Once again, Hillary Clinton disappointed last night. She lost the Nebraska caucus by double-digits and didn’t top 40% in the West Virginia primary. As many observers noted, eight years ago she won every West Virginia county. Last night, she lost every single one. It was probably the “coal miners out of work” gaffe that did it.
Now we’re seeing battleground state polls in the general election where Hillary is also not faring well. Pennsylvania, Florida, and Ohio are all close, and in Ohio Trump has a lead. In the national polling, her margin has been cut in half in the space of a month.
Most of that is because the rank-and-file Republicans are coming home and uniting behind Trump. It’s also possible Trump is getting a (related) post-nomination bounce. He hasn’t officially been nominated yet, but the perception is that Trump is victorious over his rivals. Voters like a winner.
And voters, for whatever reason, don’t seem to like Hillary. This is not a year that favors establishment politicians and Hillary is establishment to the core. The e-mail scandal is still around. It’s hard to see why the national party is so enthusiastic about nominating her. Bernie Sanders would be the much better candidate. In the meantime, to wrap up the nomination Hillary is going to have to move further to the left while still being unable to match Bernie on the real reason he’s popular: authenticity. But it looks like the party has decided on Hillary, so Hillary it is.
That means we’re probably headed for a closer national election than many predicted. Hillary will rail against “Dangerous Donald” while Trump will try to eviscerate “Crooked Hillary.” Danger, risk, versus crookedness. We’ll see how the voters decide this November.
John Wynne is the “conservative voice” at PoliticsNC, where he also provides polling analysis and commentary on legislative campaigns. When not writing about politics, he enjoys gardening and listening to opera. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.