NOVEMBER MATCHUP AGAINST HILLARY CLINTON COULD BE MORE COMPETITIVE THAN EXPECTED
Perhaps you’ve heard the narrative: The presumptive nomination of brash billionaire businessman Donald Trump by the “Republican” party has guaranteed the election of Democrat Hillary Clinton in November.
It’s inevitable … right?
Leading “Republicans” are refusing to support Trump – and there’s now a burgeoning social conservative movement aligning against him. And who can ignore all of the national polls showing Clinton with a double-digit lead in the general election?
Worst of all … all of this is before the GOP establishment picks its “independent,” “conservative” standard-bearer and starts shoveling mountains of special interest money into that candidate’s bid.
Seriously … why bother to hold the election? We all know the outcome, right?
Before Clinton starts measuring Oval Office drapes, though (and before “Republicans” launch their #NeverTrump third party bid in earnest), there is some interesting polling data to keep an eye on.
In Florida, Clinton leads Trump by one point – 43-42 percent – numbers that are replicated in Pennsylvania. Meanwhile in Ohio, Trump leads Clinton by a 43-39 percent margin.
Hold up … Trump is competitive in swing states?
In 2012, Obama edged Romney by less than one percent in Florida – but he won Ohio by three percent and Pennsylvania by 5.5 percent. Those three states provided him with a combined 67 electoral votes – and guaranteed him a second term in office.
Had Romney won Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania – he would have won the election (not that it would have made much difference).
In 2008, Obama won Florida by three percent, Ohio by 4.5 percent and Pennsylvania by more than ten percent.
“Six months from Election Day, the presidential races between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the three most crucial states, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, are too close to call,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll. “At this juncture, Trump is doing better in Pennsylvania than the GOP nominees in 2008 and 2012. And the two candidates are about where their party predecessors were at this point in Ohio and Florida.”
Of interest? Independent socialist Bernie Sanders is running much stronger against Trump in two of these three swing states. In Ohio, Sanders turns Democrats three-point deficit into a two-point edge – leading Trump by a 43-41 percent margin. In Pennsylvania, Sanders leads Trump by a 47-41 percent spread. Meanwhile in Florida he enjoys a 44-42 percent advantage.
Unlike party hacks, we’ve never been big on “electability” arguments. And to be clear: While we endorsed Trump prior to the Palmetto State’s “First in the South” GOP primary this year, we haven’t made up our minds yet whether we will back him in a general election (remember, this website supported Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson in 2012).
It’s clear, though, that Trump is picking up support in places where “Republicans” have been slowly and steadily losing it for years.