Yesterday, I came across a very interesting, different take on polling.
What this map does is look at Trump NOT by “Who will you vote for?” but his approval rating state-by-state in all 50 states. It was done after Mueller's testimony from Civiqs daily tracking polls and then converted from approval ratings into an Electoral College format. In other words, if Trump has a strong disapproval in a state, it’s marked heavy Blue. Solid disapproval in a state will color that state in basic Blue. Narrow disapproval is light Blue. And conversely, states where Trump has a positive approval are colored dark Red and so on.
To be very clear, none of this is meaningful. But it gives an indication of where things stand at the moment.
In the top categories of Strong Approval and Strong Disapproval, Democrats lead in “Electoral votes” compared to Trump by 216-62. (270 is needed to be elected.) In all categories regardless of how strong the approval and disapproval is, Democrats lead in “Electoral votes” by 374-164.
Again, this isn’t meaningful. Further, it's 15 months before people actually vote. And we know that for Democrats to win they not only have to stay strong, focused and aggressive, but perhaps more than anything can take absolutely nothing for granted. But it’s better to be on the 374 side than 164.
And given how Trump clearly has a strategy to appeal solely to his racist base and not reach out to moderates, it’s going to be incredibly difficult for him bring his numbers up and bridge that gap. Making his problem worse, his additional hurdle is that if for some bizarre reason he does try to appeal to moderates, he’s painted himself into such a corner that he’d now probably lose support from his racist base.)
More meaningful, though, is one particular result in a Quinnipiac Poll this week. Most media covered the Quinnipiac results of where things stood in the Democratic primary race, but the one number that stood out for me was different. It was how likely people were to vote for Trump. And 32% said that they would absolutely vote for him. That's low, but basic for starting foundation. However, more notable is that on the other end of the equation, the number isn't similar -- rather, a massive 54% said that they would NEVER vote for Trump. As one long-time campaign official said, the hardest figure to change is “I will never vote for a candidate”.
Now, of course, we don’t elect a president by popular vote. But in 2016, Hillary Clinton got 48% of the vote – so there is a 6-point increase that has to come from somewhere. Now, of course, some of this number could come from states that are already heavy-Blue. However, it doesn’t seem likely that there would be much increase from a state that is heavy Blue. Being so-heavily Democratic, they likely already got most of their Democratic votes. Yes, those states could conceivably pick up some support from alienated Republicans. But if that's true, it can be true in any state for any Republican. So, it seems more likely that the increase is spread across the board in all states, especially those that were the most toss-up, people who had voted for Obama but switched to Trump, or independents who voted Republican.
Again, none of even this is substantive. But having 54% saying that they would NEVER vote for Trump – however that number is derived – is a very strong starting point for Democrats and has to be a concerning issue for Republicans.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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