The media loves the horse race narrative. That means between now and November 9, the public can expect to be treated to a myriad of stories about the race between Trump and Hillary “tightening.” Yes, polls will shift as they did just very recently with one poll showing Trump ahead (statistically a tie) and another with him down by one (another statistical tie). But the reality is, Hillary Clinton still has a healthy lead over Donald Trump. In the RCP average she is leading by 4.5 points and in the 538 polling forecast, she still has a 75% chance of winning the election at this point.
People are continuing to say Trump has time to turn things around and win. That’s wishful thinking. Hillary is a terrible candidate but unless there is an absolute collapse on her part, we will likely hear “Madame President” for the first time in US history.
That said, there is a silver lining to all of this, at least for now. In a new USA Today poll where Hillary is leading Donald Trump by seven points, it appears down ballot Republicans may stave off some losses as Hillary supporters are looking to split their votes:
In a nationwide USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll, a third of Clinton’s supporters, 32%, say they are “very likely” to split their votes, and another 20% say they are “somewhat” likely. Twenty percent say they are “not very likely” to split the ticket, and 23% say they’ll vote for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot.
In contrast, a majority of Donald Trump supporters say they probably or definitely will vote only for Republicans. A third, 33%, say they plan to vote a straight GOP ticket up and down the ballot, and another 20% say they are “not very likely” to vote for Democratic candidates for other offices.
This could change and so what this says is the GOP had better start directing resources into some of the Senate races in danger of flipping to Democrats. A Hillary Clinton presidency is going to be bad enough without her having a Democratic led Senate and Chuck Schumer as majority leader for at least two years.
Contrary to the bellowing of the anti-establishment contingent, the Republican Party has been relatively effective in keeping President Obama from implementing a great deal of his agenda. For those who continue to exclaim the GOP gave him “everything he wanted” it flies in the face of facts. For example, Obama hasn’t been able to get any of his anti-gun proposals to his desk for signature.
A GOP led Senate will be critical to keeping a President Hillary in check. This poll offers a glimpse it is possible for the GOP to retain their Senate majority. I certainly hope so.