As of today, there is no question that Mr. Trump has at least equaled Mrs. Clinton in both national, and important state or battleground, polls.
In one of the more credible national polls, the USC/LA Times Tracking Poll, Trump now has a 5.6% lead, and his trajectory in this poll has been upward for the past few days. Strikingly, Trump has closed the gap between himself and Clinton with women voters, reducing it to a mere 4.9%; and he has also reached his highest number with Latino voters, 42%, only 3.4% short of Clinton. It should also be noted that Trump has made significant gains among black voters, ranging from 14% to 23%, according to national polls, such as the Rasmussen Poll.
Similar trends are occurring in battleground state polls. Trump now leads in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Iowa, Virginia, and Nevada. He is in a dead heat in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Mexico, and Minnesota; and the trend in these states over the past week, is toward Trump.
Clearly Trump has momentum heading into the final three days of the race. It should be noted that Trump is campaigning at an unparalleled pace, holding generally 3, and as many as 5, major campaign rallies a day; and attendance remains high, on some occasions exceeding 20,000 people. As a candidate Trump is seemingly indefatigable.
Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, despite the many surrogates campaigning on her behalf, including President Obama, and former president Clinton, seems hampered by the recent FBI investigation disclosures. Despite remaining competitive in the polls, enthusiasm for her campaign appears modest, which has plagued her candidacy since shortly after the Democratic Convention.
Trump has been steadfast on message, focusing on ending Obamacare; ending the corruption in government, and restoring jobs to America. Assuming Trump continues to focus on these issues, his upward trend lines in polling will likely continue through Election Day, giving him a strong opportunity to win the presidency.
The State of the Race – Update
The tenor of the race has changed; and this change occurred before the letter to Congressional leaders from FBI Director James Comey, that he was re-opening the Clinton server investigation in view of the discovery of 650,000 e-mails on a laptop computer shared by Huma Abedin, Vice Chairwoman of the Clinton campaign, and her estranged husband, former congressman Anthony Weiner. The discovery was connected with a separate investigation into possible social media sex crimes involving a minor being committed by Mr. Weiner.
Prior to the discovery of these e-mails, Donald Trump had begun to increase his position in both national and battleground state polls. National tracking polls, including Rasmussen, and the USC/LA Times polls, began to show Trump either tied or leading by 1 or 2%. State polling in key battleground states, such as Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Iowa, among others, now have Trump leading.
Clearly Trump has gained momentum, reflected not only in recent polling, but also evidenced by the massive turnout, often 15,000 to 25,000 supporters, at rallies all around the country. The revelation of these additional e-mails by the FBI will likely add to Trump’s support among registered Independents, and perhaps some of the Democrat supporters of former candidate Senator Bernie Sanders. Moreover, the publicizing of the tremendous increase in Obamacare insurance premiums is likely to boost Trump’s momentum even more, as voters begin to receive written notice of unprecedented premium increases of 25% to more than 100% from insurance carriers.
Finally, key Democrat party operatives have begun to publicly distance themselves from Clinton’s candidacy, including long-standing Democrat Party pollsters Doug Shoen, and Pat Caddell. President Obama recently cancelled three campaign events on behalf of Clinton. The Chicago Tribune has called for Clinton to step down as the party nominee.
All factors considered, with one week before the November 8th election, Trump has growing momentum and the lead in several important battleground states. For Trump’s momentum to be sustained, his message must focus on Obamacare, job creation, ending government corruption, and border security.
The State of the Race
With less than two weeks to go, there are two divergent opinions about the state of the race. There is the view expressed by the corporate media pundits of the political establishment; and another view espoused by the new Internet media consortium, comprised of conservative bloggers and news websites. These views are divergent and portend entirely different outcomes for the November 8th election.
The political establishment view asserts that Clinton is ahead, albeit by an increasingly smaller margin, according to some of the latest national media-sponsored polls, including the Washington Post Poll, and the ABC News Poll. However, if you have read the Stewardship America article, “About Those Polls,” published on this site, you are aware of the extensive party affiliation over-weighting in the media-sponsored polls, employed to propel Clinton’s poll numbers above Trump’s. For example, the AP Poll released on October 26, used a D+12 weighting for Democrats included in the poll. According to Gallup, the current weighting is D+5. This over-weighting practice continues among the media-sponsored polls, and in fact was confirmed via a WikiLeaks e-mail as a Clinton campaign strategy intended to suppress and demoralize Trump supporters during the general election campaign. The media-sponsored polling reflects a 1 to 12 point lead for Clinton. This polling is unjustifiably over-weighted in favor of Clinton; and thus, it cannot be considered valid and representative of the race.
Another factor that should be considered is campaign optics. Campaign optics include the number of supporters attending campaign events, campaign donations from small donors, and other visual indicators such as yard signs and bumper stickers. In respect to these factors, the Clinton campaign appears to be weak. Attendance at campaign rallies ranges from 150 to, at most, 900 people, with the average seemingly about 300 attendees.
All factors considered, the Clinton campaign appears to be leading in the race, based primarily on flawed polls and the opinions of political establishment media pundits. Moreover, there seems to be little enthusiasm among the supporters of the Clinton campaign.
While the media-sponsored polls favor Clinton, other polls favor Trump. For example, Trump is either leading by 1-2 points or trailing by 1-2 points in non-media polls such as Rasmussen, and Investors Business Daily (IBD); and this is occurring despite some unjustified over-weighting. If these polls were properly weighted for political party affiliation, Trump would be leading.
The Trump campaign’s optics are nothing short of incredible. Trump rallies are regularly attended by 8,000 to as many as 25,000 people. In addition, Trump’s campaign has set records for small donations, averaging about $61 dollars. Yet, there are noticeably few campaign yard signs or bumper stickers. However, this is largely attributable to fear among Trump supporters that their houses and vehicles will be vandalized, an egregious reality experienced by Trump supporters, particularly during the primary election season.
In addition to the aforementioned factors, it must be observed, that the corporate media is almost totally biased in its coverage and reporting against Trump. The negativity broadcast by the corporate media establishment against Trump is unprecedented. It should also be noted that this assessment of the race, does not account for any possible voting fraud occurring during the election.
All factors considered it seems that the race is fairly close at this time, and that Trump has a slight lead of 1 to 3 points. Most importantly at this juncture, Trump has momentum, which is advantageous at this time in an election.
By Allen Sutton