Breitbart’s editorial line may be strongly pro-Trump but this result, from their partnership with Gravis, is right in line with the rest of the pollster pack nationally. Of the last five national polls taken of the four-way race involving Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, Clinton now leads consistently by three to six points. Breitbart’s result is in that range — Clinton 42, Trump 37, Johnson 9, Stein 3. (A brand new one from Morning Consult is also in that range, with Clinton leading 39/33 in the four-way.) The good news for Trump fans is that the race seems to have settled down a bit from the worst days of his post-convention polling, when he trailed in some surveys by as much as 13-14 points(!). The bad news is that his numbers remain garbage, topping out at 40 percent this month in the four-way race and falling several points short of that in most polls. That’s exactly what Breitbart/Gravis is seeing too.
One noteworthy number here is Trump’s support among black voters.
[Gravis director Doug] Kaplan said it is normal for third-party candidates to lose support as the general election gets closer…
“There is no incumbent, but Clinton is the status quo. It is common for the undecideds to break for the challenger, which would be Trump, the more she clings to Obama,” Kaplan said. President Barack Obama has strongly endorsed Clinton and promised to campaign with his former secretary of state…
Inside the poll, Trump is gathering support from communities that have been traditionally solid for Democrats. In 2012, Obama gathered 93 percent of 67 percent African-American turnout, but Clinton has support from 80 percent of black voters, with Trump’s 11 percent almost doubling Romney’s 6 percent. In 2012, the black vote was the margin of victory for Obama in seven states for a total of 112 of his 332 electoral vote total. Romney won 206 electoral votes.
It’s true that, among an electorate primed for change, you would expect undecideds and third-party voters to shift to Trump down the stretch — under normal circumstances. These aren’t normal circumstances. If Trump can’t solve his most basic problem by convincing people that he’s fit for office, there’s no reason to think late deciders will roll the dice on him. Hillary’s entire strategy, turning the election into a referendum on Trump’s qualifications, is premised on that. As for the data on black voters, 11 percent is one of Trump’s best showings of the campaign. If he can take that share state by state, it would make Hillary’s bid to flip Georgia and South Carolina that much more difficult and might help put Pennsylvania, where Obama took 93 percent of the black vote four years ago, back on the board. The catch is that 11 percent is significantly higher than various other polls have had Trump doing among black voters in the four-way race recently. The guy’s topping out in some surveys, if you can believe it, at 1-2 percent, behind even Jill Stein. Needless to say, he has no chance of winning the election if his performance on Election Day is closer to that number than to Breitbart’s.
Speaking of strongly Democratic constituencies, here’s your mind-boggling data point of the day. This one comes not from Breitbart but from USA Today’s poll of voters under 35 years old. Young adults prefer Hillary … 56/20.
The findings have implications for politics long past the November election. If the trend continues, the Democratic Party will have scored double-digit victories among younger voters in three consecutive elections, the first time that has happened since such data became readily available in 1952. That could shape the political affiliations of the largest generation in American history for years to follow.
In the new survey, half of those under 35 say they identify with or lean toward the Democrats; just 20% identify with or lean toward the Republicans. Seventeen percent are independents, and another 12% either identify with another party or don’t know.
Trump’s weakness among younger voters is unprecedented, lower even than the 32% of the vote that the Gallup Organization calculates Richard Nixon received among 18-to-29-year-old voters in 1972, an era of youthful protests against the Vietnam War.
Romney pulled 37 percent among voters 18-29 four years ago. It’s next to impossible to imagine Trump doing that well in a four-way race; remember, at least one poll has him fourth in that demographic behind Gary Johnson and Stein. He’ll have to pile up votes among older voters to erase Clinton’s advantage. The good news is that older voters are more likely to vote than younger ones. The bad news is that Trump has virtually no ground game beyond what the RNC is providing him with while Hillary, of course, does have one, so maybe the gap between older and younger turnout this year won’t be what it usually is. And there’s another concern. If it’s true that third-party support tends to dissolve in the home stretch of a campaign, as voters come to terms with the fact that they have to choose between the Democrat and the Republican if they want to influence the outcome of the race, USA Today’s data gives you a strong hint about which candidate Johnson’s and Stein’s younger bases are likely to break for. In fact, when USA Today asked Bernie Sanders’s millennial supporters how they plan to vote, 72 percent said Hillary versus 11 percent who said Trump. That’s another clue as to how late deciders might tilt.
Elsewhere today, NBC’s electoral projection map has Clinton at 288 electoral votes based on states that are either solidly Democratic or are leaning that way in the current polls. That 288 total doesn’t include Florida or Ohio. In fact, you could flip either Michigan or North Carolina from Hillary’s column to Trump’s based on this projection and she’d still finish north of 270 EVs.