Republican front runner Donald Trump may have won New York. He may win most of the states that vote on April 26, next Tuesday, too. But, even if he wins every single vote from now to the Republican nominating convention, he has little if any chance of actually winning the White House according to the latest polls.
Of course, should he win, Trump being on the ballot only holds if the GOP leadership doesn’t come up with another plan to circumvent democracy and nominates someone other than Trump. Trump being Trump, the GOP leadership has lately been turning on its own ranks and attacking their choice. They didn’t even hold a popular vote in Colorado, for example, and awarded the entire state to serial runner up US Senator Ted Cruz.
But that’s a different story. If the Republican primary race falls back into a predictable pattern from here on out — meaning Trump, winning, winning, and then winning some more — that is terrible news for the GOP. He has not come close to winning in a hypothetical general matchup against Clinton since the beginning of December, 2015. At that time, for some reason, he was only 0.6% behind Clinton. Whatever it was, it was a fluke, because by the end of the month he was back to trailing by about 6 points.
The numbers coming up in the polls now are the closest to those recorded way back at the start of the campaign season than they ever have been. In July 2015, the Real Clear Politics polling average of a Trump/Clinton race the next November had the former First Lady winning by almost 20 points. The numbers now have about a 9 to 10 point Clinton win projected, up from the 2 to 6 point gap predicted from October all the way through March.
You can see in the chart below. The blue line represents Clinton, and the red Trump. The numbers in the top right key are the latest averages, and the blue bars at the bottom represent the margin of Clinton victory.
Polls have been released in the past week on this matter from NBC & the Wall Street Journal, FOX, and CBS. The most recent one, from NBC, predicts an 11 point margin of Clinton victory. Trump only garnered the support of 39% of voters to Clinton’s 50%. The analysts at Five Thirty Eight give NBC/Wall Street Journal polls an accuracy rating of “A-.”
Now, if you add up those two previous numbers you see a problem. 39 + 50 is only 89. 11% of voters in the NBC poll identify as undecided, and it is going to be some ride watching either candidate trying to woo any of them. Both Clinton and Trump have record unfavorability ratings.
On the Democratic side, a whopping 1 in 3 Bernie Sanders supporters have said that they would not vote for Clinton, with some even expressing preference for Trump. And Trump doesn’t do much better among his potential base. Polls out of California, for example, show that just about everyone who isn’t planning to vote for Trump on June 7 would be some form of unhappy should the businessman receive the nomination. And unhappy voters don’t vote.
As for these two candidates being the ones on the ballot in November, they are the respective front runners but far from sure in that position. Cruz on the right and Sanders on the left could still make comebacks. The GOP has the added variable of a potential convention that chooses the nominee on the convention floor.