Polls show that the race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump could transform the traditional electoral map, with Trump’s growing weaknesses among important voter blocs opening up battlegrounds even in traditionally red states like Arizona and Utah.
The presumptive Republican nominee has been embroiled in a series of controversies since wrapping up his primary battle against Ted Cruz and John Kasich, including claiming that a Mexican-American judge overseeing the fraud trial against his Trump University is biased because of his Mexican heritage.
The controversies have sunk Trump’s already low favorability ratings among some key groups, including women and Hispanic voters. That has led to a series of polls showing Hillary Clinton with a slight lead or among striking distance in some states that rarely go to Democrats — including Kansas and Georgia.
But Arizona could be the biggest battleground, the Washington Post noted.
“There is no recent reliable public polling in Arizona, but Democratic and Republican strategists said private research shows the presidential race as a toss-up.
“Asked whether presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has a path to victory here, GOP strategist Charles Coughlin conceded: “I believe it’s there if she wanted to do it. Everybody always says, ‘This is the election when Latinos turn out,’ and it’s never happened. But I can actually see that happening this time.”
Other polls have shown Hillary Clinton with a slight lead in Utah, a state that has voted Republican for more than 50 years. It was a state where Trump had what was likely his worst performance of the Republican primary, and where prominent Trump critic Mitt Romney still carries great influence.
— Jason Linkins (@dceiver) June 17, 2016
Clinton isn’t targeting Arizona now, but is hiring staff. GOP operatives concede she can win it thanks to Trump https://t.co/klCa115hrt
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) June 18, 2016
So far, Hillary Clinton has not targeted Arizona, Utah, or any of the other traditionally red states. This week, her campaign made an eight-figure advertisement buy for television time in Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Colorado, and Nevada.
These are the swing states likely to be the focus on Hillary Clinton. While winning Arizona or Utah would be a boost to Democrats, that would likely only come in a race that’s already a blowout, making these states far from critical.
But polls show that Hillary Clinton is beating Donald Trump in the more traditional swing states as well. An aggregate of polls from Talking Points Memo shows that she is up nearly six percentage points in Ohio, which has been the deciding state in each of the last few elections.
Trump could face even more trouble in the Buckeye State. Governor John Kasich, who scored his only Republican primary win in Ohio, remains opposed to Donald Trump. As Time noted, it could be a major blow to Trump in a state he would certainly need to win.
Kasich, who ran against Trump in the primary, was asked on MSNBC Thursday about the pledge he signed saying he would support the eventual nominee.
“It’s painful,” the Ohio governor said, NPR reports. “Look I’m sorry that this has happened. We’ll see where it ends up. I’m not making any final decision yet, but at this point, I just can’t do it.’ ”
Clinton holds leads in other battlegrounds being targeted by Trump, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire.
The national polls in the Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump race shows the same trend. Since wrapping up the nomination and receiving the bump that typically comes when one party comes together around a candidate, he has seen his numbers plummet and Clinton now holds a lead of more than seven percentage points in Pollster‘s tracker.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]