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Clinton Has Ten Point Advantage in Polls Against Drumpf (Trump)

2016-05-04

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According to the New York Times (NYT) Donald Drumpf is trailing Hillary Clinton by about ten percent in national polls, giving her a nearly insurmountable advantage in the Electoral College.  Current polls show her winning 347 to 191 electoral votes.  Clinton’s current standing matches Obama’s standing in 2012 except that she is ahead in North Carolina, a state Obama won in 2008 but lost in 2012.  The only state in which she is polling worse than Obama is New York, and even there she is still well ahead of Drumpf.  Even if Drumpf were to improve his standing by five percent in each state, he would still lose by 285 to 253.  Only if he improved by ten percent in each state would he win the Electoral College.

Losing ten percent in the opinion polls in every state between now and November is highly unlikely but possible.  The NYT gives as an example the 1980 election, when Jimmy Carter was ahead of Ronald Reagan in the opinion polls at this point.  The key factor in the 1980 election was the presence of over 400 American hostages in Iran after the invasion of the American Embassy in Tehran.  Carter’s inability to resolve the hostage crisis was the cause of his loss to Ronald Reagan in the 1980 election.  If he had terminated the situation there would have been much more public opinion in his favor and he would have had a chance to win.  The Iranians were aware of this perception on the part of the American voters and they used it to force Carter out of office.

Reagan used his agents to sell anti-aircraft missiles and arms to the Iranians in exchange for cash which he used to fund the “Contras” (rebels fighting the government of Nicaragua) in contravention of specific Congressional bans on payments to the Contras.   The International Criminal Court (whose jurisdiction the US doesn’t accept) condemned these actions. Eleven of Reagan’s staffers were convicted in this scandal; Reagan claimed he had no foreknowledge of the plot, but Congress stated that “if he didn’t know what his staffers were doing, he should have.”  When news of the plot became public, Reagan’s popularity declined from 67% to 46%, the biggest drop in a week in the history of popularity polling.  (Wikipedia)

It would take a scandal of the order of Iran-Contra or the hostage crisis at the American Embassy to have sufficient negative effect on Hillary Clinton to boost Drumpf to victory in November.  It is certain that the Republican strategists have many bogus scandals waiting for the right time to be revealed in the news media; these are the only weapons that they expect to have sufficient effect to pull off a victory for Drumpf in the November election.

Republicans are well aware that their policy positions are disapproved by the majority of the American electorate and that they have no chance of winning based on a comparison of their policies with those of the Democrats.  They know that they must play the popularity game to smear Clinton sufficiently for at least a brief period of time surrounding the election.  Look for revelations of some manufactured scandal implicating Clinton to appear in the closing weeks of the presidential campaign, most likely some time in October.

(The two cats are named Morgan and Kitten; they were raised together.)

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