Conventional wisdom says the 2016 election is Hillary Clinton’s to lose. National polls have had her leading Donald Trump by 10-15 points. But if we’ve learned anything from recent elections, we know that only about eight states really matter. A new Quinnipiac University Poll tested a Clinton-Trump match-up in three of the biggest swing states – Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Let’s start with Ohio. No one wins without Ohio. And there, Trump holds a lead of four points, 43-39 percent. And what bodes especially well for Mr. Trump is that this poll indicates 18 percent are undecided. Most pundits agree that everyone has pretty much made up their mind on Hillary Clinton. So that leaves a lot of room for growth in the Ohio numbers for Mr. Trump.
Let’s move to Florida, the biggest of the swing states. Clinton holds a one-point lead, 43-42 percent. If she squeaks by in Florida and hold the states that Democrats have won in each of the last four elections, she wins the White House – period. But these numbers leave an undecided electorate at 15 percent. Florida can go either way.
Finally, let’s move north to Pennsylvania. This is the best news of the Quinnipiac Poll for the Republican. Pennsylvania has become a reliable Democratic state in recent election cycles. That Trump is competitive here is big news. And in the Keystone State is a toss-up, with Clinton leading by one point.
Overall, these are good numbers for the Trump campaign. His strategy is to hold the key Republican states and a few swing states, while challenging for the rust best – Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, for example.
The 2016 election isn’t over. In fact, it hasn’t started. If you live in Ohio, Florida, or Pennsylvania, get ready. You are about to see Trump and Clinton – a lot. The next six months should really be fun.