Ever since Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination a couple weeks ago, I’ve been cautious in my approach to the general election. To me, Hillary Clinton still had a decent edge. But maybe I was listening to the conventional wisdom a little too much. Because some things are starting to become clear as of late.
- Hillary is going to have a hard time bringing Bernie Sanders voters back into the fold.
- The pundits who are predicting an epic wipeout for Trump and the GOP this fall have gotten out too far in front of their horses.
- The Clinton campaign is going to be boring and conventional, just like their candidate.
In Florida, Clinton leads Trump, 43 percent to 42 percent, while Sanders earned 44 percent to Trump’s 42 percent. While Clinton holds a 13-point advantage among Florida women — 48 percent to 35 percent — Trump’s lead among men is equally large, at 49 percent to 36 percent. Independent Florida voters are split, 39 percent to 39 percent, while along racial lines, white voters said they would vote for the Republican candidate 52 percent to 33 percent. Among nonwhite voters, 63 percent to 20 percent said they would vote for the Democrat. Clinton’s favorability in Florida is a net negative 20 points (37 percent to 57 percent), though Trump earned the same numbers. For Sanders, 43 percent said they had a favorable opinion of him, 41 percent unfavorable and 14 percent said they did not know enough to have an opinion.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump now finds himself just three percentage points behind Hillary Clinton, according to a new national poll released Tuesday. The NBC News/SurveyMonkey Poll of more than 14,000 adults gave Clinton 48 percent to Trump’s 45 percent. Among minorities, though, Clinton has a whopping 75-point lead over Trump. The billionaire businessman, however, tops the former secretary of state among men and whites. While Clinton still edges her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders nationally—54 percent to Sanders’ 40 percent—the Vermont senator defeats Trump by a greater margin in a hypothetical matchup, 53 percent to 41 percent.
I have to be honest with you guys. In the grand scheme of things, national polls don’t mean that much. The Electoral College determines who becomes president and those electors are determined through state-by-state results. Still, they’e valuable for looking at where a candidate stands in general. If you’re running 10 points down, like Trump was in most polls a few weeks ago, you’re likely going to have a tough time in the states as well. However, the tide has started to turn as of late.
The main reason for Trump’s recent rise probably isn’t even Trump himself, though. It’s how lackluster Hillary Clinton seems to the general public and indeed to her own party.
As you can see, Trump started rising right around the time he locked up the nomination. I predict that will continue as more and more Republicans consolidate behind his candidacy. But what’s really causing the tightening is Clinton’s piss-poor campaign. She’s still losing to Bernie on the regular. Hell, she might lose again tonight as well. This is not the ideal way for a frontrunner to close out the primary season. Yes, Obama lost some of the final primaries to Hillary in 2008, but he had much more popularity among the party at-large back then (and even now). Therefore, it wasn’t hard for Clinton voters to give up the ghost and back Barack, who also happened to be the first black major-party nominee for president. Clinton doesn’t enjoy this same level of support among Democrats in 2016.
I still don’t think anything will stop her from being the nominee, except possibly an indictment in the email scandal. Still, this is a bad sign for the fall.
Combine that with the polling that shows Sanders doing much better against Trump and the exit polls that keep suggesting a large chunk of Sanders voters are willing to back Trump over Hillary, and you can begin to see how she loses the election come November. Will that happen? Who knows? The campaign season is very long and it isn’t even close to over. However, pundits who are counting on an easy ride for Mrs. Clinton might want to start rethinking that assumption.