Donald the Swinger - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Donald the Swinger
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Some states you can put in the bank every fourth November. California for the Democrats, various states in Dixie for the GOP. This is what makes the so-called swing states so critical for any candidate who wishes to win the White House. These are politically competitive states with large numbers of electoral votes. Let’s pick three at random, oh, say, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

OK, polls don’t mean much just now, with so many political milestones and events ahead of us before voters have their say. Polls will probably start telling us how the Horse Race is going beginning a week or so after both conventions. Even so, the Donald is likely pleased to be either ahead or tied in all three of these critical states, according to polls released by Quinnipiac.

Quinnipiac shows Trump ahead of Mz Hillary in Pennsylvania by 43 to 41 percent in the race for that state’s 20 electoral votes. No Republican has won Pennsylvania since 1988 when George Herbert Walker Bush, running as Reagan 3.0, bested Zorba the Clerk, aka Michael Dukakis. In Ohio it’s a dead heat at 41-41 for 18 electoral votes. In Florida, the big electoral prize at 29 electoral votes, Trump holds a 42-39 percent lead. All of these are within the margin of error.

Let’s linger over Florida, where I hang out (and where it is NOT a dry heat), the formerly red but now purple state that went to Obama by an eyelash in 2012. It’s truly difficult to imagine how Trump arrives at 270 electoral votes in November without Florida’s 29, more than 10 percent of the required total. For the moment Trump is rising in the Sunshine State. The same Quinnipiac showing a small Trump lead now showed Clinton ahead of Trump 47 to 39 so recently as to have been June.

Hard to say what accounts for the shift, or, in a season when so many polls have missed various votes by wide margins, if the polls are actually measuring anything. Could be that recent events have reinforced the idea that Clinton can’t be trusted with a candy bar, let along with the country. In the most recent poll, Trump won the “who is more honest and trustworthy” sweepstakes by 50 to 37 percent. (A nice margin, but isn’t this a bit like beating a frog in a less-ugly contest?) The “who has higher moral standard” question produced a 42-42 tie. Though with either of these two, it’s hard to imagine when considering moral standards what respondents had in mind.

Larry Thornberry
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Larry Thornberry is a writer in Tampa.
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