- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Hillary Clinton, and her campaign team, should be freaking out.

Just a few weeks ago the mainstream media was telling us the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee had this election wrapped up — that the White House was as good as hers.

Clinton spending roughly $500,000 a Day on TV ads, Trump nothing,” a Bloomberg News headline read.

Clinton dominates Trump on the ground,” Politico wrote of the two campaign’s organizational, ground game structures.

“Huffpollster: Nate Silver Says Donald Trump Has a 20 percent chance of Becoming President,” the Huffington Post wrote.

I was concerned. I’m pulling for her GOP rival Donald Trump, but the deck looked stacked against him — he’s at a fundraising disadvantage, he’s still got discontent within his own party, he hasn’t run a traditional campaign, investing in advertisement or boots on the ground in swing states, and he talks about himself more than Mrs. Clinton at his rallies, I was told.

So imagine my surprise at the results of the latest round of polling in swing states by Quinnipiac University — supposedly the gold star of pollsters.

According to Quinnipiac, Mr. Trump is leading in both Florida and Pennsylvania, and is tied in Ohio, the survey released on Wednesday read.

Florida is the biggest turnaround for Mr. TrumpMrs. Clinton led there by 1 point in the first poll conducted two months ago but had an 8-point lead in June. Now she’s trailing by 3 points.

“We know the battlegrounds are going to be close til the end. That’s why we need to keep working so hard,” Mrs. Clinton’s press secretary Brian Fallon tweeted Wednesday morning. “Trump is a serious danger, folks.”

To be sure, Mr. Trump isn’t gaining as much ground as Mrs. Clinton is losing it. Her honesty and trustworthiness numbers have taken a nosedive since the FBI director came out last week and said she’s been lying to the American people for the last 18 months in that she did send and receive classified information on her private email server and the set-up was not in compliance with State Department regulations — which she insisted it was.

An NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll released on Tuesday found similar results. Nationally, Mrs. Clinton’s lead narrowed to 3 points after several days of the FBI controversy. A strong majority of voters, 82 percent, agreed that it was inappropriate for Mrs. Clinton to use a personal email server during her tenure as secretary of state. A smaller majority — 56 percent — also said they disagreed with the FBI’s recommendation that Mrs. Clinton not be prosecuted for use of the server.

Perhaps the most startling statistic in that poll was that a third of Mrs. Clinton’s own supporters said she wasn’t honest and trustworthy. Even though Mrs. Clinton received the endorsement of rival Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders on Tuesday, issues with her honesty has been a sticking point for many Democrats during her primary run.

Just so you don’t think the NBC national poll is an outlier, a McClatchy-Marist poll of registered voters nationwide released on Wednesday showed Mrs. Clinton’s lead over Mr. Trump also slipping by 3 points, 42 percent to 39 percent, after leading by 6 points in a Fox News poll conducted in late June.

Mr. Trump will undoubtedly receive a bump in the polling after the Republican National Convention next week after the #NeverTrump movement is put to rest and the party enviably unifies. He also has yet to announce his vice presidential pick, who should also add to his numbers.

There’s reason why Mrs. Clinton’s team should be freaked out. Mr. Trump hasn’t really done anything in the traditional sense of campaigning (spending money on television ads, visiting swing states, briefing, prepping surrogates) and has received little to no positive news coverage, and he’s still pulling within the margin of error of her and her campaign machine.

A Trump victory over Mrs. Clinton in November would be so satisfying to watch. Now, we have the polling data to indicate that the possibility is within reach — no matter what the mainstream media tells you.


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