Some thoughts on Hillary Clinton's low poll numbers


Colorado provided Barack Obama with his 270th electoral vote in both 2008 and 2012 (that is, if you array the states in order of Obama percentages, they add up to 270 electoral votes when you get to Colorado). So it's interesting that a Quinnipiac Colorado poll released today provides some very negative news about Hillary Clinton's current standing there. Some 60 percent or more of Colorado find her dishonest and not caring about people like them, and she trails Ben Carson, Donald Trump, Marcio Rubio and Ted Cruz by double-digit margins, with an average of 37 percent of the vote, far below Obama's 51 percent in 2012. Carson and Rubio get 52 percent, Cruz 51 percent and Trump 48 percent. In the pairings against Rubio, Clinton gets only 41 percent among women, 36 percent of those under age 35 and 32 percent among Independents.

The simultaneously released Florida Atlantic University poll shows not quite so dire results in that state, with those four Republicans averaging 48 percent and Clinton 43 percent when matched against them.

As an exercise, I took a look at how Marco Rubio matches up against Clinton in the RealClearPolitics average of polling starting in August, when the Republican race took its current shape, in the 11 target states of the 2012 election. I found Rubio leading in six states (North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Iowa) and Clinton leading in three (Virginia, New Hampshire, Wisconsin), with no polls in two others (Nevada, New Mexico). In addition, Rubio leads Clinton narrowly in Minnesota and Michigan, which were just a bit too Democratic to be on the 2012 target list. Clinton's poll percentage stays closest to Obama's 2012 percentage in states up and down the Atlantic Coast, plus Wisconsin. Offsetting the latter, perhaps, are the results in neighboring Michigan and Minnesota.

Now these polls are subject to margin of error, and both candidates are averaging between 39 and 49 in those states — a pretty tight range. The biggest swings from Obama to Clinton are in Colorado, followed by Iowa, Minnesota and Michigan, but the smallest such swing is in Wisconsin. So it's dangerous to come to anything like firm conclusions. But there's an interesting contrast with national polls, which show Clinton leading Rubio 45 to 44 percent, and these target state polls, which point in the direction of a Republican electoral vote majority.