As part of a series of four questions meant to gauge voters' concerns about the two major-party candidates for president, Bloomberg asked poll respondents how much they were bothered by the fact that Donald Trump's foundation had made an illegal political contribution, or that Trump University is being sued for fraud and racketeering. To each question, 46 percent of respondents said that the issues bothered them very much.
The pollsters then asked how much people were bothered by Hillary Clinton's handling of her emails as Secretary of State, noting that the FBI director said she was "extremely careless." More than half of respondents, 57 percent, said that was very bothersome.
This result is a microcosm of the race as a whole. Part of the shift in the race is that voters view Trump as someone who they're comfortable with as president, in part because of his opponent.
People regularly see Clinton as less trustworthy than Donald Trump in national polling, including in the latest Post-ABC News poll. In Bloomberg's, 27 percent rate her truthfulness as excellent or good, to Trump's 37 percent. Since Bloomberg's August poll, which showed Clinton with a 4-point lead in a four-way race, Clinton's lost 3 points and Trump has gained the same amount, giving him a 2-point lead.
One big shift over the course of the past month has been in enthusiasm among supporters. In August, most Trump supporters said they were backing him simply to oppose Clinton. Now, a plurality say they support him because they like him as a candidate.
That is coupled with a big spike in enthusiasm among Trump supporters. In August, Clinton supporters were a bit more stoked about their candidate than were Trump supporters; now Trump has a big advantage among those who say they're very enthusiastic about his candidacy.
The RealClearPolitics polling average has the race at a 2.1-point gap for Clinton. But a close national race means close state races -- and on that front, more bad news for Clinton.
In late July, Clinton pulled ads from Colorado. She was up by about 8 points in the state, and she felt confident that she could slip it into the win column. Earlier this month, she led by about 12 points. Now, after a new CNN-ORC poll, she and Trump are tied in the state in the RCP average. In Pennsylvania, which Trump has targeted for months, CNN-ORC shows a similarly close race, though the average still gives Clinton the advantage.
That decline in both states mirrors the national decline. States that were close a month ago now aren't. If the benchmark we're using to track Trump's chances is his ability to win states that Mitt Romney lost four years ago, he now leads in four such states: Florida, Nevada, Iowa and Ohio. If nothing else changes, that still means Clinton wins -- but by only eight electoral votes.
Flip Colorado or Pennsylvania, and Trump wins.
This all loops back to that first point. Clinton supporters will ask how allegations of fraud and racketeering and illegal political contributions are seen as less of a problem than carelessness in the use of an email server. One answer is that those who view Trump and Clinton in the same light, positively or negatively, prefer Trump. Another is that part of those attitudes are driven by vote preference, and this is a poll that Trump leads and in which he sees more enthusiasm.
A third answer is that Trump operates outside the normal boundaries of presidential politics. Things that would doom others don't do that much damage to him. And by that scale, a big chunk of American voters are fine with the idea of a Trump presidency.
Which may be the worst news of all for Clinton.