Donald Trump speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona on 8/31/16. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (CC-By-SA 2.0).
Donald Trump speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech in Phoenix, Arizona on 8/31/16.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (CC-By-SA 2.0).

You would have to be incredibly partisan not to see that Donald Trump’s general election prospects have improved significantly over the past few weeks.

Where he currently stands.

In terms of national general election 4-way polling, that includes Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, Donald Trump is in a statistical dead heat with Hillary Clinton according to Real Clear Politics’ average of polls. Hillary Clinton has a 1.1% lead. The last poll recorded, NBC News/Survey Monkey, gives her a five point lead. Before that Fox News showed her with a one point lead over Trump. CBS/New York Times has the race tied, as does Reuters/Ispos. Quinnipiac and the Economist/YouGov polls showed Clinton with a 2 point lead.

I do have to note that if it were any other candidate other than Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton would be losing right now.

That’s national polling and national polling is, in my opinion, fairly meaningless.

Looking at the Electoral Map there has been a definite improvement for Trump.

The last time I wrote about the electoral map Hillary Clinton, not including the toss-up states, held a 229 to 154 advantage. According to Real Clear Politics that has dropped to a 200 to 164. Here are some recent significant changes to the RCP electoral map that help Trump.

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-12-16-58-pm

  • Wisconsin was switched from leans Clinton to a toss-up state.
  • Pennsylvania switched from leans Clinton to a toss-up state.
  • Virginia went from leans Clinton to a toss-up state.
  • New Hampshire goes from leaning towards Clinton to a toss-up state.
  • Michigan goes from leaning towards Clinton to a toss-up state.
  • Missouri goes from a toss-up state to leaning Trump.
  • Colorado goes from leaning Clinton to a toss-up state.

Not to mention Trump is closing the gap in traditional blue states like Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey. That doesn’t alter the electoral count yet, but it does make the map look a whole lot friendlier to Donald Trump. It also will force Clinton to utilize resources in states that should be safe for her.

If the election were held today, based on current state polling, the electoral count would be 272 to 266 in favor of Clinton which is a far cry from 340 to 198 a couple of weeks ago.

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-12-31-51-pm

This is an incredible change.

Reasons for this?

  • Independent voters are tacking toward Trump.
  • Trump is starting to pull blue collar workers with his trade message.
  • The Clinton Foundation news has hurt Clinton’s already damaged credibility.
  • Concerns over Hillary Clinton’s health and her ability to serve has made an impact.
  • The basket of deplorables comment made by Hillary Clinton has been damaging to her campaign much in the way Mitt Romney’s 47% comments hurt him in 2012.

Also the recent terrorist attacks over the weekend in Minnesota, New York and New Jersey all have the ability to help Donald Trump if he is perceived to be stronger on terrorism and the fight against ISIS.

Since he wrapped up the nomination in May I have believed that this election was Clinton’s to lose. She appears to be doing just that. Last week was the first time I have ever felt that Donald Trump could actually win the election. We have seen a perfect storm. Trump has (by his standards) largely stayed on message. You have independent circumstances – Clinton’s health and the Clinton Foundation – that are damaging her. Then she makes an unforced error of her own with the basket of deplorables comment.

This race is going to be a dogfight. The debates are going to be vitally important, and any additional crises could make this race turn on a dime.

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