Hillary Rodham Clinton must be having a recurring nightmare, brought on by Donald Trump gaining two percentage points on her lead nationally, according to a new NBC News/Survey Monkey poll.
The nightmare is from 2008, and in it, someone creeps up on her unassailable lead, and then leaves her in the dust, wondering what happened. That time, it was Barack Obama. This time it is Donald Trump.
Its deja vu all over again, as Yogi Berra would say.
Now that the other GOP contenders are out, muddying the waters, the poll shows Hillary still in the lead, but that lead is melting away.
Trump Gains on Clinton
Three interesting numbers come out of that poll, resulting in her leading him by only three points, 48 percent to 45 percent. With African-Americans, she leads him 84 to nine percent. The numbers narrow with Latinos, but only slightly, 65 percent to 28 percent. With moderate voters – who are they? – she leads by a 14 point margin, 53 percent to 39 percent.
That looks like a sizeable lead, so what is it that wakes willy in a hot sweat?
With independents, Trump leads Clinton by eight points, 44 percent to 36 percent.
Apparently, many of those independents are voting for Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries. Independents are a problem for Hillary, because they say they prefer Trump over Hillary, and would never vote for her. They see The Donald as a renegade, and they see him in the same way they see Sanders.
Looking at the number of delegates now, Bernie has virtually no chance of winning the nomination, unless Hillary gets indicted out of the race. She already has the so-called “super delegates“ locked up.
At the end of July, the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia should be interesting. The math is easy. With 4,765 delegates attending, a majority to win the presidential nomination is 2,383 delegates.
At the convention, if Hillary supporters show disrespect towards Sanders or his socialist agenda, there could be a walkout and they could vote for Trump.
Trump already leads with men, where he has an 11-point margin. Not only that. The NBC news poll also says he leads with high school degree voters and Rust Belt states and swing states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
The nightmare isn’t over yet. As bad as all that is, Hillary must also be worried that Trump could win New York. He has a strong connection with working class New Yorkers, and Sanders is ahead of Hillary when the pollsters asked who can beat Trump.
On the Republican side, although there has been talk that the Republican establishment might pull some dirty tricks at the convention, Trump is outpolling Speaker Paul Ryan on trust. Trump’s margin there is 29 percent – 63 percent to 34 percent.
Last week, Trump and Ryan finally met. Although he hasn’t done it yet, the pundits say it is inevitable that Ryan will endorse The Donald.