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Posted by on Apr 28, 2016 in At TMV | 3 comments

HRC v. Trump: Epic Blowout?


Now that the 2016 Presidential primaries seem to be settling on a Clinton-Trump election, Josh Marshall has a couple of articles up on Talking Points Memo suggesting an epic blowout.

The first (CORRECTION: by Tierny Sneed, not Josh Marshall) describes Trump’s abysmal poll numbers with women.

When it comes to Donald Trump’s women problems, the top-line polling numbers are just the tip of the iceberg.

The real estate mogul’s sexist rhetoric coupled with his clumsy posturing on policy issues that already hamstrung Republicans with female voters have exacerbated a gender gap that helped President Obama defeat Mitt Romney in 2012.

It’s no secret that Trump — whose latest antagonization was his insistenceTuesday night that Hillary Clinton was relying on the “woman card” — is turning off women in huge numbers. But Trump is not just angering the women who were maybe leaning Democratic anyway.

Current polling shows Trump is turning off the subset of women voters who are typically up for grabs in elections and who in other cycles have swung races towards Republicans. He is even alienating the type of dependable Republican female voters who turned out for Romney the last time around. To make matters worse for him, Trump’s deficit among women are blunting some of the vulnerabilities Clinton would be facing if pitted against a less controversial Republican.

The second deals with a different voting group where Trump figures to do worse than other Republicans.

One of the key voting blocs that has gone Democratic over the last fifty years is professionals. It’s a census category and after the November election, there will be surveys that will allow us to chart their vote, but in the meantime, you can get a rough estimate by looking at voters with advanced degrees. These are not the same as voters with the highest income. They make up about a fifth of the electorate nationally and close to a quarter or more in states like Maryland, Oregon, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Obama won these voters over Romney by 55 to 42 percent in 2012. If you look at the Republican primary results this year, they are the one group that Trump does not do well among. In Pennsylvania yesterday, Trump got only 38 percent of these voters. Kasich got 32 percent and Cruz 25 percent. And they made up 20 percent of the electorate. (By comparison, Trump got 70 percent of the voters who had no more than a high school diploma.) In Michigan, another swing state in November, Trump got only 23 percent of these voters and Kasich got 37 percent.

In a contest between Clinton and Trump, this group may flee the Republican party en masse. There is almost nothing that Trump is saying that will appeal to them. I would expect something like 60-40 or 62-38 percent margins. And that could make it very difficult for Trump in many swing states. And it could also hurt down-ballot Republicans in states like Pennsylvania, New Hampshire or Illinois where there will be competitive senate races.

Cross-posted from The Sensible Center

caricature by donkeyhotey via flickr