For those of you still smarting from the Post/ABC poll last week that showed Hillary Clinton with “only” a 4 point lead, I bring you tidings of great joy. ABC’s new poll, the first in its daily tracking polls leading up to the election, shows that Clinton has opened up a 12 point lead, a shift of 8 points in 10 days.
Hillary Clinton has vaulted to a double-digit advantage in the inaugural ABC News 2016 election tracking poll, boosted by broad disapproval of Donald Trump on two controversial issues: His treatment of women and his reluctance to endorse the election’s legitimacy.
Likely voters by a vast 69-24 percent disapprove of Trump’s response to questions about his treatment of women. After a series of allegations of past sexual misconduct, the poll finds that some women who’d initially given him the benefit of the doubt have since moved away.
Fifty-nine percent of likely voters, moreover, reject Trump’s suggestion that the election is rigged in Clinton’s favor, and more, 65 percent, disapprove of his refusal to say whether he’d accept a Clinton victory as legitimate. Most strongly disapprove, a relatively rare result.
All told, Clinton leads Trump by 12 percentage points among likely voters, 50 to 38 percent, in the national survey, her highest support and his lowest to date in ABC News and ABC News/Washington Post polls. Gary Johnson has 5 percent support, Jill Stein 2 percent.
The results mark a dramatic shift from Clinton’s +4 points in the last ABC/Post poll Oct. 13. That survey was conducted after disclosure of an 11-year-old videotape in which Trump crudely described his sexual advances toward women, but before the events that have followed: A series of women saying he sexually assaulted them, which Trump has denied; his continued refusal to say whether he’d accept the election’s legitimacy; and the final debate, which likely voters by 52-29 percent say Clinton won.
Combine these results with today’s Post story that Clinton is spreading her efforts as widely as possible in order to help downballot Democrats across the country (superb decision, as she has the money and resources to do this), and we are seeing the prospect of a wave election taking shape.
Emboldened by polls predicting an electoral-college landslide in the presidential race, Clinton is shifting her strategy to lift up other Democrats coast to coast. She and her party are rushing to capitalize on a turbulent turn in Trump’s candidacy, which has ruptured the Republican Party, to make down-ballot gains that seemed unlikely just a month ago.
For Clinton, the move is opportunistic and has governing implications. If elected, a mandate may not be enough for her to muscle a progressive agenda on immigration and other issues through a Republican-controlled Congress. She would almost certainly govern more efficiently with Democratic majorities. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton reflected on the debates while rallying in Pittsburgh, saying that they proved she has the stamina to be president. “Hillary recognizes, as we look at the past eight years, how important it is to have allies and like-minded elected officials who can just help get things done,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said.
Flush with cash, the Clinton campaign is steering resources and deploying thousands of field staffers and volunteers to help Democrats secure the Senate majority and pick up seats in the House. It also is targeting a handful of governorships and state legislative races where wins could give the party an advantage in redrawing congressional districts following the 2020 Census.
The more states in which Clinton goes on the offensive, the more states in which she forces an outgunned and demoralized Trump campaign to play defense, the better will be the ultimate outcome for Democrats. And the fact that she raised over $1 billion in total, ignoring those who told her it looked bad to cozy up to rich people, is a huge factor in her ability to do just what she’s doing now, which will likely maximize the scope of the Democratic rout in 16 days.