If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, which is probable, then she will have a tough time beating Trump where it really matters — the swing states. Bernie Sanders continues to be better positioned to win in November, even though the real estate mogul is still highly competitive. Although Sanders will most likely not be the Democrats’ candidate, Clinton will have a difficult time winning without his movement’s support, and it won’t be easy to get.
The latest batch of polling comes from Quinnipiac University, and they focused on match-ups in three swing states: Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. In Florida and Pennsylvania, Clinton and Trump are in a statistical tie; both states have Clinton with 43 percent and Trump with 42, at a margin of error of three percent. In Ohio, Trump narrowly beats Clinton, 43 to 39.
Donald Trump would have a much harder time against Bernie Sanders, whose candidacy’s last hope depends on convincing the Democratic party that he is the better choice to win. In Florida and Ohio, Sanders and Trump are in a statistical tie; in Pennsylvania, Sanders wins 47 percent to 41.
The latest national match-ups also show that Sanders is a more probable to win than the former Secretary of State. PPP says Clinton would beat Trump 47 percent to 41; Sanders wins 50 to 39. Aggregated polling data from Real Clear Politics shows that the Vermont Senator has consistently outperformed in November match-ups by similar margins.
Clinton’s campaign has been particularly appealing to women voters. If she wins the White House, she’ll be the first woman president in America’s history, and her campaign has emphasized extending benefits to single mothers.
But, Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll, explained that Trump was equally popular with men.
“This election may be good for divorce lawyers. The gender gap is massive and currently benefits Trump. In Pennsylvania, Clinton’s 19-point lead among women matches Trump’s 21-point margin among men. In Ohio, she is up 7 points among women but down 15 points with men. In Florida she is up 13 points among women but down 13 points among men.”
Bernie Sanders general election advantage might seem strange, considering that Clinton is winning the Democratic primary — but part of the explanation likely comes down to favorability ratings. Sanders is the only candidate who had more respondents say they had a “favorable opinion” of him than respondents saying they had a “unfavorable opinion.”
Both Clinton and Trump were generally disliked, usually by 20 or more percent in the three states.
Further questions also showed that voters in the swing states generally believed the two leading candidates were not “honest and trustworthy” and did not “care about the needs and problems of people” like them.
Brown summed up some of the other results.
“Trump would do a better job handling the economy, voters say. He also would do a better job handling terrorism, voters in Florida and Ohio say. Pennsylvania voters are divided.”
Bernie Sanders was left out of the more detailed questions, most likely a reflection of his poor chances for picking up the nomination. Still, the senator from Vermont recently beat Hillary Clinton in the West Virginia primary by over 15 points. Sanders says he’s staying in the contest until the end, no matter what.
Even if Sanders doesn’t get the momentum he needs to convince the party, he’ll come to the convention with an army of delegates and protesters devoted to pushing planks like tuition-free higher education, Medicare-for-all, and the breaking up of the big banks. Any sign of capitulation to big money interests will likely dissuade them from showing up in November, or convince them to write in Bernie Sanders on the ballot.
The race between Trump and Clinton is tight, and if the former Secretary of State wants to feel safe about getting the White House she’ll need momentum — and Bernie Sanders is one of the few people who can give it to her.
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