Even with a Quinnipiac Poll today showing Hillary Clinton ahead of Donald Trump by 10 points nationally, on average, she is not quite at the post convention peak she sat at a week or so ago, but that was to be expected. Even with all of his faults, some Republican holdouts were bound to throw their support behind Trump eventually.
Still, with just over two months to go until Election Day, she finds herself in really good shape. Barring a stunning collapse, a la my Boston Red Sox in Sept. of 2011, which we will never speak of again, Clinton should be elected the nation’s 45th president.
Right now, her average national lead on RealClearPolitics is six points, and it is eight points in the HuffPost Pollster model. FiveThirtyEight puts Clinton’s chances of winning at 84% with their polls only model; and 76% with their polls plus model, which take other factors like historical data and the economy into account.
While the national polls have tightened up just a bit, Clinton still looks to be in incredible shape at the state level.
We will get to the battleground states in a second, but right now the clearest indication showing just how good Clinton is sitting right now is the fact she is on offense in traditionally red states; some of which seem ripe for the picking.
Clinton is within two percentage-points of Trump in Arizona, which has gone for a Democrat just once, in 1996, over the last 16 presidential elections; is tied in Georgia, which last went for a Democrat in 1992. In addition, Clinton is only slightly behind Trump in Missouri, a former swing state that Mitt Romney won by 10% in 2012 and last went for a Democrat in 1996; is within two percentage-points in South Carolina, where the last Democrat they voted for was Jimmy Carter back in 1976; and she even has an outside shot at Utah. Yes Utah. A state Mitt Romney won with 73% of the vote and last went for a Democrat way back in 1964. Outside of 1964, last time this state was decided by single digits was in the 1960 election when Richard Nixon won the state over John F. Kennedy by nine.
In the battleground states, Clinton looks even better. Her average lead in Virginia is nearly 13% and in Colorado she leads Trump by 11. Clinton has even suspended advertising in both states.
She also finds herself up big in New Hampshire and seems like she is pulling away in Pennsylvania, a top target for Trump given the state’s white working class population and the fact that it has been trending slightly red over the last few years.
And that, really, is the heart of why Clinton is in such good shape. Pennsylvania. Clinton’s average lead in the Keystone State is 9%..
So even if Trump’s disingenuous, somewhat hilarious, and obviously desperate renewed efforts at minority outreach and image softening is able to cut Clinton’s margin in the state in half, she will still win the state by around the same margin President Obama did over Mitt Romney four years ago.
And by winning Pennsylvania, she shuts the door on Donald Trump.
Just take a look. All Clinton has to do is win the states that have been reliably Democratic since at least 2000, and she is at 227 electoral votes.
Add in Colorado and Virginia, where again, she is up big, and that gets her to 253. If she hangs on to win Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, and she is up to 273. Game. Blouses.
To add insult to injury, even though a win in Pennsylvania renders Ohio, Iowa, North Carolina, Nevada, and Florida meaningless in terms of the presidential race, Clinton currently leads Trump, on average, in all five of these states.
Crazy things can happen, yes. They certainly did on Sept. 28, 2011, the last night of the regular season in baseball that year (why do I punish myself by rehashing this?). The good news for the Clinton Camp is these instances are rare.
So barring the unthinkable, the fears of a Donald Trump presidency will not come to pass. And Clinton’s lead in Pennsylvania is a major reason why.