JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Every pundit, news outlet, and former presidential nominee (we’re looking at you Mitt Romney) forecasting electoral demise for Donald Trump in November may want to take pause.
As Hillary Clinton continues to be embroiled in a seemingly never-ending Democratic nomination fight with all-but-vanquished Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has surged ahead of Mrs. Clinton for the first time this year in two new national polls.
As the chart above indicates, polling trends for weeks have shown a decline in Mrs. Cinton’s support as the rate of Mr. Trump’s support continues to rise.
In that same Fox News poll, a second question was asked of respondents regarding favorability. The results, shown below, indicate a similar swing in support; away from Mrs. Clinton and toward Mr. Trump.
It will be intriguing to see if this current polling trend holds through the rest of the presidential primary season, which concludes on June 7. What’s becoming more and more evident is the fact that Mrs. Clinton’s seeming inability to ‘close the deal’ with Sen. Sanders in mathematically wrapping up the Democratic nomination has done some damage to her poll numbers.
Additionally, the rhetorical lashing from the Democratic National Committee towards the Sanders campaign and its supporters in the wake of the Nevada Democratic state convention debacle will surely serve to discourage those supporters from ultimately switching their support to Hillary Clinton by the time of the Democratic National Convention in July. Donald Trump’s public declarations regarding his intention to court disaffected Sanders supporters this fall with his populist economic message should have Democratic pooh-bahs in Washington and Brooklyn sweating.
One would imagine, given these latest polls, that Missouri itself will likely be a Republican hold and a victory for Mr. Trump. This notion is backed up too by the decisively larger turnout for the Republicans in Missouri’s March 15 presidential primaries.
Thus, the real intrigue this year, at least in Missouri, is the presidential campaign’s effect (or lack thereof) on the statewide races. As Democratic enthusiasm is down and Republican enthusiasm is experiencing record highs (as the Democrats did in 2008), one would have to wonder if the scales won’t be tipped in the Missouri GOP’s favor come November.