By Bonnie K. Goodman
A major battleground state is moving into Republican Nominee Donald Trump’s column, Trump now leads in Florida. According to the latest Bloomberg Politics poll published on Wednesday morning, Oct. 26, 2016, Trump now has a slight lead over opponent Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in Florida, one of the must-win battleground state. Meanwhile, a Florida Atlantic University Business and Polling Initiative also released on Wednesday, indicates Clinton has an advantage in Florida with early voters, but Trump leads with those planning to vote on Election Day Nov. 8. The numbers show a race getting closer as Election Day approaches.
The Bloomberg Politics poll has Trump with 45 percent support from Florida voters, while Clinton has 43 percent support in a four-way race. In a two-way race, Trump has 44 percent to Clinton 44 percent support. Trump’s advantage is with independent voters in a two-way race Trump has 43 percent support from independents while Clinton has 41 percent. In a four-way race, Trump’s lead widens to 44 percent while Clinton loses 4 percent falling to 37 percent.
In contrast, the Florida Atlantic University Business and Polling Initiative has Clinton with a three-point advantage. Clinton leads 46 to Trump’s 43 percent. The poll mainly looked at early voter trends, where Clinton lead widens 54 percent to 41 percent among voters that have already voted. Trump has the advantage with voters that are waiting for Election Day 50 to 36 percent. The poll also looked at nominees’ likeability among voters, where it seems that they are choosing between the lesser of two evils. Clinton has 44 percent favorability and a 54 unfavorable rating. Trump fares worse with only 40 percent favorability and a 57 percent unfavorable rating.
The polls infuse some hope in the Trump campaign. Campaign manager Kellyanne Conway appeared on “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday determined the GOP nominee would win the state. Conway expressed, “The path would be much harder without Florida, and that’s why you’re going to see him – but we’re going to win Florida, so it’s not even part of the calculation.” According to RealClearPolitics (RCP) polling average Clinton only leads Trump by 1.6 percent in Florida.
Some national polls are indicating that Clinton is losing some of her steam after Trump’s scandals over a 2005 tape where he boasted of groping women and the 11 allegations of sexually inappropriate advances afterward, which were the most challenging stretch of his campaign. With some reliable recent polls showing the race a virtual tie. The RealClearPolitics (RCP) polling average shows Clinton’s once 7.1 percent lead dropping to 5.1 percent.
Trump is also faring well in the important must-win battleground state of Ohio. According to a Remington Research (R) poll released on Tuesday, Oct. 25, Trump leads by 4 percent, 46 to Clinton’s 42 percent. A Suffolk University poll from Thursday, Oct. 20 shows it was a tie in Ohio with Clinton and Trump both with 45 percent. Clinton’s lead is narrowing Pennsylvania with her RCP average falling from 8.7 points to 4.4 points. The latest Monmouth University poll for New Hampshire has Clinton going from a 9 point to only 4 points.
Trump senior policy adviser, Peter Navarro released a memo on Wednesday is that the tide is turning towards Trump. Navarro wrote, “The message of a candidate of change draining the swap is growing louder and louder, and it is going to get to a crescendo by Election Day.” A number factors are lowering Clinton’s numbers, Wikileaks release of campaign chairman John Podesta emails give insight into her campaign, and they do not endear her to the electorate, and the news from Tuesday, Oct. 25, that ObamaCare premiums are going to be raised by 25 percent.
The movement shows the campaign is far from over even though there are only 13 days left. CNBC senior columnist Jake Novak might have said it best in op-ed published on Wednesday, Oct. 26 “Stop it with the Clinton coronation. Trump can still win.” Novak indicates that polls show a must closer race than most pundits want to admit, while he also points to Stony Brook University Professor Helmut Norpoth, whose model successfully predicted all elections since 1912 except for 1960 claiming Trump will win.
As Novak notes, both candidates have something against them neither are liked, but Trump still is attracting larger than average crowds for his rallies showing his appeal to his base. Also going in Trump’s favor with a vast majority of Americans believing the country is moving in the “wrong direction,” Trump is campaigning as the candidate of change while Clinton is mostly campaigning as an incumbent continuing President Barack Obama’s legacy. The economy is still facing problems has been a major concern for disgruntled voters that have both supported Trump and in the Democratic primaries Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
With nearly two weeks to Election Day, Clinton supporters and some of the more liberal media can cheer and calculate her margin of victory, but the campaign is not over. Like the old sayings of counting your money before you have it or your chickens before they hatch, Clinton has not won yet. The 2016 cycle has a been a roller coaster of a campaign, one of the most volatile in history, and there might be some more surprises in store. Hopefully, only by the early hours of Nov. 9 will one candidate be declared the winner, only then can they and their supporters celebrate and bask in the glow of victory.