the poll had Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump 42% to 37%, in a four-way race which also included Libertarian Gary Johnson at 9% and the Green Party’s Jill Stein at 3%.
Caddell said he was particularly interested in the segment of the survey that asked both the conventional “Is America on the wrong track?” question, and also “Is America seriously on the wrong track?”
“A little less than half the country said we were seriously off on the wrong track, and another quarter basically said we were off-track,” he noted. “What’s interesting is, if you drill down in some of those numbers, you find that, for instance, among young people, very high numbers — almost 70% on the wrong track, which is really high for them.”
Bannon asked why this powerful sense of the country being on the wrong track hasn’t translated to a polling advantage for Donald Trump.
“It’s not yet, in part, because I don’t think the election has joined around the issues,” Caddell replied. “We’re still in a very loosely-framed election, in which, right now, the press, all their attention has been devoted to — if you will, I can portray it as ‘anti-Trump,’ but I think that’s a mild understatement. And the Democrats, of course, have been hammering him, to keep it an election on personality.”
He said this “loose” focus on personality will keep the polls “very volatile,” until the focus shifts to issues during the presidential debates.
“When you start looking at how people think the country’s doing, the economy is doing — for instance, you’ve got a huge majority in this poll who show that they believe that America has gotten weaker internationally,” said Caddell.
“By the way, it’s interesting, when both questions are framed for people, to frame the election, the election is much closer, depending again on how you place the questions,” he observed.
Bannon asked why Trump’s campaign has not been able to shift the campaign narrative onto this favorable issue terrain.
“Part of it is Trump himself, and part of it is a campaign that has apparently — well, to be kind about it, the offensive campaign that they might have planned to do that wasn’t in place, before the candidate kind of moved the campaign to other things, that made his personality and himself the center of the issue,” answered Caddell.