Remember when Republicans choosing Donald Trump as their nominee was essentially handing the presidency to Democrat Hillary Clinton?
Yeah, I remember it like it was yesterday. Because it was.
So when you see the results of the new Quinnipiac University poll of key swing states Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania — where presumptive Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton was supposed to win in a landslide — you’ll understand why political pundits are somewhat at a loss today — and finding it hard to believe the polls are actually, um, real.
As Politico reports:
Buckle up for the next six months: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are effectively tied in the swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to the results of a Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday.
With voters split along lines of gender, race and age, the presumptive Republican nominee and the likely Democratic nominee appear poised for tight battles in those states, though Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders performs better against Trump than Clinton does and is also seen more favorably by voters in all three states. No presidential candidate has won an election since 1960 without winning at least two of the three states.
In Florida, Clinton leads Trump, 43 percent to 42 percent, while Sanders earned 44 percent to Trump’s 42 percent. While Clinton holds a 13-point advantage among Florida women — 48 percent to 35 percent — Trump’s lead among men is equally large, at 49 percent to 36 percent. Independent Florida voters are split, 39 percent to 39 percent, while along racial lines, white voters said they would vote for the Republican candidate 52 percent to 33 percent. Among nonwhite voters, 63 percent to 20 percent said they would vote for the Democrat.
In Ohio, registered voters preferred Trump to Clinton, 43 percent to 39 percent, while Sanders edged Trump 43 percent to 41 percent. Trump leads among men in Ohio, 51 percent to 36 percent, while women prefer Clinton in the state 43 percent to 36 percent. While 49 percent to 32 percent of white voters go for the Republican candidate, a whopping 76 percent to 14 percent of nonwhite voters said they will go for the Democratic candidate. Among voters ages 18 to 34, Clinton leads 43 percent to 39 percent, while voters older than 65 preferred Trump 46 percent to 40 percent. Among independents, 40 percent said they would back Trump and 37 percent would go for Clinton.
In Pennsylvania, Clinton leads 43 percent to 42 percent, mirroring the gender and racial gaps in the other swing states. Among women, Clinton leads 51 percent to 32 percent, while Trump leads with men 54 percent to 33 percent. Clinton holds a 7-point lead among voters ages 18 to 34 (49 percent to 42 percent), while Trump commands the same level of support among voters 65 and older. White voters said they would support the Republican candidate 48 percent to 37 percent, while nonwhite voters said they would support the Democrat, 74 percent to 14 percent.
Regardless of how they plan to vote, registered voters in all three states gave Trump the edge on matters related to the economy, as well as on terrorism, though on the latter issue the two candidates are within the margin of error.
Pundits’ previous suggestions that presumptive Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton would win these key states by a landslide have just been turned on their head.
So, what’s a political pundit to do? Look for the excuse and the reason why it can’t possibly be true.
As Rush Limbaugh noted today, politics is a little shaken up because of these polls. Via RushLimbaugh.com:
So all the conventional wisdom out of the box is already turned upside down. Hillary is supposed to be cleaning Trump’s clock in Florida because of the women divide, the gender gap per se, and the fact that the conventional wisdom says that Hispanics hate Trump. And so now the left, the liberals, the Democrats, they’re trying to concoct excuses for this. “Well,” they’re saying, “this is just Trump’s postnomination bounce.”
Yeah, well, what’s the problem with that? Trump hasn’t been nominated yet. There hasn’t been the convention. The postnomination bounce is actually called a postconvention bounce, and there hasn’t been the convention yet. Therefore, there hasn’t been a bounce.
Not to mention, Donald Trump has hardly even gotten started “vetting” Hillary Clinton.
And these people on the left, as you know, they live and die by polls. So now they’re scratching their heads and they’re actually talking amongst themselves on these left-wing TV shows.
They’re asking themselves, “My God! Oh, my God! Do you think Trump could actually win?”
“Well, we’d have to say, looking at the polls, it looks like it’s possible.”
“No, no, no. The polls can’t possibly be right in this.”
“Yes, you say that, but we rely on these polls and we believe them every time they come out.”
“Well, yes, you have a good point. But this can’t possibly be right.”
So they’re having to reassure themselves something’s not right with the poll. Just one state, it would be easier.
But this isn’t supposed to happen. You have to remember that in pretty much within every circle of the establishment, be it Republican or Democrat — talking specifically establishment types — Trump is going to get blown out.
And then these three polls hit. And there are people scratching their heads in curiosity. Others are in near panic over this. I’ve got some examples here of Drive-Bys talking about this, and they’re having to chat themselves off the ledge.
Wouldn’t you think that by now the pundits would have learned to stop trying to predict — er, direct — how this election cycle will unfold? The American people, on both sides of the aisle, are in no mood to be told how they’re supposed to vote and make this whole thing turn out. It would almost seem that the harder the media and the “establishment” leaders try to grasp control, the more they lose it.
And yet they don’t seem to listen and learn… which is exactly how we got to this point in the first place.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]