Donald Trump is fast running out of traditional "swing states" where he is actually competitive. In fact, it looks like he's down to just three: Nevada, Iowa and Ohio. Even though he could win them all and still easily lose the presidency, the most likely scenario is that (like McCain and Romney before him) he will strike out in all three. As of now, Iowa seems about tied, Nevada is tilting slightly blue, and Clinton retains persistent mid-single digit lead in all-important Ohio.
Monmouth University, an A+ pollster, is the latest to show such a result:
Hillary Clinton holds a slim 4 point lead over Donald Trump in the perennial battleground state of Ohio...
Among Ohio voters likely to cast ballots in November's presidential election, 43% currently support Clinton and 39% back Trump. Another 10% intend to vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson, who will appear as an independent on the ballot, and less than one percent are supporting Jill Stein of the Green Party. Another 8% are undecided.
Trump does almost as well as Clinton in getting the backing of fellow partisans, with 83% of Republicans supporting their party's nominee and 88% of Democrats backing their standard bearer. Independents are evenly split at 35% for Trump and 35% for Clinton, with 20% supporting Johnson.Yesterday, CBS/YouGov found a slightly stronger result:
In Ohio, the race has been moving slightly more in Clinton’s direction. Her support has grown from 44% in May and July to 46% now, while Trump remains at 40%.Additionally, NBC/WSJ/Marist found a similar 5-point lead earlier this month:
Ninety percent of Democrats back Clinton in the all-important swing state, while just 79% of Republicans back Trump. However, most of the shift towards Clinton comes from independents. Independents still break for Trump by a six-point margin (42-36), but that’s down from a 19-point margin (46-27) in July. The former Secretary of State also benefits from overwhelming support among the state’s African-American voters, topping her Republican opponent 91-3, a slight improvement from the 85-6 split in the previous month.
And even Quinnipiac showed Clinton leading in Ohio after the conventions, despite being a terrible pollster undeserving of a link.
One interesting thing to note is that today's Monmouth poll was in the field right as Trump kicked off his non-existent "pivot" with the laughable "regrets speech". Unsurprisingly, it doesn't seem to have moved the needle much in Ohio (or most likely anywhere else...stay tuned).
While states like Colorado and Virginia transition into "safe" territory, Ohio should remain fairly close until election day and thus remain a key focus for the Clinton campaign until then. And because early voting begins there in about a month and a half, Trump has even less time to turn the situation around than it appears.
While this is all quite encouraging, unfortunately there's some bad news to report: Republican Senator Rob Portman has been simultaneously pulling away in his race against Democrat Ted Strickland. It's not over yet, but Strickland needs to figure out how to close the gap enough for the superior Clinton/Democratic turnout operation and national Hillary landslide to barely bring him over the finish line.