CLOSER-THAN-EXPECTED GENERAL ELECTION LOOMING?
A new national survey from a Democratic polling outfit shows presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump faring better than expected nationally against presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
In other words while establishment figures may not be rallying around him, Trump appears to be shoring up the support of the GOP rank-and-file.
The survey – published by Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling (PPP) – shows Clinton leading Trump by a 42-38 percent margin, with Libertarian Gary Johnson receiving four percent support and Green party candidate Jill Stein getting two percent support.
“Republicans have quickly unified around Donald Trump, making the Presidential race more competitive than it has previously been perceived to be,” PPP’s survey release noted.
By contrast, independent socialist Bernie Sanders thumps Trump by a 47-37 margin – with Johnson getting three percent support and Stein receiving one percent support.
Obviously national polls matter – but the real tale of the tape will be how each candidate fares in swing states.
Trump got some good news on that front earlier this week, with recent polls in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania showing him running neck-and-neck with Clinton. Those three states provided U.S. president Barack Obama with his reelection margin over former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in 2012.
Obviously Trump still faces an uphill climb in a general election … but his campaign has to be encouraged by the polling that has followed his late surge toward the GOP nomination.
One troubling data point? Johnson’s strong showing in the PPP survey. The Libertarian candidate got just one percent of the vote in the 2012 election – and his improved showing reveals just how much work Trump has left to do on liberty issues if he wants to win these voters.