It is becoming increasingly clear that the US election will come down to a handful of "must win" battleground states, and with Hillary Clinton pulling away from Trump in recent polling, many had written off the republican candidate. However, momentum may be shifting Trump's way after the latest poll from Bloomberg showed that Donald Trump has regained a slim advantage in one of the most important battleground states, Florida, as key independent voters narrowly broke his way.
The poll found that the Republican presidential nominee has 45% to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 43% among likely voters when third-party candidates are included, the poll found. In a hypothetical two-way race, Trump holds on to a fractional lead with 46% to Clinton’s 45%. Most notable is that among independents, Trump gets 43% to Clinton’s 41% in a head-to-head contest. When third-party candidates are included, Trump picks up 1 point with independents while Clinton drops to 37%, with Libertarian Gary Johnson taking 9 percent and the Green Party’s Jill Stein getting 5 percent.
The surprising poll result promptly sent the Mexian peso, considered a market indicator of Trump's victory chances, lower when it was announced early this morning.
Cited by Bloomberg, pollster J. Ann Selzer, who oversaw the survey said that “this race may come down to the independent vote,” said . “Right now, they tilt for Trump. By a narrow margin, they opted for Obama over Romney in 2012.” President Barack Obama won independents in 2012 by 3 percentage points, and the overall state by less than a point, his narrowest victory that year.
Trump’s showing in this poll is stronger than in other recent surveys in the state. Clinton had an advantage of 3.1 percentage points in the RealClearPolitics Florida average on Tuesday.
Incidentally, this is what a crowd at one of yesterday's Trump rallies in Sanford, Florida looked like:
Trump rally crowd in Sanford, FL. How many do you think are here? I'll post an official crowd estimate later. pic.twitter.com/S50kqJICcY— David Martosko (@dmartosko) October 25, 2016
Despite the turnaround in the state, it would not be sufficient on its own: Florida, one of two states Trump calls home, is rated by major election forecasters as a toss-up or leaning toward Clinton. If Trump won all the states Mitt Romney did in 2012, plus Florida’s 29 Electoral College votes, he’d still be 35 electoral votes short of the 270 needed to win the White House.
Bloomberg notes that this poll was conducted Friday through Monday, covering the first two days of Trump’s three-day campaign swing there. Both campaigns are focusing heavily on the state in terms of advertising and time. Clinton planned to be there Wednesday for the second day in a row and Obama will stump there on her behalf on Friday.
The survey included 953 registered voters who said they’d already cast ballots or plan to do so, including an oversample of 148 Hispanics to allow for a more statistically solid analysis of their views. The margin of error on responses from just Hispanics is plus or minus 6.7 percentage points.
- Clinton gets 51 percent of the Sunshine State’s Hispanic vote and 49 percent of those under age 35 in the two-way contest, while Trump has 51 percent of seniors and 50 percent of those without college degrees. Other groups Clinton wins handily in the two-way contest include non-whites (+33 points), those in the Miami area (+30 points), and those with college degrees (+10 points).
- Demographics where Trump is recording some of his biggest advantages over Clinton also include rural residents (+31 points), those in the more conservative northwest Florida Panhandle (+14 points), and those without college degrees (+9 points).
- Half of Trump's supporters say they're either mostly skeptical or convinced that Florida ballots won't be counted accurately, while 54 percent of Clinton supporters are completely convinced voting counting will be precise.
“This poll suggests Trump has more opportunity in Florida than some think is realistic given his poor standing with Hispanics,” Selzer said. “But he does well with groups that are key to winning there, including older, more reliable voters. Clinton depends on younger voters and a strong presence at the polls of black and non-Cuban Hispanics.”
One of the key recent variables is newsflow surrounding the price surge in Obamacare, coming at a critical time for Hillary Clinton, who according to national polls, enjoys a comfortable lead. However, as we previewed back in May, the official admission surrounding Obamacare's price hikes, expected to lead to double-digit price increases in 2017, will likely play a deciding role in turning if not the core voter base, then some of the key independent voters.
We expect that Trump will continue hammering on the message of Obamacare, and specifically its repeal, as a key factor in turning opinion his way with promises of repealing the broadly unpopular tax. Sure enough, moments ago Trump suggested that Obamacare will be a core focus of his upcoming campaigning over the last two weeks of the presidential cycle.
REPEAL AND REPLACE OBAMACARE!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2016