Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Coming Av-Hill-Lanche, Con't

Trump's corrosive rhetoric is starting to do permanent damage to his chances to win in November, as yet another set of swing state polls, this time from CBS, show he continues to be in dire odds of getting swamped.

Hillary Clinton has extended her lead in Florida and is now up five points over Donald Trump, 45 percent to 40 percent; she led by three points in June.

And Clinton now has a dominant nine-point lead in New Hampshire, 45 percent to 36 percent, a lead that has her threatening to take that battleground state off the board entirely, just as last week, a double-digit lead in Virginia made that state look like anything but a toss-up.

In Georgia - usually a Republican state not typically considered a battleground - Trump leads 45-41 but Clinton has things closer than in most presidential races, down just four points.

New Hampshire, just like Virginia, Pennsylvania and Colorado, is looking increasingly out of reach for Trump.  North Carolina, Ohio, and Florida are all moving into the Clinton solid lead column. Georgia, Arizona, and South Carolina are moving into play.  These are all states that Trump nees to win, and Clinton is starting to look like she's going to run the table.

But here's what I mean about "permanent damage" to Trump's chances:

Among women in New Hampshire, zero percent of those not with him are an affirmative "yes" and a scant nine percent say "maybe" they'd consider him going forward. Ninety-one percent say they never would.

And it also highlights the kinds of trouble he's had among voters of his own party: he's at 78 percent support among Republicans, compared to Clinton's 93 percent of Democrats.

Trump has lost women, and I'm betting he's lost black voters, Hispanic voters, and Asian voters as well.  People are not coming back to give him a second look, and that means there's not much more he can do to shift the numbers in his favor, even with 85 days left to go.

Trump hasn't made any headway since June in allaying the concerns of Florida voters who were put off by his campaign. Back in June half of them said watching the Trump campaign scared them, and those numbers are effectively the same today. The number of voters not with Trump who'd consider him has also slipped, from 16 percent in June to 10 percent now.

The movement in Florida, such as it is, has come from Clinton pulling in those previously undecided. Although she does get a few more Republicans now than Trump does Democrats, both of their support bases have remained largely locked in, and it remains a campaign in which voters feel they don't have a lot of choice. That may in turn explain why there have been so few outright swing voters.

In Florida, one-third feel they're choosing a candidate despite not liking either one, and just two percent feel they have two good choices between Trump and Clinton. In New Hampshire, that number is just one percent.

And in a year that's already provided so many counterintuitive findings, here we find that authenticity - often believed to be a valued attribute for a candidate - doesn't always correspond with who is ahead. Seven in ten voters feel Trump is showing who he really is on the campaign trail, but he is trailing. A majority feel Hillary Clinton isn't showing who she really is, but she's leading nonetheless.

Clinton's lead is starting to get locked in, guys.  It also means that the Clinton campaign's efforts to get out the vote have to be top notch in order to keep people motivated to get out and vote in November.

I still believe this is going to be one of the lowest presidential election turnouts in a long time.  The most recent nadir was 49% in 1996, just below the 50.3% in 2000 that ended up in front of the Supreme Court.  I think we'll be in the upper 40's at best and maybe less than 45%, which is why I have a pretty bad feeling about the the Dems taking back the House and Senate and Congress remaining in GOP hands.

But...who knows?  I could be wrong.  Maybe Trump's awfulness will get people to come out and vote against him -- and the GOP -- like they did in 2008.  If that's the case, the Trump campaign may hit a critical mass and implode, taking Republicans this year along with it.

We'll see.

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