October 6, 2016

42% IS HIS CEILING NOT HIS FLOOR:

Donald Trump's Slip in Polls Has G.O.P. Worried About Congress (JONATHAN MARTIN and ALEXANDER BURNS, OCT. 5, 2016, NY Times)

For his party, Mr. Trump's reversal in fortune comes at the worst possible moment: Having muted their criticism of Mr. Trump in hopes that he could at least run competitively through Election Day, Republicans must decide in the next few days, rather than weeks, whether to seek distance from his wobbly campaign.

Should Mr. Trump falter badly in his second debate with Hillary Clinton on Sunday in St. Louis, Republican congressional candidates may take it as a cue to flee openly from their nominee, said two senior Republicans involved at high levels of the campaign who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss private party strategy.

Mr. Trump has already slipped perceptibly in public polls, trailing widely this week in Pennsylvania and by smaller margins in Florida and North Carolina -- three states he cannot afford to lose. But private polling by both parties shows an even more precipitous drop, especially among independent voters, moderate Republicans and women, according to a dozen strategists from both parties who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the data was confidential.

Liesl Hickey, a Republican strategist involved in several House races in swing states, said she was dismayed by a sudden exodus of independent voters in more diverse parts of the country.

"They are really starting to pull away from Trump," said Ms. Hickey, describing his soaring unpopularity with independents as entering "uncharted territory."

Mr. Trump's erratic behavior last week after his poor performance in the first debate with Mrs. Clinton -- attacking a former beauty pageant winner over her weight, and making an issue of the Clintons' marriage -- has alarmed a number of Republican senators, including Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader. Mr. McConnell expressed concern that Mr. Trump might not have bottomed out yet and could lose even more support among women, according to a Republican official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to recount a private conversation.

Posted by at October 6, 2016 9:12 PM

  

« SUNSET THEM ALL AND REQUIRE REAUTHORIZATION EVERY 5 YEARS: | Main | KNOWING YOUR ALLIES: »