In the waning (thank goodness!) days of the 2016 presidential election, both the Democrat and Republican nominees are spending a lot of time in Florida, which tells you just how critical it is to both campaigns.
One can’t help but notice the sizable difference in crowds for Hillary Clinton and her vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine as compared with those turning out for Donald Trump and running mate Mike Pence. As Fox Business reported this morning of Hillary’s latest rally:
“Here it is nowhere near the size of the crowd we saw in Sanford, Florida yesterday for Mr. Trump, 15,000. There’s maybe a thousand to two thousand people here today. The Clinton rallies tend to be much smaller and you can see there’s empty space here and she’s supposed to speak in 15 minutes. And I can tell you that as the camera pans across that if we were at a Trump rally this would absolutely be packed.”
Meanwhile, Timmy Kaine faced a crowd of just about 30 people the other day, compared with hundreds showing up for Mike Pence.
Yes, we know the election is not won by crowd size — as we’re reminded of large crowds for former GOP nominee Mitt Romney leading up to his loss in 2012. However, a new Bloomberg poll suggests it’s not just crowd size that Trump has in his favor right now in the Sunshine State.
As Bloomberg Politics reports:
Donald Trump has a slim advantage in Florida as critical independent voters narrowly break his way in the must-win battleground state, a Bloomberg Politics poll shows.
The Republican presidential nominee has 45 percent to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 43 percent among likely voters when third-party candidates are included, the poll found. In a hypothetical two-way race, Trump has 46 percent to Clinton’s 45 percent.
And here’s what may be the most promising part for Trump: what’s happening with independents, who very well may decide the election.
Among independents, Trump gets 43 percent to Clinton’s 41 percent in a head-to-head contest. When third-party candidates are included, Trump picks up 1 point with independents while Clinton drops to 37 percent, with Libertarian Gary Johnson taking 9 percent and the Green Party’s Jill Stein getting 5 percent.
“This race may come down to the independent vote,” said pollster J. Ann Selzer, who oversaw the survey. “Right now, they tilt for Trump. By a narrow margin, they opted for Obama over Romney in 2012.”
Trump’s showing in this poll is stronger than in other recent surveys in the state. Clinton had an advantage of 3.1 percentage points in the RealClearPolitics Florida average on Tuesday.
President Barack Obama won independents in 2012 by 3 percentage points, and the overall state by less than a point, his narrowest victory that year.
Florida, one of two states Trump calls home, is rated by major election forecasters as a toss-up or leaning toward Clinton. If Trump won all the states Mitt Romney did in 2012, plus Florida’s 29 Electoral College votes, he’d still be 35 electoral votes short of the 270 needed to win the White House.
This poll was conducted Friday through Monday, covering the first two days of Trump’s three-day campaign swing there. Both campaigns are focusing heavily on the state in terms of advertising and time. Clinton planned to be there Wednesday for the second day in a row and Obama will stump there on her behalf on Friday.
Clinton gets 51 percent of the Sunshine State’s Hispanic vote and 49 percent of those under age 35 in the two-way contest, while Trump has 51 percent of seniors and 50 percent of those without college degrees.
Only 51 percent of Hispanics going for Clinton? And Trump leads Clinton in Hispanic support in the Miami area by two points. Wow.
The new Florida poll showing some momentum for Trump in the Sunshine State comes with a couple other key battleground polls that suggest a closer race than the Clinton campaign and its media lapdogs would have us believe. A new Axiom Strategies poll shows Trump up by four in Ohio — historically a bellwether for the overall election result. Since 1896, the candidate who won Ohio also won the presidency 93 percent of the time — in 28 out of 30 elections. Of course, since Trump started pulling ahead there in September, Clinton State Media like the New York Times suddenly declared Ohio’s bellwether status may be a thing of the past.
Even in Pennsylvania, a state pundits on both sides have suggested Trump can’t win, shows Trump behind by just three points — with a 2.19% margin of error.
Yep, despite the air of inevitability that has emanated from the Queen of Corruption since even before she launched her campaign, it ain’t over ’til the lady in the orange pantsuit
goes to jail sings.
[This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]