Alternate headline: “Kasich hopes to improve on 2016 performance by winning two primaries instead of one.”
If this poll is anywhere near accurate come 2019, Trump would be better off not running for reelection. As it is, I suspect he’d beat Kasich in New Hampshire — and Ohio — by 20 points even in a worst-case scenario.
That’s from ARG, rated a C+ pollster by FiveThirtyEight but one which did a nice job calling last year’s New Hampshire Republican primary. Their final poll before the vote had Trump winning by 16 points. The actual result was Trump by 19.5. But then, that wasn’t a tough race to call: Trump led in every last poll of the state from mid-July 2015 onward, and nearly all polls taken in January 2016 until Election Day had him ahead by 14-20 points. The Trump landslide was brewing for months and months. (ARG’s final general-election poll of New Hampshire wasn’t as impressive.) If you’re looking for significance in today’s result, that’s the best I can do for you — the guy’s trailing the second-place finisher in a state in which he never trailed a year ago, one that set him on track for the presidency. That may tell you more about his political troubles right now than the flood of gruesome job-approval numbers in national polls do.
One point worth noting, though: How ’bout that gender gap, huh? Trump by 13 among men, Kasich by 36 among women. It’s not often you see a net swing of 50 points between the sexes. Last year in the New Hampshire primary, Trump did only a little better among men (38 percent) than he did with women (33 percent). Granted, that was many months before the “Access Hollywood” tape and accusations of sexual assault emerged, but we’re now 10 months removed from that. What’s driving the gender split? Surely New Hampshire men take just as much offense at their home state being called a “drug-infested den” as New Hampshire women do.