In the approach to this evening’s debate between Donald Trump and Secretary Hillary Clinton, Americans are unsurprisingly divided according to party lines. Neither Secretary Clinton nor Donald Trump are experiencing a positive boost in enthusiastic support from outside of their base. Secretary Clinton is losing Independent voters to Donald Trump, while more Republicans seem willing to stay home, or vote Libertarian in November. Battleground States are neck and neck, and neither candidate has pulled off any monumental moments since Trumps anti-climatic visit with the Mexican President.
This makes tonight’s debate profoundly important for both Donald Trump and Secretary Clinton. Neither candidate seems capable of having a brilliant performance. Neither candidate has appeared particularly charismatic on a debate stage. What the latest Quinnipiac Poll tells me is that neither candidate will have enough popular support to get beyond 50% of the popular vote. Neither candidate has excited independent voters, whose turn out could be less than anticipated. Therefore, whichever candidate has put together the best ground operations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, Virginia, and Wisconsin will win this election.
Quinnipiac asked 1,115 likely voters who they were voting for in November. 44% said Hillary Clinton, 43% said Donald Trump, 8% said Johnson, 2% said Stein, 1% said other (presumably Castle or a write in), and 4% are undecided.
If you removed Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, Hillary Clinton’s numbers rise to 47% and Donald Trumps numbers rise to 46% with 6% saying they would be undecided.
Enthusiasm is beginning to settle in favor of Hillary Clinton. 60% of Democrats say that they are more motivated to vote in this election than in previous elections. Meanwhile, only 56% of Republicans and 52% of Independents are more motivated to vote in this election than in previous election cycles. This is bad news for Donald Trump; tonight he must give Americans, tuning in for the first time, a reason to get excited about voting FOR Donald Trump.
Tonight’s Debate could be the most watched Presidential Debate in history; partially because it pits political royalty (a Clinton) against reality television royalty (Donald Trump), partially because people honestly do not know what to make of these two candidates and partially because people are tuning in to see if Donald Trump says something horrifyingly awful or if Hillary Clinton coughs or collapses on stage. 86% of Democrats and Independents plan on tuning into tonight’s debate; while 84% of Republicans will be tuning in as well.
Confidence in and enthusiasm for one’s candidate is important at this stage of the game. 75% of Democrats say they think Hillary Clinton will win tonight’s debate, while only 61% of Republicans believe that Donald Trump will come out victorious. These numbers also explain why it is to the Democrat’s advantage to have had only a small number of candidates running for the Democrat nomination. Trump has offended numerous Republican voters; they do not expect to hear much that they’ll like from their nominee tonight. Trump needs to exceed expectations.
With regard to Secretary Clinton’s health, 90% of Democrats, 57% of Independents, and 27% of Republicans believe that Hillary Clinton is healthy enough to be President. However, unfortunately for Hillary Clinton, her positive numbers are inflated by the fact that 73% of African-Americans believe she is healthy enough to be President. Only 53% of White People believe the Secretary is healthy enough to serve.
Shockingly, 77% of Republicans believe that the United States Government has not gone far enough in curtailing terrorism with respect to the protection of our Civil Rights. A plurality of Independent voters are also looking for a strong hand against potential terror threats in the United States. I expect that Donald Trump will hammer Hillary relentlessly on her support for bringing in hundreds of thousands of Syrian Refugees. The poll showed that about half of all Americans, regardless of political party, are somewhat or very concerned that they will be victims in a future terror attack. While these numbers seem extremely irrational (statistics would indicate that there is almost no chance that an individual will be killed in a future attack), this national anxiety will certainly play into the hands of Donald Trump.
This election will come down to Virginia, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, where Secretary Clinton is currently leading Donald Trump, according to Politico. If Donald Trump can find a way to win these three States, he will be the next President of the United States of America. Trump’s best opportunity to win over new voters and independents will take place tonight at 9pm, at Hofstra University.