The most striking thing about the Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday showing Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton neck-and-neck in three swing states — Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania – is the gender gap plaguing both candidates. Trump trounces Clinton with men; Clinton trounces Trump with women. And while they’re struggling equally in Florida, where Trump is running 13 points ahead of Clinton with women, and Clinton is running 13 points ahead of Trump with men, in both Ohio and Pennsylvania Trump has a greater advantage with men than Clinton does with women (by three points and two points respectively).
A prominent Republican pollster told me this morning that these results are evident in other states — he’d just seen survey results, he said, from a Republican-leaning group that showed Trump carrying 30 percent of male Democrats in New Hampshire.
Based on the current polling, it’s fair to say that today, at least, it doesn’t look like Republicans are headed for a Goldwater-style defeat in November, as some have predicted. The open question is how Trump will affect turnout among conservatives, and how Trump Democrats will vote down ballot — that is, whether Trump is a leading indicator that more men will come into the GOP.
Since single women have long favored Democrats, and heavily so, the remaining question is: What does Trump’s presence at the top of the ticket do to married women?
These are some of the things I’ll be looking for as we get better and more detailed polling.