Donald Trump is gaining fast on Hillary Clinton, perhaps aided by the fact that she is still unable to put Bernie Sanders away. The media made much of the first poll out of the gate that showed Trump some 13 points behind Hillary. They brought out all the historical comparisons and let us know that Trump would have to do something unprecedented if he wanted to have a shot in November.
Well, either that first poll was wildly inaccurate or Trump has gained a lot of ground over the last couple of weeks. The latest poll from NBC News shows that Clinton only 3 points ahead of Trump – 48 to 45 percent. Furthermore, they both have exactly the same amount of support from their respective party voters: 87 percent of Democrats say they’ll vote for Hillary and the same percentage of Republicans say they’ll vote for Trump.
We couldn’t know for sure how these numbers would look when we got to this point, but the conventional wisdom said that Trump would start out as a significant underdog. Well, he started out that way in the Republican primaries as well. Here, he pretty much has the support of Republican voters unified behind him.
The question now, of course, becomes how many of those voters he can mobilize to come out in November. If recent history is any indication, a lot of them. Record numbers of Republicans came out to vote for Trump in the primaries. And don’t forget about the millions of independents who never got to vote because of closed primaries. Those people exist on the left as well, but they weren’t going to vote for Hillary. They were going to vote for good ol’ Bernie, who is still determined to take this thing to the convention.
Another thing to consider: the race hasn’t really begun. Trump and Clinton are throwing the occasional bombs at each other, but the fight is still looming in the future. Anything could happen at that point, but you have to imagine that for Trump – it’s all upside. People know what they’re getting with Hillary. She’s got no room to grow. Quite the contrary, there are any numbers of looming clouds threatening to burst into torrential storms between now and the elections. And you can be sure that Trump, in the meantime, will be working on his raindance.