Society
Society

Defeating Clinton May Not Be As Easy As Trump Thinks

| by Robert Fowler

If Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wins Indiana during the May 3 primary, he will likely cruise to the GOP nomination. However, data on the business mogul’s general election prospects suggests that triumphing in the Republican primary may be the last victory he gets to enjoy.

Trump’s popularity within the Republican party has been steadily rising just as his closest competitor Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has fallen out of favor.

Going into the Indiana primary on May 3, Trump has a net favorability of 24 positive points among Republican and right-leaning voters while Cruz has a net favorability of negative 6 points, according to Gallup.

Trump is now turning his attention to a potential general election match against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. He has assured his supporters that she will be an easy opponent for him.

"She’s easier to beat than some of the people we’ve systematically beat," Trump told his supporters during a Maryland rally in April, according to Breitbart. "Trump versus Hillary, that will be so much fun. I really want to fight Hillary"

The business mogul’s confidence, however, does not line up with the data. He may be eager to take on Clinton, but current polling suggests that he will have his work cut out for him in a general election.

Clinton will not be a popular presidential nominee. Aggregating polls from March 19 through April 26, the former Secretary of State has a net favorability of negative 16.5 points among all voters, according to Real Clear Politics.

That deficit in popularity pales in comparison to Trump’s average from the same time frame. He has a net unfavorable rating of negative 37 points among all voters -- more than double Clinton's.

The stark contrast between Trump’s favorability within the Republican party and the general electorate is partly because his GOP opponents were unprepared for his rise. Republican operatives told The Huffington Post in February that virtually none of Trump’s rivals for the nomination had conducted thorough research into his background.

Meanwhile, an unnamed Democratic opposition researcher estimated at the time that 80 percent of the unflattering skeletons in Trump’s closet had yet to surface. While the Republican candidates have been ill-prepared to attack the business mogul, the Clinton campaign will likely have a well-stocked arsenal of material to slam him with as the general election race unfolds.

Trump also has deep unfavorable ratings among women and minority groups. As of April 1, 70 percent of American women held an unfavorable view of the business mogul, according to Gallup. As of March, 77 percent of Hispanics were unfavorable towards Trump.

That may not influence Trump supporters’ confidence in their candidate, but women have voted more than men by a sizable number of percentage points in every election since 1980, according to Rutgers.

Meanwhile, Hispanics are a fast-growing part of the electorate, and Trump’s stances on immigration appear to have alienated them.

To make things even more precarious for the business mogul, the battle between Trump and Clinton may rest in one state: Florida.

A poll conducted by the Associated Industries of Florida found that, as of May 2, Clinton would defeat Trump by a whopping 49 to 36 percent in the Sunshine State, according to Politico Florida.

Twenty-nine Electoral College votes are at stake in Florida, making it a highly-prized swing state. If Clinton trounces Trump there,  that spells doom for him in the general election.

Trump is still the front-runner for the Republican nomination and much can change in the months leading up to November, but if these current numbers hold then he will be blown away by Clinton.

Sources: BreitbartGallup (2) (3), The Huffington Post, Politico Florida, Real Clear Politics (2), Rutgers / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

If the general election were today, could Trump defeat Clinton?
Yes - 0%
Yes - 0%

Popular Video

Popular Video