The path to Donald Trump’s 270 got a little bit clearer on Wednesday with the release of a new Bloomberg Politics poll. According to the survey, Trump now leads Hillary Clinton 48-43 percent in the Buckeye State, erasing Clinton’s advantage in less than a month’s time. The poll, taken during one of Hillary’s worst campaign weekends, offers the Trump campaign some much-needed breathing room as we head into the final two months of this interminable election season.
To catch up and pass Hillary, Trump has had to not only overcome demographic changes in the swing state but also a feud with Ohio Governor John Kasich. After this year’s nasty Republican primaries, Kasich has avoided any association with Trump and his well-oiled Ohio campaign machine has not helped the GOP nominee at all since the convention.
While some pundits thought that Kasich’s cold shoulder could cost Republicans the state in November, Trump has managed to make lemonade out of lemons.
His “America First” philosophy is widely embraced in Ohio, especially among white working-class voters who have watched both political parties fail them time after time. The state, once a major manufacturing hub for the country, has seen its economy stagnate in recent years despite innumerable promises from ascendant politicians. In Trump, Ohio voters see a man who understands the root causes of their fiscal sorrows.
Beyond that, however, Ohio voters aren’t being misled by the media’s portrayal of Trump’s message as inherently pessimistic. Rather, they see Trump himself as the living embodiment of the American Dream – a man who does not apologize for using the free market to make himself a billionaire many times over. Merely by embracing his wealth rather than hiding from it, Trump has brought back that sense of aspirational wealth that has been missing from American politics for too long. That message resonates in a state where unions are weakening, jobs are scarce, and Democrats are relying solely on a “redistribution” strategy that turns many Americans off.
According to J. Ann Selzer, a pollster who oversaw the Bloomberg survey, the numbers don’t just show Trump with a lead over Clinton; they also suggest that “more Republicans than Democrats would go to the polls in an Ohio election held today.”
Trump’s winning the political argument and he’s winning the enthusiasm war. Anyone who thought that Hillary Clinton was going to smoothly sail into the White House was greatly mistaken.