These numbers are simply amazing. Trump is viewed unfavorably by at least 80 percent of some of the groups that Republican strategists had hoped the GOP might improve among: young voters and Latinos. He’s viewed unfavorably by three out of four moderates. That GOP autopsy into what went wrong in 2012 has been torn to shreds and scattered to the winds from the top of Trump Tower.
Just as bad, this new polling further undercuts the already weak case for an implausible Trump victory: the idea that he can win by making surprise inroads in relatively white states in the industrial Midwest, thus riding a wave of working class white anger into the White House. Trump is viewed unfavorably by a narrow majority of non-college whites (52 percent).
What’s more, these new numbers also suggest other complications to Trump’s working-class-white strategy that we’ve discussed before: Trump seems uniquely positioned to alienate white women and white college graduates to an untold degree. This renders the working-class-white strategy’s math even more far fetched.
In our polling, Trump is viewed unfavorably by 68 percent of white women and 74 percent of white college graduates. If a lot of white women view Trump unfavorably, that would complicate his chances of over-performing among working class whites. And if Trump under-performs among college educated whites (and alienates nonwhites to an untold degree), he might need truly enormous margins among working class whites (who, as noted above, already view Trump unfavorably) to make up the difference.
Can Trump win by driving up tremendous, great, terrific, and huge margins among white men? Well, even they view Trump unfavorably, by 51-47.
These numbers illustrate just how badly Trump has already hurt himself among many voter groups — indeed, among pretty much all of them! Of course, it would be folly to suggest that these numbers can’t change. And some Democrats are urging a tougher approach to Trump right now, to make sure they don’t. But that brings us to our next item.
* DEM DONORS WANT TOUGHER APPROACH TO TRUMP: Politico’s Gabriel Debenedetti reports that a group of Democratic donors is urging the Hillary Clinton campaign and its top outside allies to go much harder at Trump right now, even though the primaries are still underway:
In weekly conference calls, periodic meetings and closed-door campaign fundraising events, a vocal group of Clinton’s top funders are calling for a more immediate and aggressive approach to Trump, reflecting a sense of urgency born of the real estate developer’s domination of news cycle after news cycle….the rising tide of feedback is noteworthy — a sign of mounting unease with an unconventional opponent who may outwardly seem easy to defeat but who has already dispatched 14 primary rivals.
This seems reasonable enough, given how unpredictable and expectations-defying Trump has proven. The Clinton campaign could be going harder at Trump’s bigotry, for instance. But one imagines the Clinton camp is already thinking along these lines.
* MADDOW PRESSES SANDERS ON DELEGATE STRATEGY: The other day, we reported that the Sanders campaign intended to try to flip super-delegates even if he trails narrowly in the pledged delegate count and the popular vote. In her interview with Bernie Sanders last night, Rachel Maddow pressed him on this point, and he said:
“I don’t want to get too deeply into process here. First of all, we hope to be ahead in the delegate count. That’s the important thing. But what I do believe is that there are a lot of super-delegates who have signed on to Hillary Clinton a long, long time ago. Then you have other super-delegates in states where we have won by 20, 30, 40 points. And the people in those states are saying, ‘you know what? We voted for Bernie Sanders by 30 or 40 points — you gotta support him.’ So we’ll see what happens down the line.”
Sanders also confirmed to Maddow that his campaign is already lobbying super-delegates to switch. Video of the interview is here.
* HILLARY LEADS BERNIE IN NEW YORK: A new Quinnipiac poll finds that Clinton leads Sanders by 54-42 among likely Dem primary voters in New York. The breakdown:
Women pick Clinton over Sanders 59-37 percent, while men go 49 percent for Sanders and 46 percent for Clinton. White Democrats are divided with 48 percent for Clinton and 47 percent for Sanders, while black Democrats back Clinton 66-31 percent….Sanders also leads 63-36 percent among voters 18 to 44 years old, while Clinton takes older voters.
The breakdowns tell the same old story. Remember, Sanders not only has to win in states like New York to make up Clinton’s delegate advantage. He has to win big.
* TRUMP WINNING BIG IN NEW YORK: The new Quinnipiac poll also finds that Trump leads in New York with 56 percent of likely GOP primary voters; Ted Cruz has 20 percent, and John Kasich has 19 percent. This supports the idea that Trump — even if he loses Wisconsin — could take big strides towards the nomination in the big northeastern states.
Oh, and Clinton beats Trump in a general election match-up here by only 53-33. Trump has said he could beat her in both their home states.
* HILLARY CAMPAIGN SEES TOUGH FIGHT IN NEW YORK: CNN reports:
Clinton is preparing to spend far more in New York than she originally budgeted….the campaign is girding for a fight and knows it needs to spend money to win…The Clinton campaign has devised a strategy that has the former New York senator spending considerable time courting voters in the state’s reliably Democratic media markets: New York City, Rochester, Buffalo, Albany and Syracuse…she isn’t approaching the contest as a slam dunk and is well aware of Sanders strength in New York.
Though the delegate math still looks very tough for Sanders, the outcome may not be completely clear until late April, after the voting in big states such as New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
* WHY BERNIE MIGHT WIN WISCONSIN: Bloomberg Politics explains it:
Wisconsin is a state with a heritage of progressive politics. Clinton is expected to perform well in Milwaukee, but the base of the Democratic Party here is more progressive than the Republicans are conservative. Liberal voters handed Barack Obama a victory of 18 percentage points over Clinton in 2008….For Clinton, a loss would amplify doubts about her appeal in key Midwestern states and her team is downplaying her chances in Wisconsin.
The key task for the Clinton camp is to keep any Sanders victory here close, so the delegate math doesn’t really change. Still, a win would give his campaign a new burst of energy (and money).
* WHY A WISCONSIN WIN WOULD BE SO BIG FOR CRUZ: Politico’s Eli Stokols explains it:
If Cruz wins Wisconsin’s primary, it would serve notice that the Texas senator can win widely outside the South and embolden the super PACs that are finally pumping millions into a campaign to stop Trump to fight on.
After Wisconsin, the fight shifts to more favorable terrain for Trump, but this undoubtedly would give the #StopTrump movement a reason to keep going.
Unfamiliarity with the process has led to wild speculation about the rules governing the process and rumors that party leaders might work to “steal” the nomination from Republican primary voters. [RNC chair Reince] Priebus has spent considerable time trying to explain that any contested convention would run according to long-established rules. This new website is another part of that effort.
Oh, okay then. As long as rules are followed, I’m sure that if Trump is denied the nomination, he’ll accept the results quietly and refrain from trying to rupture the party on his way out.