Wednesday, July 6, 2016

State of the Race: 125 Days To Go

National Polls Holding Steady: According to RealClearPolitics, Clinton currently leads by an average of 4.8 points over Trump, but most of the slight shift from last week seems to be the result of a bizarre Rasmussen outlier that has Donald up by 4. Let's check in with the Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll:

A couple of weeks ago, Clinton led in this poll by 13 points. Today, she leads by 13 points. And in case you're wondering, the last few days of this poll was taken during the nothingburger Bill/Loretta tarmac "scandal". It will be interesting to see the national polls a week from now, but my guess is that there won't be much difference then either.

Florida, Florida, Florida: Maybe we should start a "State of the State" series focusing solely on Florida, because it's every bit as important as it's been in previous cycles. However, there's one key difference this time: Hillary is clearly ahead and it seems highly unlikely that Donald will be able to catch her.
The big demographic threat to the Republican Party isn’t a “blue” Texas or Arizona or Georgia, but the possibility that Florida will follow Nevada and New Mexico to the left. It’s extremely hard for a Republican to win the presidency without Florida’s 29 electoral votes.
The polls suggest that Hillary Clinton might capitalize on huge demographic shifts to an extent that Barack Obama never did. She might even lead by the same margin in Florida that she does nationally — about five percentage points — even though the state has been more Republican than the country in every presidential election since 1976.
To understand why Florida could shift so abruptly, consider this: The demographic changes in Florida over the last decade rival or even exceed those in states like Nevada or Virginia, but the Democrats haven’t gained nearly as much as they have in those states. When Al Gore and George W. Bush fought to an effective tie in the state 16 years ago, 78 percent of registered voters were non-Hispanic whites. When Barack Obama edged Mitt Romney in 2012 by less than a point, just 66.5 percent of registered voters were.
The Clinton campaign clearly knows that if they lock down Florida, it's close to game over for Trump. Therefore, they are already blanketing the airwaves with millions of dollars worth of ads that are boosting Hillary's positives and defining Donald early as completely unacceptable. But even if they weren't spending a dime, the current fundamentals in the state would still make a Republican win unlikely.

Through the day-to-day ups and downs over the next four months, remember this: Donald Trump pretty much has to win Florida in order to be president, and it sure doesn't look like it's gonna happen.

Still Sanders...But Not For Long?: On the same day that he got booed by congressional Democrats, now comes word that Bernie might be endorsing Hillary next week in New Hampshire:
The Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigns are discussing a potential event next week in New Hampshire, during which the Vermont senator would endorse Clinton's White House bid.

A Democrat familiar with the plans said Wednesday if the two sides continue to make progress, Clinton and Sanders would appear at the joint event Tuesday in New Hampshire. The Democrat spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss the plans....

The senator praised Clinton's announcement of a proposal earlier Wednesday to tackle the rising cost of college tuition and the burden of student loan debt, calling it a "very bold initiative." In a positive sign for Democratic unity, Sanders said he hoped to find more areas of agreement with Clinton "sooner rather than later."
Then there's this:
If a big Sanders endorsement event occurs, it should really be next week...because the Trump Trainwreck at the Republican National Convention will be rightfully dominating the headlines shortly thereafter.

I really do hope it happens, as it would be a terrific move for all parties involved.

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