Did Donald Trump really just surge past Hillary Clinton in two of the election's most important battlegrounds?It's widely believed that Quinnipiac polls skew Republican -- but in late July 2012, a Quinnipiac poll done for The New York Times and CBS had President Obama up by 6 over Mitt Romney in Florida and Ohio, and up by 11 in Pennsylvania.
New swing-state polls released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University show Trump leading Clinton in Florida and Pennsylvania -- and tied in the critical battleground state of Ohio....
Trump leads by three points in Florida — the closest state in the 2012 election -- 42 percent to 39 percent. In Ohio, the race is tied, 41 percent to 41 percent. And in Pennsylvania -- which hasn't voted for a Republican presidential nominee since 1988 -- Trump leads, 43 percent to 41 percent.
Oh, and if you don't believe Quinnipiac, Monmouth University has Trump up by 2 in Iowa.
Clinton still has a lead in the national McClatchy-Marist poll, but it's gotten smaller:
Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump has withered to 3 percentage points, signaling their battle for the White House has become too close to call heading into the two major-party national conventions, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll....The good news for Clinton is that this is the immediate reaction to FBI director James Comey's Emailgate press conference, and the anger about this nothingburger will fade (somewhat). The bad news -- and this isn't news, because it's been true for months -- is that "Hillary is awful" has settled in as the default opinion of a plurality if not a majority of Americans, including some who'll vote for her in November.
Either way, Clinton’s support has slipped noticeably, particularly in the one-on-one matchup with Trump. It was the first time her support had dropped below 50 percent in polls going back a year.
When I say "default opinion," I mean that a lot of Americans now think Hillary is awful because that's what their friends and neighbors seem to think -- hating Hillary is a safe, mainstream, non-controversial opinion in much of America. It's easy. It doesn't require a lot of thought. It has the ring of truth because so many people say it.
Fortunately for Clinton, opinions of Trump are worse -- though not by much.
It would take an extraordinary effort on Clinton's part to turn this around, and I'm not sure it's possible before November, barring a major event such as a sudden death or health crisis in Clinton's family.
Disapproval can be contagious, and inexplicably so -- look at what happened to Jeb Bush in the Republican primaries. Was he really so far from the Republican ideal? Was he that much worse than Mitt Romney four years earlier? Is he that much more "establishment" than Chris Christie or Mike Pence, either of whom will be seen as having a golden glow by Trump fans if handed the glass slipper by the presumptive nominee this week? Sure, Jeb deviates from GOP orthodoxy on issues such as immigration and Common Core, but on how many issues does Trump deviate from GOP orthodoxy?
I don't like Jeb, but he got a raw deal. Hatred of him simply became a trend in his party, an easy way of saying "I'm disgusted with politicians in general." Nationwide, except among Democratic stalwarts, the same thing has happened to Hillary Clinton. As a result, despite the fact that the GOP is running the worst major-party candidate of our lifetime, this is going to end up a two- or three-point race -- probably in Clinton's favor, but don't bet the house on that.
New WSJ/NBC/Marist state polls. Story soon:— Capital Journal (@WSJPolitics) July 13, 2016
Even if Clinton wins comfortably, I'd bet a small sum of money that she'll lose Ohio.