Donald Trump was never going to win California. He was never going to win Connecticut, despite reiterating over the weekend that he intended to do just that. And he was never going to win his home state of New York.
Some new numbers drive that last point home. A new survey from the Siena College Research Institute gives Hillary Clinton a 30-point lead in the state both she and Trump claim as their home territory. Clinton leads Trump in liberal New York City, of course, by 55 points. (A reminder that the one county Trump lost in the Republican primary in the state was his own: Manhattan.) But she leads him in the more blue-collar environs of upstate as well, by 11.
This lead isn't too different than those Barack Obama enjoyed after his conventions in 2008 and 2012. Immediately after the two party conventions in 2008, John McCain had a slight bump in the polls (thanks in part to the Republican convention being held second that year). But that faded by the end of September.
How poorly is Donald Trump doing in New York? Asked if he is qualified to be commander-in-chief, less than half of Republicans say yes -- and the percentage of those saying yes is only slightly greater than the percentage of those saying no.
That's the root of the problem: New York Republicans aren't very enthusiastic about Trump's candidacy. We've noted that soft support from Republicans is the reason Trump trails nationally; in New York, Trump only gets 55 percent of Republican votes -- far lower than the percentages enjoyed by Republican candidates in the past two elections.
Here's how poorly is Trump doing in New York: For every four Republicans in this poll, two back Trump, one backs Clinton and one hasn't made up his or her mind (rounding a bit). That is not a recipe for success.
In June, we cast a critical eye at Trump's purported efforts on the ground in New York, which don't seem to have ever been implemented in any meaningful way. That's probably for the best; for all of Trump's bravado about the states he figured he could win, it's smarter for that to have been just talk than for Trump to have actually spent time or money in the states.
Not that he's not spending time and money in those states. Trump's rally in Connecticut, following a fundraiser there, is inexplicable. He only trails Clinton by single digits in the state, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls -- but that's only because there hasn't been a poll in a couple of months. Because: why poll? Of course Clinton's going to win Connecticut, a state that Democrats have won by double digits since 1996. Trump's rally packed 'em in, but getting a few thousand raucous supporters to show up to hear a speech is very different than getting 270,000 people to show up at the polls (which is how many more votes Mitt Romney would have needed in 2012 to pass Barack Obama).
The question is whether or not Donald Trump ever actually thought he could win New York or Connecticut or California. Such a reorientation of the map in our heavily partisan electoral climate would require a massive landslide of the sort not seen in decades. Trump may have come into the campaign thinking that his novelty and unorthodox approach would result in such an event, but given that he's never once registered more than 46 percent in the RealClearPolitics polling average nationally, that has always been out of reach.
There's an outside chance that we could see such a landslide this year, we'll note. But if it happens, polling suggests that it will be against Trump, not for him.