by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Quite a few Donald Trump fans are convinced that their man would beat Hillary Clinton resoundingly in a general election, carrying a slew of blue states where Republicans aren’t generally competitive in general elections.
Wayne Allyn Root’s assessment is typical. “New York is only the start,” he wrote. Trump can win Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ohio, too, Root contends, because there are lots of middle- and working-class voters there who relish Trump’s honesty and politically incorrect style.
If that was true, you would think polls would show that Trump is running better than, or at least on par with, an average Republican in these states. They don’t.
In New York, the most recent Siena poll has Clinton beating Trump, 57 percent to 34 percent. This is not a reflection of phenomenal popularity on her part; the survey finds 48 percent of registered voters in the Empire State feel favorable to her, and the same percentage feels unfavorable. But, the protestations of Root and other boosters aside, voters in Trump’s home state like him even less than Clinton; only 29 percent have a favorable view of him, compared with 59 percent who see him unfavorably. And what limited support Trump does get in New York doesn’t come from blue-collar voters, either: He does best among those who make more than $100,000 per year, and a full 64 percent of voters in that group still have an unfavorable opinion of him.
The outlook is equally grim across the river in New Jersey, where Trump’s Atlantic City casinos once made him a key employer. Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind survey, conducted last week, shows Clinton leading Trump 52 percent to 36 percent among registered voters in the Garden State. When asked to offer one word that describes Trump, New Jerseyans most commonly answered “arrogant,” “idiot,” “good,” “bad,” “obnoxious,” and “ass.”