The latest 2016 presidential polls are pointing to an event unprecedented in modern elections, a blowout so complete, Hillary Clinton may actually be in position to win traditionally red states like Texas, Georgia, and Arizona.
The Democratic Party’s nominee has seen a surge in the polls at the same time Republican Donald Trump has plummeted. The trend toward Clinton actually started before the first presidential debate, but it was that debate that started to send Trump into a downward spiral that has his campaign now looking at a nearly impossible path to the presidency.
It was at that debate that Clinton first baited Donald Trump into what would become a week-long spat with former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, with Trump coming under fire for his treatment of women. That led into the release of a 2005 tape from Access Hollywood in which Trump could be heard bragging about sexual assault, which itself led to more than a dozen women coming forward to accuse Trump of acting in a sexually inappropriate manner with them.
The result of this downward spiral is seen in the latest 2016 presidential polls. Hillary Clinton has cemented her lead in swing states like Florida and Virginia, where she leads in double digits, and Clinton has now started to pull ahead in states where Democrats have not won for decades.
One of these is Texas, which has been something of an aspiration for Democrats in the last few cycles. Though the state is trending blue with its growing Hispanic population, experts did not expect the Lone Star state to be in play for Democrats for at least a few more presidential election cycles.
But Donald Trump may have sped up that process. Hillary Clinton has surged in Texas, and a new poll from the University of Houston showed that she is behind Trump by just three points, 41 percent to 38 percent. This poll was also conducted before the latest of Trump’s sexual assault accusers have come forward.
Texas is not the only state that Hillary Clinton threatens to flip. In Georgia, the latest presidential polls actually have Hillary Clinton moving into lead. A new Washington Post SurveyMonkey poll shows that Hillary Clinton is ahead of Donald Trump by four points in the Peach State.
Clinton has other traditionally red states in play. As AZCentral.com noted, the latest poll from Arizona has Clinton moving into a clear lead.
Hillary Clinton is hanging on to a small but widening lead over Donald Trump in what remains an up-for-grabs race for Arizona’s 11 electoral votes, according to a new Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News poll released Wednesday.
These states would still be a challenge for Clinton to close out. As the Washington Post noted, the average of polls from Georgia still has Donald Trump winning by 5.3 percentage points and by 5.7 points in Texas, but these come from RealClearPolitics, which uses a more conservative formula for its poll aggregation and is slower to pick up national trends.
But the Washington Post report pointed out that even if Hillary Clinton is behind in the traditionally red states that she threatens to flip, she is still maintaining a dominant lead among the swing states she actually needs to win in November.
Setting everything else to the side for a moment, consider what that means. It means that Arizona — a state that has voted for the Republican in every election since 1952 save one — is closer than Florida and North Carolina. It means that Texas and Georgia are both closer than Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. It means that Indiana, home of Trump’s running mate, is closer than the perennial swing-state Nevada.
The latest 2016 presidential polls may not tell the whole story in the race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. While the most recent polling shows Clinton starting to move ahead in states like Arizona and Georgia, she could also be pulling closer in other traditionally Republican states where there has been little to no polling to see the effect of Trump’s collapse. It may not be likely that Clinton could win in these states, which include Wyoming and Montana, but if she can even pull to within single digits it would be seen as a major accomplishment.
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