The polling company for Reuters is warning Wednesday that Hillary Rodham Clinton's lead over Republican Donald Trump appears soft.
In fact, Ipsos revealed that of the top three issues voters find most important, Clinton only leads one by a margin of 5 points.
"Simply put, the election still is far from over!" said Ipsos President Clifford Young. "While Clinton does lead Trump on the top quality 'stronger on economy/jobs' by five points, they are in a dead heat on 'terrorism' and 'fixing a broken system'–much closer than the 8-point average Clinton lead in the polls," he added.
He headlined his blog post, "Does Clinton's 8 Point Lead Look Softer at First Blush?"
It comes as other polls suggest a tightening of the election. A Zogby Analytics survey put Clinton's lead at 2 points and the Los Angeles Times has it at 1 point.
Ipsos looked at what their poll and Clinton's 8 point means and found that it might be weaker than the number shows because Trump is strong on the top three issues.
From his blog post, he explains how Ipsos looked at the question of softness for Clinton:
We asked likely voters two sets of questions
— The first asked voters to rank order those qualities which are most important for a presidential candidate to possess. Here we mixed both policy issues with personal qualities.
— The second question asked which candidate was stronger on these points.
So what did we find?
— In terms of quality importance, we find that the top three in order are "economy/jobs", "terrorism", and "fixing a broken system". For Republicans, "terrorism" is most important, followed closely by "economy/jobs". For Both Democrats and Independents, "economy/jobs" is also the most important with "terrorism" a more distant second. In contrast, "fixing a broken system"—one of the central themes of Trump and his campaign—is a strong tertiary issue for both Republicans and Independents.
— Here it is key to note that empirical studies have shown that the candidate which is strongest on the main issues (or qualities) wins the election 80% of the time. So how do the candidates stack up on these points?
— Simply put, the election still is far from over! While Clinton does lead Trump on the top quality "stronger on economy/jobs" by five points, they are in a dead heat on "terrorism" and "fixing a broken system"–much closer than the 8-point average Clinton lead in the polls.
— We should expect that these three interrelated qualities will be the battleground in the lead-up to the first debates and beyond. The candidate who owns these qualities will win the election.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com