What Democratic Landslide?615 views
The swing-state surveys from Quinnipiac University and a national snapshot from Public Policy Polling, a left-leaning firm, show a surprisingly close general-election race. The PPP survey found Clinton leading Trump by just four points nationally, 42 percent to 38 percent, while Quinnipiac found the two essentially tied in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Trump edged Clinton by four points in the Buckeye State, and Clinton led him by a point in Florida and Pennsylvania. As with any poll taken six months before the election, these require a couple grains of salt, and in the case of Quinnipiac, perhaps a few more. Other political forecasters pointed out that its sample of voters in the three states was more white than in 2012 exit polls, while the electorate is expected to be similar in 2016 if not more diverse than four years ago. A sample with more white voters would favor Republicans.
The key to the PPP result is that just as rank-and-file Republicans have bucked the establishment’s choices for the last year, they may be reconciling themselves to Trump’s nomination faster than their leadership, as well. Trump led Clinton 78 percent to 7 percent among Republicans, and nearly three-quarters of GOP respondents said they were comfortable with him as their standard-bearer. “Although much has been made of disunity in the GOP, it is actually just as unified behind Trump as the Democrats are behind Clinton,” PPP’s Tom Jensen wrote in his analysis. The PPP survey included minor-party candidates Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party. When they were excluded, Clinton’s lead grew to six points—in line with the national polling average.
The biggest warning sign for Clinton is that as toxic as Trump has proven for women and minorities, Clinton herself is nearly as disliked by white men. In Florida, just 25 percent of white men went for Clinton. Bernie Sanders continues to fare better overall against Trump nationally and in Ohio and Pennsylvania, despite his losses to Clinton in the Democratic primaries there. In the PPP poll, a “generic” Democrat performed better against a generic Republican than Clinton did against Trump.
What, if anything, do these polls say about the race? The Quinnipiac surveys could be outliers, or they could be capturing an electorate that skews older and whiter than the voters who will show up in November. Or they could be showing a Trump bump in the days after his last rivals dropped out of the GOP race. The Democrats’ structural advantage remains—but so does the disadvantage of having an unpopular candidate atop the party’s ticket.
If you had to pick, you’d still rather be Clinton heading toward the fall. Just don’t assume a landslide quite yet.
News Source TheAtlantic