What would possess anyone with access to thousands of dollars to spend it on a new poll of two states that are now almost certainly off the board for good this year? There are so many more productive things to do with money. Give it to charity. Or light it on fire just to watch it burn. Or spend it on a poll of Pennsylvania, which will be a better bellwether of a Trump comeback than either Colorado or Virginia. The latter state is Tim Kaine’s home and has loads of upscale suburban voters that are hostile to Trump; the former has a significant Latino minority and has Trump polling below 30 percent — no typo — in more than one survey of the four-way race over the past five weeks. If the national race begins to tighten, odds are you’ll see it show up in a red-trending Rust Belt state like PA before you see it in CO and VA. And if you don’t see PA start to tighten then you don’t need to worry about polling anywhere else. The outcome of the election will be a foregone conclusion.
In case anyone cares, though, he’s still getting creamed in Colorado and Virginia. Thanks for the update, Quinnipiac. Do California next.
Colorado – Clinton leads Trump 41 – 33 percent, with 16 percent for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 7 percent for Green Party candidate Jill Stein;
Iowa – Clinton at 41 percent to Trump’s 39 percent, with Johnson at 12 percent and Stein at 3 percent;
Virginia – Clinton tops Trump 45 – 34 percent with 11 percent for Johnson and 5 percent for Stein.
A revealing comparison: In all three states, roughly 35 percent of Hillary voters say they’re voting for her versus 47 percent or so who they’re voting against Trump. Among Trump voters, the ratios are much more lopsided. Those who say they’re voting for him average around 25 percent while those who are voting against Clinton are up around 60. Trump’s actual support on the merits in these states, especially when you subtract heavily white Iowa, is minuscule. The small share of the electorate he’s getting are with him only because they’re holding their noses and concluding that Hillary is worse.
If you want to compare Colorado and Virginia demographically side by side, have at it:
The story in both cases is familiar. Clinton is killing him among women, including enough white women to leave him with essentially no path to victory given her advantage among nonwhites. But never mind that. Zero in here on the Colorado numbers, specifically the four-way split among independents. Trump is just a single point ahead of Gary Johnson, 25/24, with even asterisk candidate Jill Stein pulling 12 percent of the vote. Now look down a bit further to the age demographics. Among voters aged 18-34 years old, many of whom no doubt identify as independent, the libertarian Johnson is 11 points ahead of the Republican nominee and just five points back of Clinton. If not for Stein cannibalizing some of the anti-Hillary, anti-Trump vote among young adults, Johnson might actually lead both major-party nominees among that group. If you want to know why Trump is now averaging a pitiful 31.3 percent in four-way polls of Colorado, that’s a big reason why. Western Republicans have always trended a bit more libertarian than their southern counterparts; you’re seeing that in an amazingly stark way here, especially among younger voters. I think there’s a very small but nonzero chance, if Trump continues to fade nationally and if some young progressives switch from Stein to Johnson, that Johnson could actually pass Trump in Colorado (and maybe Utah), especially if he manages to make it into the debates. (Which is unlikely.) For all the hype about Trump struggling with minorities or women, his quiet weakness among young adults in some states is shocking.
In other poll news today, Trump leads Clinton by three in Missouri, a state that Romney won by nine. And 40 percent of Texans say they’d support secession if Hillary wins the election, as seems highly likely. Bad news for America but great news for presumptive Texas President Ted Cruz.