Donald Trump Now Losing Florida After Alienating Everyone but White Dudes
Donald Trump's growing Florida problem isn't complicated. The Sunshine State is the most diverse of the big swing states up for grabs in November's election. More than a quarter of residents here are of Hispanic descent, and 15 percent or so are black.
Over the past month, Trump has practically gone out of his way to alienate every single voting demographic except for white guys. That's not a winning strategy in Florida.
A new swing-state poll out this morning from Quinnipiac University confirms that self-evident fact. Just a few weeks after polling had found a near tie in the Sunshine State between Trump and Hillary Clinton, this morning's results find the Donald down 8 percent in Florida — well outside the margin of error.
"Secretary Hillary Clinton is pulling ahead in Florida," Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll, says in a release. "It is Hillary Clinton's best state and perhaps Donald Trump's toughest lift. One reason might be Florida has a larger Hispanic population than the other two states, and Trump has clashed with Hispanic leaders over some of his remarks."
A deeper dive into the poll numbers backs up that idea. Nearly six out of ten voters in Florida agreed that Trump's comments about Judge Gonzalo Curiel's Mexican heritage were "racist," the poll found.
Not coincidentally, nonwhite Florida voters support Clinton by a silly 72-to-15 percent margin.
That number alone almost tells the whole story of Trump's seemingly hopeless outlook in the state, but the Q poll actually has even worse news for the real-estate magnate.
He's fading in support among men, with just a 45-to-41 percent edge over Clinton, and is losing in the party loyalty test as well (an area where Republicans usually dominate). Just 82 percent of Florida's GOP voters plan to vote for Trump, while 93 percent of state Dems back Clinton.
Clinton also clocked in as more intelligent, with higher moral standards and as better prepared to be president in voters' opinions. Voters give Trump a slight edge in being better at taking down ISIS (48 to 42 percent), but Clinton has a much stronger backing as the candidate more ready to take on an international crisis (54 to 39 percent).
Trump's only dominating victory in this poll was on the question of which candidate voters would rather invite to their backyard barbecue. (Think those voters realize Trump is a teetotaler?)
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Trump clearly knows he's got a serious problem. Yesterday he fired lightning-rod campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in an effort to shake up his campaign.
But the negative headlines don't look likely to abate. This morning, in the wake of his first campaign finance filing, reporters have already discovered that Trump has funneled a huge percentage of his campaign spending so far back to his own companies:
Trump directed ~20% of his campaign spending in May—$1.1M—to firms he owns & travel reimbursements for his kids https://t.co/y4yboQ2lm0— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) June 21, 2016
His biggest expense to date, in fact, has been a payment to his own private membership club.
Trump's single biggest campaign expense in May was a payment of $423,371.70 to Mar-A-Lago, a club that he owns.— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) June 21, 2016
If Trump is going to win Florida — which, by all accounts, he needs to complete any electoral college win — he'll have to start winning votes outside the white-dude demographic and stem the wildfire of negative press.
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