By Steven R. Maher
Four days until the Presidential election, the polls continue to trend to Donald J. Trump.
States like Colorado, which were recently considered solidly blue, now are almost dead even.
For Democrats and Hillary Clinton, these are times that try men’s (and women’s) souls. Recently I was talking to a fellow political junkie about the election and he suggested watching Lawrence O’Donnell’s “Last Word” on MSNBC at 10 PM. On Wednesday, November 2, 2016, I took his advice and watched the show, and quickly grabbed the remote to record it. There was an excellent report on a poll of early voters which indicates that there may be an undercurrent of support for Clinton among “Never Trump” Republicans. A poll by “Targetsmart” and William & Mary of early voters show Clinton may be doing much better in the race than mainstream polls indicate.
• Targetsmart’s polling shows that Clinton is capturing 28% of Florida Republican early voters. Thus, when the early voters are merged with potential voters, the actual Clinton vote is 46% versus 40% for Trump. Mainstream polls have shown Trump dead even with Clinton in Florida. Targetsmart is “the only tracking survey with early voting returns in Florida,” said O’Donnell.
• The poll showed Trump leading Clinton in Arizona by 49% to 44%. The same poll shows incumbent Republican Senator John McCain ahead of challenger Ann Kirkpatrick by a 54% to 41% margin.
O’Donnell believes that 5% of the McCain voters voted for Clinton. Clinton has 33 Arizona field offices set up to organize voting by identified Clinton supporters. Arizona Republic reporter Dan Nowicki told O’Donnell that Trump had little organization on the ground in Arizona, and is relying on his campaign rallies and free media to get his voters to the polls. Despite the hit from the FBI probe, Clinton doubled her Arizona media buy to $1 million.
• In Wisconsin, the Marquette University poll – which is considered the gold standard for that state – had Clinton leading Trump by 46% to 40%. Democratic Senatorial candidate Russ Feingold is leading Republican Ron Johnson by a margin of 45% to 44%. The 4% difference between Trump’s standing in the poll and Johnson’s are, according to O’Donnell, Republicans favoring Clinton.
• In swing state Ohio, Republican Senatorial candidate Ron Portman is openly approaching Clinton supporters at campaign events for campaign sign locations. Most polls have Ohio dead even.
It may be too early to count Clinton out. She has invested millions of dollars into setting up field offices in the swing states to get out the vote. As the campaign dwindles down to the last few days and the polls continue to tighten, historians may credit Clinton’s election to her long ago decision to invest in her “get out the vote” organization.