New polling points way toward Trump victory

[Editor’s Note:  Mr. Romano is a senior editor at Americans For Limited Government.]

The latest battleground state polls show the presidential race is much tighter than the mainstream media and some prognosticators would have you believe. And there is still room for it to flippoll-results4 either way in the closing days.

4 state polls by Axiom Strategies-Remington Research Group conducted Oct. 20 to 22 find Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton in North Carolina 47 to 44 percent and in Ohio 46 to 42 percent. Clinton is ahead in Pennsylvania 45 to 42 percent. And in Florida things are all tied up at 46 percent apiece.

Another poll by Bloomberg in Florida conducted Oct. 21 to 24 shows Trump ahead 45 to 43 percent.

Meaning, things could not be any closer. And there is room to pick up the margin of victory in each state. In the Remington polls, in North Carolina, 5 percent remain undecided. In Ohio, 6 percent are undecided. In Florida, 5 percent are undecided. And in Pennsylvania, a whopping 7 percent are undecided.

As for Bloomberg’s Florida poll, 2 percent are unsure and a curious 4 percent would not say who they preferred.

That means there are still millions of votes up for grabs, more than enough to tilt the race one way or another. And then there’s turnout and enthusiasm. Turn out a higher percentage of your supporters than your opponent, and that changes the complexion of the race, too.

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning notes that teams knocking on doors in North Carolina he has heard from report that “blue collar voters who have not usually been reliable voters are extremely energized about getting to the polls, which should be good news for Donald Trump.”

If this trend holds true in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, Donald Trump has a clear pathway to the presidency.

160720232714-01-donald-trump-with-mike-pence-rnc-convention-july-20-2016-large-169Manning continued, “This is a turnout election, and if these blue-collar voters show up at the polls driven by Trump’s America first trade policies and their rejection of Hillary Clinton’s borderless America vision, it will send shockwaves through the political elites who have ignored them for so long.”

It is clear that this election will be decided by whichever candidate successfully channels the enthusiasm of their supporters and translates this enthusiasm over to the undecideds in these key states. That is who will likely wind up being the next president when one considers the electoral map.

If Trump wins everything Mitt Romney won in 2012, plus Ohio and Florida, that puts him at 253 electoral college votes. Pennsylvania with its 20 electoral college votes, then, could put Trump over the top of the 270 electoral college votes needed to win.

But to get there he needs the light bulb to go off among late deciders. Take Pittsburgh, where Trump is down by just 2 points in the Remington poll, but 6 points are up for grabs as undecided. Other cities like Harrisburg, Johnstown and Philadelphia remain 8 percent undecided.

In 1989, an analysis by Nick Panagakis that appeared in the Polling Report found that 80 percent of the time, most or all undecideds tend to break for the challenger over the incumbent. Another troubling sign for incumbents is if they poll less than 50 percent consistently. As Panagakis noted, “The overwhelming evidence is that an incumbent won’t share the undecideds equally with the challenger. To suggest otherwise by emphasizing1-Trump point spread or to say that an incumbent is ahead when his or her percentage is well under 50 percent leads to election day surprises.”

Keep that in mind as we head into the closing days. In these battlegrounds states, Hillary Clinton has hardly been breaking above 45 percent, let alone 50 percent. That could prove extremely problematic for her come election day if the incumbent rule applies to her. If it does, that could mean the current polls may be telling us a lot more about how the public feels about Clinton than they do about Trump.

This year in the race for the White House, President Barack Obama is not running, so the incumbent is not running per se. But Democrats do hold the White House nonetheless and remain the incumbent party. Hillary Clinton served as Obama’s Secretary of State for 4 years. She, therefore, takes on the characteristics of an incumbent.

Donald Trump on the other hand, has never held elective office — although he was very well known as a celebrity and businessman prior to running, with high name recognition — but nonetheless may take on the characteristics of the challenger.

In 2008, a similar pattern played out, where Barack Obama, the challenger, overperformed what polls said on a vote124state-by-state basis. For example, the last few batches of polls had Obama either slightly ahead or practically tied with McCain in Ohio. Almost no one had him over 50 percent. But on election day, Obama actually won 51.5 percent of the vote in Ohio, winning by 263,000 votes. Same story in Florida, Obama, the challenger did not poll above 50 percent there — some only had him at 47 or 49 percent — but he won 51 percent of the vote there. Nowhere was McCain over 50 percent in the polls, nor was he ever leading. It didn’t bode well for McCain, who represented the incumbent Republicans.

Which is the difference here. There are national polls that show Clinton ahead, while some of the more reliable ones show the race too close to call, particularly in key battleground states. While 2008 had things pretty well in hand for Obama, it’s a far more mixed bag this time around.i-want-to-make-america-great-again

Still, key races remain close, so the ultimate question may be if the public views Trump as a challenger, or if based on his notoriety he’s taken on the characteristics of an incumbent. Enthusiasm also looms as a key question.

If Trump gets the challenger treatment and his supporters remain fired up, he is likely to significantly overperform what he’s showing in the polls right now. That is certainly what happened in the Republican primaries while they were still competitive. In state after state leading up to Ted Cruz’ last stand in Indiana, Trump overperformed his polling averages, in some cases by as much as 10 points.

To do it again, in the closing days, assuming Trump sticks his leads in Ohio, Florida and North Carolina, watch for Trump to be spending the final week barnstorming Pennsylvania making closing arguments about how it’s time for a changing of the guard. As Manning noted, this race will likely makeamericagreatagaincome down to the enthusiasm of each candidates supporters to not only get out to vote but to get like-minded friends and neighbors to do the same. If the apparent enthusiasm for Trump on the ground translates into increased turnout of the key constituencies who support him, he will win.

Ultimately, like most elections, it comes down to which candidate’s supporters want it more.  And isn’t that the way it should be?

6 thoughts on “New polling points way toward Trump victory

  1. I don’t know about those other states, but all of this is very plausible in NC if rural county Democrats are peeling off to Trump across the state as they seem to be doing in my county. Just not sure down ballot Republicans will do as good.

    1. if Hillary is not stopped down ballot will not matter America will be a wasteland after her progressive/ leftist values decimate it over 4 years. 8 years of Obama was the primer and she will be the paint and the finished product will be something you never would have imagined America becoming

      1. If Hillary wins, we will never have another free election. Our country will become the Peoples Republic of America. Better find your bolthole abroad if that happens. Perhaps Australia.

  2. The Trump train is heavily loaded with Senior citizens. More on the way. It is their children and grandchildren, and great grandchildren and their children and finally themselves they are trying to protect. God bless them all.

    Browny Douglas

  3. Trump has done all he can do to win this race. He has had to fight the Democrats, the GOP Establishment, and the media. It is incredible he is where he is. He deserves to win and be our president. Yet, I have to face reality. The Bush-Romney political establishment is so dedicated to Trump’s defeat, I fear he will be unable to overcome it. Bush-Romney billionaires have poured millions into Hillary’s campaign coffers and they are not about to let Trump disrupt their well-laid plans. The power of the corrupt Washington GOP Establishment is not to be taken lightly. They are betting big on Hillary and plan to win with her.

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