Lion of the Blogosphere

Polls and Republican candidates vs. Clinton or Sanders


I copied this image from the RealClear Politics latest polls page.

We see that in a Trump vs. Clinton matchup in Pennsylvnia, voters only prefer Clinton by 3 points. Now if you examine Pennsylvania’s previous voting record, you will see that Republicans lost Pennsylania each of the last 5 elections, and the only election lost by only 3 points was 2004. Romney lost by 5 points and McCain lost by a whopping 10 points.

Republicans trying to stop Trump say they must stop him because it would be a huge disaster at the voting booths for the Republican Party, but at least this poll shows that’s totally false and that Trump outperforms the Republicans in the last two elections in the state of Pennsylvania.

The poll shows that Cruz only has a 3 point advantage over Trump in a matchup against Clinton, and is tied with Trump in a matchup against Sanders. I don’t know why Trump would be more popular than Cruz relative to the Democratic candidate when they are running against Sanders, and the poll has a margin of error, so I would split the difference and say that Cruz only has a slim 1.5% relative advantage over Trump.

That relative advantage is according to this poll. This poll doesn’t reflect how the MSM will go after Cruz the way they have been going after Trump. This poll reflects all of the bad information about Trump, but little of the bad information about Cruz. Furthermore, this poll doesn’t show how Trump supporters will feel after they perceive that the nomination was stolen from the candidate they feel passionate about.

Taking the above into account, common sense tells me that Trump will do much better in the general election than Cruz.

Commenter dsgntd_plyr writes:

I had a thought about Cruz and the MSM. They’ll destroy him because he doesn’t have Trump’s skills at playing the media, and I think he thinks he’s so smart and right (and not Trump), that somehow they’ll be fair to him.

Trump has the best chance in the general election of all republicans, and the party is throwing that away because they won’t compromise to their right on immigration and trade.

I agree! Well according to the poll, Kasich has the best chance of winning in the general election. That may even be correct, but Kasich is never going to have that chance. Based on how Cruz is positioned to win a delegate fight, the only real choice for the GOPe right now is Donald Trump or #LoseWithCruz.

If Democrats believed these polls, they would dump their support for Clinton and get behind Sanders really fast. Every poll shows that Sanders is liked a lot more by general-election voters than Clinton.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 7, 2016 at 1:42 pm

Posted in Politics

26 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Kasich and Sanders do well simply because they’re the least well known. Hillary and Trump have been around forever. Kasich would probably win though cause he’s such a nice seeming guy that all the suburban moms won’t believe he’s like the icky Republicans.


    April 7, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    • The only negative information I see coming out against Sanders is that he’s a “socialist,” and I don’t have a good feel yet for whether that will make much of a difference, as it’s already out there.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 7, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      • And to think that used to be pretty damning! Now people just shrug it off, “we’re all socialists now.”

        Mrs Stitch

        April 7, 2016 at 3:05 pm

      • He’s done a lot of pandering that could be used for campaign ads.


        April 9, 2016 at 1:40 am

  2. Polls at this point in an election cycle are pretty meaningless. Many candidates are not that well known to voters and they only vaguely know what to think of them.

    Clinton is well know by most people so they have a well formed opinion. Trump has made himself very well known, so opinions of him are starting to be well formed. Curz, Sanders and Kasich are still relatively unknown.

    I would not read much into these polls.

    Mike CA

    April 7, 2016 at 2:22 pm

  3. I hope Rafael Cruz will never get the nomination. He has too many MAJOR issues — foreign born status (dual citizenship at the time of his birth was not allowed in Canada; he sealed his birth records for a reason), allegations of prostitution and multiple affairs, no-show attendance at the Senate, pathological lying. Instead of focusing on these serious flaws, the MSM choose to attack Trump incessantly with non-issues surrounding his retweet, campaign manager, etc. No sense of proportion, no foresight (who’s going to watch their biased reporting anymore, especially if Trump is no longer in the picture.)


    April 7, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    • Rafael Cruz is this year’s Barack Hussein Obama.



      April 7, 2016 at 11:29 pm

  4. Man these polls are even more worthless then they were before. Anyone who claims Cruz has a better shot than Trump better leave politics and get another career. Did you see him in New York? This Cubano claims to be Hispanic, but he just got a long raspberry from the Big Apple for his clumsy New York Values attack on Trump. There were Hispanic guys calling him a racist! If you’re supposed to be Hispanic and people call you a racist, you suck at politics.

    Joshua Sinistar

    April 7, 2016 at 4:32 pm

  5. I’m not a big fan of these state by state analysis. While its true the electoral vote is decided on a statewide basis, the popular vote in most states usually winds up close to the national average. It has seemed otherwise because the popular vote margins in post Cold War elections have been fairly small, only two elections where it went over 5%. Win the popular vote over 5% and you win most states.

    The state by state stuff comes into play with really close elections, under 1% popular vote margin, like in 2000, and you can never predict when these happen. Even in 2000, Bush was leading Gore consistently by 3 or 4% throughout the campaign, right up until the end. He should have been able to win Florida fairly comfortably.

    Pennsylvania has an interesting electoral pattern, in that the Democrats usually win by a few percentage points more than in the nationwide electoral vote, though not by much. A Republican presidential candidate last carried the state in 1988, when he won by about 7% nationwide. Since then, the only time the Republican candidate won the nationwide popular vote, he won it by 3%.

    On the substance of the post, Kasich should be doing better than Cruz and Trump in the general election. He is more personable than the others, more presidential in appearance, and has a stronger record in government. His views are much closer to that of the median voter than Cruz. Trump’s positions on immigration and trade are actually closer to the median voter than Kasich, but then Kasich has and will get much more favorable media and Trump appears to be more extreme.

    I suspect that you would be looking at Kasich winning the nomination without Trump and Cruz. The GOP establishment was blindsided by the revolt of rank-and-file Republicans, and the extent to which half preferred the tea party candidate or a “personality” with better views (for them) on immigration. They ran something like a dozen candidates, which divided the vote and media attention too thinly.

    On the Democratic side, Sanders has polled better in general election matchup than Hillary Clinton for some time. I think that though Sanders has emerged as a fairly strong campaigner, this is more reflective of Clinton’s weaknesses. Her supporters have been arguing that she is more electable than Sanders, though this is directly contradicted by the polling evidence. They are reduced to arguing that she has taken more criticism from opponents. Once reason that Sanders has taken less criticism is that he has a fairly scandal free record in public life, unlike Clinton.


    April 7, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    • “They ran something like a dozen candidates, which divided the vote and media attention too thinly.”

      Yeah, this was dealt with constantly on the pro-Trump “Conservative Treehouse” – their explanation, which I think is totally credible, is that all those ridiculous candidates like Pataki and Lindsay Graham were there to split the vote intentionally, so as to allow the GOPe chosen candidate — Jeb Bush — to win in the WTA states. Things didn’t work out as planned.


      April 7, 2016 at 11:32 pm

  6. I am 100% for Trump but if we lived in a different country (e.g. Sweden, Norway) someone like Sanders would make a lot of sense. Unfortunately, we live in a very fractured society, by design, and his policies do not make sense here. I can’t blame his mostly lily white supporters for liking him, but they are ideologically blinded to reality.

    Panther of the Blogocube

    April 7, 2016 at 6:07 pm

  7. This poll reflects all of the bad information about Trump, but little of the bad information about Cruz.

    It also doesn’t reflect the fact part of that gap is the result of Republicans who, at this moment, have a negative opinion of Trump because they support other candidates but who will eventually back him once the primary is over.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    April 7, 2016 at 7:01 pm

  8. Sanders would be tough for Trump in so many ways. I still see legal immigration as the only tool Trump could use to beat Sanders. Like I was saying before, when you are weak on one (legal versus illegal), it makes you seem insincere and untrustworthy on the entirety of the issue. Immigration is a huge economic issue. It can be painted that way, tighten the labor market, reduce wealth inequality, all that good stuff. Bernie is weak on illegal, but had once made a remark favoring a reduction in legal. There’s a huge opening there if Trump wants it. I see no other way for him to win. Sanders doesn’t have a bunch of dirt. You have to out populist him.


    April 7, 2016 at 7:09 pm

  9. bernie isnt ‘strong’ on legal immigration at all. if he was in the past he isn’t anymore. numbersusa gives him the worst possible score on immigration as a whole, even worse than hillary. he’d be the best candidate by far if he wasnt a shmuck on immigration/race but his immigration sins make him unforgivable.

    james n.s.w

    April 7, 2016 at 7:45 pm

  10. Us on the left greatly appreciate what Sanders has done to legitimize our views to the rest of the Democrats and America at large. Plus now I get hipster cred for being into socialism way before it was even cool.


    April 7, 2016 at 9:06 pm

  11. He’s gotten weak on illegal immigration, but he’s been mute on legal. That issue will still be available to him if Trump doesn’t start making a big deal about it and forcing others to make statements.


    April 7, 2016 at 9:14 pm

  12. Analysis of swing states suggests Trump would comfortably beat Hillary Clinton.

    “First, polling several months prior to a race is not terribly predictive in general.

    Second, Trump has consistently confounded polls and projections that predicted he could never win (ditto for Sanders, for that matter). Ceteris paribus, there is no reason to believe these dynamics would fundamentally change in the general election: Trump has been antifragile—rising ever-higher despite (in many respects because of) scandals and gaffes that would have ruined most campaigns. The ridiculous amounts of money being spent on negative ads against him in critical states seem to be totally wasted.

    Third, there are currently six candidates in the race, and the hope that another candidate may ultimately win the nomination affects how people perceive theoretical head-to-head matchups. When the only possible candidates are Trump v. Clinton, the public is going to break towards Trump.

    Delegate Map, Clinton v. Trump

    Again, what matters in a general election is who wins swing states and who turns out their base. So let’s see how things look in a head-to-head between Clinton and Trump:

    Remember the majority of swing states that Hillary has either decisively lost or tied in? Six of these have voted on the Republican side, and Trump handily won half of them (New Hampshire, Nevada, Florida). Trump also carried all of the swing states that Clinton won in except Ohio–and in that case, he nearly defeated a sitting governor with an active campaign infrastructure still intact from his recent re-election. Kasich only managed to pull off a victory at the 11th hour, after Rubio instructed his voters to vote for the governor instead. In Florida Trump managed a landslide victory over Rubio on his own turf in the process and secured an endorsement from current Florida Governor Rick Scott. As for the solidly-red southern states that comprise most of Clinton’s pledged delegate lead–guess who carried all of these rather decisively on the Republican side, and often with record turnout? That’s right, Donald Trump.

    That is, Trump is likely to decisively beat Clinton in virtually all of the states that she has performed strongly in so far, and seems poised to win many of the states she lost as well. This leaves her relying heavily on the solidly blue states, which overwhelmingly voted against her in the primaries, suggesting that enthusiasm will not be high with her base. Forget national polling. When one takes a sober look at the electoral map—at who can turn out their base in solidly partisan states and appeal in swing states, based on how the primaries have turned out thus far, the edge is cleanly with Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.


    April 7, 2016 at 10:32 pm

  13. Stop blaming the GOPe! The GOPe is not the problem. The TruCons are.

    Otis the Sweaty

    April 7, 2016 at 11:04 pm

  14. Bernie doesn’t have the solid grasp of details that he is cracked up to have. The interview in the Daily News showed that.


    April 7, 2016 at 11:33 pm

  15. LotB, you’re always mentioning prominent folks that you think read your blog. You may wish to add Steve Wynn to the list:

    “rich people only like being around rich people, nobody likes being around poor people, especially poor people.” (H/T ZeroHedge)

    Though, that’s been his business plan for more years than you’ve had this blog. So, perhaps not incontrovertible proof.


    April 8, 2016 at 12:43 am

  16. “AP-GfK Poll: Americans overwhelmingly view Trump negatively

    WASHINGTON (AP) — For Americans of nearly every race, gender, political persuasion and location, disdain for Donald Trump runs deep… 7 in 10 people, including close to half of Republican voters, have an unfavorable view of Trump… It’s an opinion shared by majorities of men and women; young and old; conservatives, moderates and liberals; and whites, Hispanics and blacks.”


    April 8, 2016 at 10:48 am

    • What are some viable solutions? He’s been smeared like no one I’ve ever seen. Candidates opposed to Trump have essentially received 2 billion dollars worth of negative campaign ads.


      April 8, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      • Be a better candidate? I dunno. He’s not so great in my opinion.


        April 9, 2016 at 12:04 am

  17. Link to the full Associated Press poll here:

    Trump is as liked as Cruz (both poll at 26% favorable) but more disliked (69% to Cruz’s 59%). Hillary has 40% approval and 55% unfavorable.


    April 8, 2016 at 11:13 am

  18. Sanders might have a chance, but only if he makes it to the general.


    April 8, 2016 at 3:48 pm

  19. Trump is doomed. Sorry. It’s just mathematically the case. The GOP-E hates him, as do the Trucons.


    April 8, 2016 at 4:08 pm

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: