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Donald Trump’s immediate goal of winning the Republican nomination was bolstered yesterday by the most recent NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking poll which shows him with 48 percent support among Republicans and Republican-leaners, 20 points ahead of his closest rival Ted Cruz.
Although there is still some doubt about whether Trump can gain enough delegates to win the nomination outright on the first vote, the contention that either Cruz or John Kasich could easily beat Trump in a two-person race is becoming increasingly absurd. All signs certainly point to Trump either winning the delegates he needs or being in a very strong position at convention time.
However, the bad news for Trump and his supporters, and the news that gives his Republican opponents their most logical talking points, are the polls that match him up with Hillary Clinton. The most recent Quinnipiac has Clinton leading by 6 points, and that’s the good news; the others are far worse, all the way down to Bloomberg’s disparity of 18.
One of the selling points of the Trump campaign, ironically, is the assertion that he can expand the Republican tent and draw voters who typically wouldn’t vote for a “pure” social conservative or even a Republican. With every poll that matches him against a Democrat and showing him at the losing end (oddly enough, Bernie Sanders beats Trump and the other Republicans even more handily than Clinton does), should his supporters lose heart?
I don’t think so, and here are a few reasons why:
1.) Ronald Reagan was down by almost 30 percent to Jimmy Carter at this point in the 1980 election and didn’t lead until late summer. Let’s not compare Trump to Reagan just yet, but if we’ve learned anything from this election cycle, it’s to never underestimate a populist candidate who at least seems to want to put Americans first.
2.) The #NeverTrump people are loud and boisterous and threatening all sorts of electoral mayhem. They’d rather shake hands with Satan than name Trump to a pollster. However, when the dust settles and they are faced with the very real prospect of Clinton and her 3-4 Marxist Supreme Court nominees, most will hold their noses and vote for the person who at least gives conservatives a fighting chance, even if they think that chance is pretty low.
3.) What Trump has done to the other Republican candidates is going to seem Ben Carson-like compared to the apocalyptic frenzy of whoop-ass he’s about to unleash on Hillary Clinton. When he’s done with her, his own missteps will pale in comparison. Even if she isn’t indicted by the time the election rolls around, Trump will make sure she is severely discredited.
4.) Should he win the nomination, this thing will get way bigger than Donald Trump. He will choose a running mate. We’ll get a better idea of who he would have in his cabinet and what kind of people he would nominate for the Supreme Court. It won’t just be a vote for or against Trump anymore, and that’s a good thing.
Clinton may very well beat Trump or any other Republican nominee, but it’s only logical to assume that polls conducted in a primary season will be skewed by the factional battles currently underway. Trying to accurately predict the outcome of a match-up that isn’t even on the table yet is speculation at best, so one should definitely take these polls with a strong grain of salt.
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