With national polls tightening, and Election Projection’s electoral vote count following suit, the race for the White House is shaping up to be just that – a race. Some claim, not entirely without rationale, that the last couple weeks have been more of a blip than a trend. However, over at the Cook Political Report, a wonderful resource for the politically-and-election-obsessed, Amy Walter highlights deeper concerns with Clinton’s campaign that may indicate a true shift is occurring.
There is continued disquiet among many Democrats that Clinton’s troubles are more than just surface wounds. New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin reported this week on focus groups conducted by progressive groups showing Clinton struggling to motivate young African American voters. For a party that has depended on a strong showing by non-white and young voters in the last two presidential elections, this was a disquieting discovery.Another top Democratic strategist I spoke with recently had a similar take on Clinton’s challenges with these so-called Obama coalition voters. “Clinton has actually said the right things about racial justice, and the DNC convention hit the right notes,” he told me. “The problem is motivating people who mistrust the electoral process – politicians can’t do that. If there is a problem in Brooklyn [the HQ of the Clinton campaign] it would be depending on too great a turnout from African American voters in their calculations about everything from her schedule to their ads. She seems to be more interested in getting endorsements from Generals and establishment Republicans than the leaders of Black Lives Matter or other people who speak to young people today.”
From primary results and southern state polling, I actually find the idea that Clinton is having trouble with minorities to be strange. She performed best in primaries in the south – in Louisiana, in fact, more Democrats voted than Republicans, and Hillary won that state going away. Moreover, her polling numbers in places like Georgia and even South Carolina and Mississippi hardly suggest she’s having difficulties getting the support of blacks. That said, perhaps her difficulties will lie with transferring their support into votes come Election Day.
Republican Senate candidates are polling ahead of their Democratic challengers in four key swing states according to Quinnipiac’s latest polling. Unfortunately for GOP designs on the White House, they are also polling ahead of Donald Trump in those states. Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, Rob Portman in Ohio, Marco Rubio in Florida and Richard Burr in North Carolina are all leading in the Quinnipiac surveys. However, the presidential Q-polls released over the same period paint a different picture. Trump does lead in Ohio by 1 point, but he’s tied in Florida and losing in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Nevertheless, all four states are highly competitive at this point on the presidential level. And GOP leads in the Senate races bode well for their chances to keep the majority.