Via Erick Erickson, 48 percent say “you’re fired” but 51 percent are willing to keep him on the show. The economic/education divide, with Trump strong among working-class whites and weaker among the college-educated, is familiar:
Are those numbers glass-half-full or half-empty for Trump? The half-full argument: 51/48 isn’t all that different from the primaries. In fact, in a sense, it shows improvement. He won 13 million votes this spring but more than 15 million people voted for Cruz, Rubio, or Kasich. He didn’t have a majority of Republicans in his corner. He does now. That shows a little movement in the right direction, despite all the trouble he’s had lately. Plus, poll after poll has somewhere between 75 and 87 percent of the party choosing him over Hillary. The high end of those numbers is comparable to Romney’s share of the GOP vote four years ago. Even if many Republicans are unhappy with him as nominee, it looks like they’re comfortable enough to line up for him this fall. If CNN’s numbers are accurate, more than half the party will disagree if he’s tossed overboard in Cleveland. Does that sound like the makings of a successful coup to you?
Half-empty: Someone who’s been the presumptive nominee for six weeks should be doing better than a bare majority of his own party when they’re asked less than a month out from the convention if he should be the nominee. The month of May was supposed to be a month of reassurance for Trump skeptics. In an alternate reality, he used the time to raise a bunch of money, started hiring staffers in battleground states aggressively, and decided that mumbling about the “Mexican” in charge of his civil suit wasn’t the best use of his media time. Instead, here we are. At 51/48, there’s every reason to think that one more screw-up by Trump over the next three weeks will tilt the numbers the other way, sticking delegates with a dilemma about whether to go ahead and nominate a guy who won fair and square or to bow to the will of a majority of Republicans and spike him. If you believe WaPo, there are now nearly 400 delegates aboard the “Dump Trump” train, and that was before the eye-popping, pitiful fundraising numbers from May were released just last night. It’s conceivable that that news alone, as it percolates online and on television, will convince some Republican fencesitters that Trump’s doomed and it’s time to pull the plug. What happens if polls show that 60 percent of Republicans want him gone a week before the convention? If CNN’s numbers are accurate, that’s not unimaginable.
Besides, although firing Corey Lewandowski was supposed to signal a “different kind of campaign,” it’s apparently not going to be that different:
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) June 21, 2016
CNN’s topline numbers have Hillary leading the race by five head-to-head and by four with Gary Johnson and the Green Party in the mix. The last three CNN polls before this one had Clinton north of 50 percent; she’s down to 47 percent now, possibly due to disaffection by Berniebros as she locked up the nomination. More significantly, Trump is at 42 percent here head-to-head, the second poll in a row (third if you count Gravis) where he’s above 40. He had gone six polls in a row before that without ever hitting that figure. That’s decent evidence that his numbers are rebounding a bit now. This is good news too, although not so much for Trump specifically as for any GOP nominee:
Increasingly the public’s convinced that she did do something wrong and it is a big deal. That’s a perfect warm-up for Trump’s speech tomorrow attacking Clinton as unfit to lead. One note in parting: Although Trump’s favorable ratings are consistently worse than Hillary’s, the difference between them in several polls at this point is negligible. Trump’s rating is 40/59. Hillary’s is 42/57. Among independents, she’s actually several points worse than Trump is, scoring 33/64 compared to this 40/59. Each party may have found and nominated the one candidate in their ranks who can’t easily defeat the other party’s nominee.