Surge: Trump leads by 5 in Ohio, 3 in Florida . . . in CNN poll

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Thursday September 15th, 2016

Make the polls great again.

We've said all along that a Trump surge in national polling is absolutely meaningful, not because the race is decided on a national basis - it obviously is not - but because a real national surge will inevitably be reflected in state-by-state polling. And perhaps the most delicious news of this or any day is that the best news for Trump in quite some time comes from Hillary's committed sycophants at CNN, of all places:

Among likely voters in Ohio, Trump stands at 46% to Clinton's 41%, with 8% behind Libertarian Gary Johnson and 2% behind Green Party nominee Jill Stein. In Florida, likely voters split 47% for Trump to 44% for Clinton, within the poll's 3.5 percentage point margin of error, and with 6% behind Johnson and 1% backing Stein.

 

In both states, Trump's support increases as a result of the likely voter screen, among all registered voters, Clinton edges Trump 45% to 44% in Florida, and in Ohio, Trump tops Clinton 43% to 39% with Johnson at 12%.

 

The polls come as other national and battleground state polls suggest a sharply tightened contest compared with mid-August. While Clinton emerged from her convention with the advantage in surveys in both states and nationwide, more recent surveys suggest a closer contest and an enthusiasm gap that tilts in Trump's favor. A Bloomberg Politics survey of Ohio voters released Wednesday morning found Trump ahead by five points, identical to the margin in this survey of Ohio voters, and Quinnipiac University surveys released shortly after Labor Day showed an even contest in Florida with Trump up four points in Ohio.

If Ohio and Florida ultimately go for Trump, those states alone would not be enough to give him the election if everything else follows the pattern of the last two elections. But there's no reason to think that would happen. Hillary is not Obama, and Trump is certainly nothing like either Mitt Romney or John McCain (neither of whom can stand him).

A lot of attention has been paid in recent days to Pennsylvania, which the media always presents as a crucial battleground state. But Pennsylvania hasn't gone Republican since 1988, when Democrats ran a candidate almost as unappealing as Hillary. Pennsylvania is really more of a Democrat must-hold state, because if the battlegrounds start tumbling into the red category so much that even Pennsylvania is in jeopardy, Hillary is toast.

If Ohio and Florida seem to stablize for Trump, the ones I would look to next to follow the trend would be North Carolina, Colorado and Nevada. All three went for George W. Bush twice, but also went for Obama twice. If they start trending back toward the GOP, then I'd say Trump's national surge is having a real effect in the battlegrounds, and movement in the electoral college is almost inevitable.

Hillary's next line of defense would probably be New Mexico, Iowa and Virgina, which have been difficult for Republicans in recent elections, but they all went for Bush at least once. If we really get to the point where Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota are in doubt, Trump is your 45th president.

Just remember, the national polls tend to lead the state polls. A brief national spike one way or the other won't move the state polls if it's only a temporary reaction to something in the news. A sustained trend will. The question now is whether Hillary's problems are just because she had a bad week or two, or whether the voters are finally wising up to who and what she really is - and, of course, whether they're starting to do their own assessments of Trump and not just swallowing what the media tries to spoon-feed them. If any of that is happening, then yeah, Hillary is in a world of hurt - as the trends certainly seem to indicate at this point.

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