The latest Quinnipiac University Poll, released Friday, shows the state of the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in four important battleground states is close in some and tied in others.
What the numbers mean is important as all but 13 states approach days of early voting. Nationwide, about 45.6 million people or roughly 35 percent of the electorate voted prior to Election Day in 2012, and that number is expected to increase in 2016, the AP reported.
The presidential race in Florida is a toss up at 47 percent; North Carolina favors Clinton over Trump 47-43; Trump trails Clinton in Pennsylvania 48-43. Election watchers know how important it is to win two of three key states—Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio—to win the White House.
Jump Ball In Ohio
In all-important Ohio the race is a now a dead heat, within the margin of error, with Trump at 46 to Clinton at 45. These numbers are worrisome enough to Mrs. Clinton, who has enjoyed a three to six point lead over Trump for weeks. But they take on more urgency when two third party candidates, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, are included. When all four candidates are surveyed, Donald Trump edges out Hillary Clinton 41 – 37 percent, with Johnson at 14 percent and Stein at 4 percent;
“The obvious takeaway from these numbers is that Donald Trump has staged a comeback from his post-Democratic convention lows, especially in Pennsylvania and Ohio,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. Brown said the race between the New York billionaire real estate mogul and the former senator and secretary of state “appears little changed from where it was as the GOP convention began in July, and at least in these four key states is very much up for grabs.”
Focusing on Ohio, women back Clinton 52 – 39 percent, while men back Trump 53 – 38 percent. White voters back Trump 53 – 38 percent, as non-white voters go to Clinton 81 – 11 percent. Trump leads 86 – 9 percent among Republicans as Democrats back Clinton 88 – 9 percent. Independent voters go 43 percent for Trump and 41 percent for Clinton.
Brown notes that Libertarian Gary Johnson could decide the presidential election in the Buckeye State. “He is getting 14 percent from Ohio voters and how that cohort eventually votes could be critical in this swing state – and in the nation,” Brown said.
Mrs. Clinton’s husband, President Bill Clinton, won Ohio twice in 1992 and 1996. She beat Barack Obama in the 2012 primary and defeated Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, her chief rival this year, in Ohio’s primary on March 15.
Donald Trump won 38 state primary contests but lost Ohio to it’s governor, John Kasich, who couldn’t clear the 50 percent threshold. Trump beat Kasich in Appalachian counties, especially, where his core voters—white men angry at government who have limited skills and job prospects—rally to his boasts of “Making America Great Again.”
This raw news from Friday makes ground game operations for every candidate that much more important. While Donald Trump has little organized campaign staff on the ground in Ohio, the Clinton campaign is preparing for a massive get out the vote operation as staffers from far and wide coming to Ohio to engage in GOTV actions.
Gallup polling found some notable shifts as well in the dynamics of the race. At 38 percent, Hillary Clinton’s favorable rating is one point from her record low. Donald Trump’s favorable rating is worse, at 34 percent, but still above his low. Also to be noted, African American’s views of Clinton have slipped since pre-convention period. The converse of this finding is that each candidate’s unfavorable ratings are correspondingly high: 58 percent for Clinton and 62 percent for Trump.
One of the nation’s oldest polling firms, Gallup, points out that the favorable ratings for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton show little to no positive momentum as the campaign passes the symbolic Labor Day milestone.
Per Gallup: “Rather than offering a sign that voters are finally warming up to one candidate or the other, the latest ratings underscore the historic nature of this year’s election as one featuring the two most unpopular nominees since the advent of scientific polls.”