Hillary Clinton has consistently led Donald Trump in preliminary 2016 presidential polls, but head-to-head national polling may only scratch the surface of the advantage she would hold over the real estate magnate.
As both Clinton and Trump move closer to securing their respective nominations, there is growing attention as to what a general election matchup between the two would look like. Though it is still very early and projections are subject to change at any point between now and November, political experts believe a Clinton vs. Trump race would produce a vastly different electoral map, one where some traditionally red states would turn blue.
Most experts believe that Clinton would defeat Trump in something close to a landslide. As the Washington Post noted, polls show that Clinton holds a significant advantage among non-white voters, which would likely push states like Virginia and possibly North Carolina solidly into Clinton’s camp.
“Overall, the former secretary of state led 50 to 41 percent among registered voters. Trump led 49 to 40 percent among white voters, while Clinton led 73 to 19 among non-whites. Trump led by five points among men, and Clinton was up by 21 among women. Trump led by 24 points among whites without college degrees, while Clinton led by 15 among whites with degrees.
“Many Republicans fear that numbers like those could doom the party to defeat in the fall, and they remain hopeful that they can stop Trump in the primaries or at a contested convention. But some Democrats worry that polling data about Trump could provide a false sense of security because voters might be reluctant to acknowledge that they intend to back him.”
The Washington Post cited experts who believe that would force Donald Trump to focus his energy almost entirely on the Rust Belt and upper midwest, hoping to peel off enough states with heavy white populations to edge Hillary Clinton’s strong advantage in polls of black and Hispanic voters.
And Democrats are already playing with a stacked deck. Journalist Ronald Brownstein of Atlantic Media refers to this advantage as the “Blue Wall,” which the Washington Post said refers to the 18 states plus the District of Columbia that Democrats have won in the past six elections. That gives even a generic Democratic candidate a baseline of 242 electoral votes, creating a number of different paths for them to reach 270.
Clinton could have other advantages in battleground states outside of this Blue Wall. Donald Trump has close to 80 percent disapproval ratings from Hispanic voters, which, if hold, would make it nearly impossible for him to win Nevada, New Mexico, or Colorado.
And some polls suggest that Hillary Clinton may peel off other traditionally red states in the southwest. Arizona, which went Republican by nearly 10-point margins in each of the past two elections, could also go to Clinton. A recent poll found that she was running neck-and-neck with Donald Trump there.
In an even more surprising revelation, a poll found that Utah voters could vote Democratic for the first time in more than 50 years. A Deseret News/KSL poll showed that voters would rather support either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders over Trump. Bernie Sanders beat Trump by 11 points in a hypothetical matchup, while Clinton won by two points.
Hillary Clinton has some other advantages that polls are starting to reveal. A Washington Post/ABC News poll this week showed that Donald Trump trails Clinton by 21 points among woman voters, one of the deepest divides of any recent election and enough to force Trump to win the white men demographic by significant margins just to keep the race close.
[Picture by JD Pooley/Getty Images]