In the week since Donald Trump’s complete collapse in his head to head debate with Hillary Clinton, nearly every national poll has shown the Republican nominee taking a complete nosedive. Polls have begun emerging showing Trump down 5-6 percent, and by as much in some polls as 10 percent against Clinton.
And it might even be worse than it appears. Internal polls – which have a tendency to show the candidate paying for them in a better position than public polls – are reportedly showing a massive collapse for Trump.
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.”
These voters are not responding well to Trump’s unhinged attacks on former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, who has become a symbol of the nominee’s bias against women and Latinos. They also don’t like the way he is engaging in gutter politics, by promising to bring up President Bill Clinton’s marital infidelity.
Yet Trump seems undeterred by the negative reception he’s received for these proposals. Surrounded by a phalanx of “yes” men and women, Trump seems to believe that these lines of attack will work for him and expand his support beyond the uneducated older white males that are the bulk of his supporter.
That probably isn’t a good bet.
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