Six new swing state polls today show that the Trump campaign is turning into a contagious disease that threatens to eat not only the vulgar talking yam himself but also anyone standing within, say, a hundred feet of him. At least that’s the analogy the Post is employing today.
Let’s start with an analogy. A national presidential poll is like the scene in one of those viral-outbreak movies where the hazmat-suited scientist asks someone how many people are infected. “About 20,” comes the response, and the hazmat teams grab a bunch of supplies and heads in. But the real information comes once they start talking to patients: Which ones are sick, and how sick are they? The former gives us some sense of the outbreak; the latter gives us much better information about where this thing is headed.
In an election pitting two deeply unpopular candidates against one another, we’re going to be infected with a president that half the country hates. National polling gives us a general sense of where we’re headed — at this point, Hillary Clinton — but state polling gives us a lot more information about just how sick Donald Trump is, and where. (It’s not a perfect analogy.)
On Tuesday, we got six new polls in four likely battleground states — Florida, Iowa, Ohio and Pennsylvania — from Quinnipiac University and NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist. (Quinnipiac surveyed in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. NBC polled in Iowa, Ohio and Pennsylvania.)
Clinton leads in all six polls. She leads by 1 point in Florida (Quinnipiac), by 4 points in Iowa (NBC/Journal/Marist), by 4 or 5 points in Ohio and 10 or 11 in Pennsylvania, with the lower figures in each case coming from the NBC/Journal/Marist poll.
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Back to the “deadly virus” analogy. Clintonism has been spreading after the conventions. Trump is in danger of the outbreak spreading beyond his control — which, for his candidacy, is not survivable.
If this trend continues, and Trump continues to say incredibly stupid things (latest one coming up shortly), not only will this infection topple the GOP Senate majority but the seemingly impregnable House majority may go with it. It’s that bad. Nobody has run this bad a campaign in modern political history.