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A Preliminary Look at the #TrumpsterFire2016
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A Preliminary Look at the #TrumpsterFire2016

We have a new CNN/ORC poll of a general election match-up between Hillary Clinton and the presumptive GOP nominee, Donald Trump. And…it’s not pretty. You can see for yourself, here.

Without diving too deep into the numbers of this poll, let’s take a look at some of the highlights:

  1. In a January CNN/ORC poll, Trump was down by a single percentage point to Clinton at 47/48. He now trails by 13 points.
  2. When asked, 57% of all Trump voters in the May poll said that their vote would be one against Clinton, not in favor of Donald Trump. This is worrisome due to the fact that only 51% of Clinton’s voters said the same in reference to Trump. Typically, it is much harder to turn out voters who are voting against someone compared to those that are voting in favor of someone. In a November 2012 CNN poll, 82% of President Obama’s voters were voting for him while 12% were voting primarily against Mitt Romney. Romney’s voters were split 62% for Romney and 37% against Obama. These numbers are significant in order to gauge voter enthusiasm toward their respective nominees, and it doesn’t look good for Trump.
  3. Donald Trump has a 39/57 favorable/unfavorable rating with all Americans compared to a 40/56 rating with registered voters. Hillary is nearly evenly split at 48/49 and 49/49 respectively.
  4.  Donald Trump loses registered voters in the South, a must-win-region for any Republican, by a 52% to 44% margin.
  5. Donald Trump loses women by 26 points and ties among men.

It is just one poll, and should be taken as a single data point. However, if these numbers don’t start to see a shift soon, any resurgence in Trump’s numbers will be buried under Hillary Clinton’s hundreds of millions in outside spending. Quick point: Anti-Trump ad spending in Indiana amounted to a whopping 2.8 million. Hillary Clinton’s SuperPAC has 70 million planned for just the summer months.

Perhaps the greatest threat that Donald Trump poses to Republicans is his effect on down ballot races. Currently, there are 54 Republican senators. Below is a map from Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball site that details out the races to watch this November.

2016-04-07_Senate_Map

If the election were held today and Republican senators garnered the same percentage of the vote as Trump, Democrats would pick up seats in Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and New Hampshire, with Missouri and Arizona being tossups. Depending on how far ahead of Trump they run, Republicans could lose Senate seats in Georgia and Iowa. That would be a near certain loss of 7 seats with the possibility of an 11 seat pick-up for Democrats. Even if Trump were to win every state Mitt Romney carried in 2012, Republicans would have to run ahead of their nominee, often by double digits, in 6 states. That would be a high bar for any party to do in one election cycle, but the numbers provided to us with poll after poll point to Trump being a disaster for down ballot races.

Now, this all presents a pretty grim picture for GOP prospects going into 2016. The focus of the #NeverTrump movement should now be to preserve state legislative seats, congressional seats, and our majority in the US Senate. We cannot afford to allow Trump to erase eight years of gains at the state and local level. If we do, recovering from the electoral landslide that is likely to occur in November will be a matter of decades, not years.

Trump will lose. The question for us becomes whether we are willing to be the adults in the room and work to rebuild the party across the country, at all levels.


Related: The GOP’s Not Dead, and Neither is Conservatism


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