One of the weirdest things about this election is just how much the map seems to be changing, and not necessarily in the Republican candidate’s favor. Typically Red, or at least Crimson-Purple, states are shifting toward the Blue. Hillary, at one point, looked to run up the score in order to maximize her win. Weeks of negative media coverage for Clinton coupled with Donald Trump’s campaign actually seeming more professional at times has created this weird shift where, suddenly, the race seems to be virtually tied in swing states.
For example, a new CNN/ORC poll shows that there is a 1-point difference between Clinton and Trump in Pennsylvania and Colorado.
In Colorado, likely voters break 42% for Trump, 41% for Clinton, 13% for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 3% for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Pennsylvania’s likely voters split 45% for Clinton, 44% for Trump, 6% for Johnson and 3% for Stein. Those divides are well within each poll’s 3.5-point margin of sampling error.
The new results in two battleground states underscore the closeness of the race and come as the candidates prepare to square off Monday night in their high-stakes first debate at Long Island’s Hofstra University.
In both states, sharp divisions among whites by education are evident, with white college graduates choosing Clinton over Trump by 11 points in Pennsylvania and 16 points in Colorado, while whites who do not hold four-year degrees break in Trump’s favor by 19 points in Pennsylvania and 22 points in Colorado.
That is a pretty big deal going into tonight’s debate. Clinton’s saving grace was that Trump is viewed so negatively by the electorate. However, she’s somehow managed to narrow the gap all by herself, and it’s made this an actual contest. The polling trends show Hillary at just over 2 points up on Trump, which is not really indicative of a major victory, and it suggests that tonight’s performance is vital to the success of her campaign.
Trump, God help us, could win tonight. And Clinton could fall in the polls. Not by much, and not certainly outside the margin of error… but, a close race may not favor her in the long run.