From the Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt:
BOOM: At Least One Poll Finds Trump Competitive in Swing States
I’ve been the guy pointing out how terrible Donald Trump’s general-election numbers have been, so let me be the first to say, considering where he was, the numbers out today look spectacular.
Examine the swing-state poll from Quinnipiac:
Florida: Clinton at 43 percent, with 42 percent for Trump and Sanders at 44 percent to Trump’s 42 percent;
Ohio: Trump edges Clinton 43 – 39 percent, while Sanders gets 43 percent to Trump’s 41 percent;
Pennsylvania: Clinton at 43 percent to Trump’s 42 percent, while Sanders leads Trump 47 – 41 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.”
Some people are contending that the samples for these surveys include too many white voters, and this is, so far, one poll. (There’s a rumor going around that the Democratic firm, Public Policy Polling, is going to unveil national polling numbers showing Trump close today.)
But if any subsequent surveys show numbers in this ballpark, this becomes a five-alarm fire for Hillary Clinton. Trump is phenomenally unpopular, yes, but Hillary has been, so far, almost as disliked and distrusted.
Hillary’s approach to Trump so far has been to dismiss him as unthinkable and laughable, that his rhetoric is way out of bounds, that he’s a “loose cannon,” and so on. It’s not that different from Jeb Bush’s approach, not wanting to dignify the absurd with a response.
When Hillary runs as the anti-Trump, and the likely Republican nominee is behaving at his worst, she’s in fine position. But the more she turns into the candidate of the status quo, the worse it will get for her. The Democrats’ current accusation that he’s “Dangerous Donald” only plays into his anti-status quo brand.
In a nationwide poll of 4,500 Americans designed by Harvard University Professor Stephen Ansolabehere and longtime pollster Mark J. Penn in collaboration with colleagues and students at Harvard, results indicate that Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 6 points — 46% to 40% — among likely voters nationally; and in key swing states, her lead among likely voters is 4 points – 45% to 41%.