Bloomberg Poll: Trump up by 5 in Ohio - closes gap in Maine, too.

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Published by: Robert Laurie on Wednesday September 14th, 2016

Remember: Trends - not individual polls.

As the mantra goes, "a Republican has never won the presidency without taking Ohio." If Trump wants the White House, he has to win the state. So far, Trump's numbers in the Buckeye State have been, well ...let's say 'shaky.' Most polling puts him within striking distance.  Usually, he's down a point or two or in something close to a dead heat, but almost always within the margin of error.

Now, as national polls showing him pulling ahead, people wondered when (or if) that would be reflected in the state polling. 

Enter Bloomberg:

Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton by 5 percentage points in a Bloomberg Politics poll of Ohio, a gap that underscores the Democrat’s challenges in critical Rust Belt statesafter one of the roughest stretches of her campaign.

The Republican nominee leads Clinton 48 percent to 43 percent among likely voters in a two-way contest and 44 percent to 39 percent when third-party candidates are included.

The poll was taken Friday through Monday, as Clinton faced backlash for saying half of Trump supporters were a “basket of deplorables” and amid renewed concerns about her health after a video showed her stumbling as she left a Sept. 11 ceremony with what her campaign later said was a bout of pneumonia.

Trump’s performance in the poll—including strength among men, independents, and union households—is better than in other recent surveys of the state. It deals a blow to Clinton after she enjoyed polling advantages nationally and in most battleground statesin August before the race tightened in September as more Republican voters unified around Trump.

Meanwhile, Trump has also closed the gap in Maine. Maine had been firmly in the Hillary column throughout the current cycle, and no Republican has won it since 1988, so any movement towards Trump may be indicative of a larger trend:

A Colby College-Boston Globe poll released Tuesday shows the presidential race in Maine is now within the margin of error, with Clinton leading Trump, 42 percent to 39 percent.

Trump’s ascendancy in Maine is largely due to his dominance in the vast northern sector of the state — but analysts say it’s also a reflection of how Maine, like many other parts of the country, has become geographically more polarized. Its northern reaches, mostly rural, tend to be far more conservative than the southern, populous part of the state.

“Mainers for the first time in a while have to pay attention to the statewide race for president,” said Dan Shea, a political science professor and director of the Goldfarb Center at Colby College. “The Clinton campaign can no longer take this state for granted.”

Obviously, this is just a couple of polls. They could be outliers, or temporary bumps due to Hillary's awful week.  Time will tell if other polling shows the same movement.

However, national polling is general a "leading indicator" or a candidate's fortunes. State polls are a "lagging indicator," meaning the national polls will show movement before the state surveys. Over the last two weeks, Trump has managed to pull ahead in the national data, so we may be seeing the beginning of a similar trend in the battleground races.

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