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Ann Selzer is Iowa’s most respected pollster, someone whose track record of accurately calling the Iowa caucuses was impeccable … until she, er, predicted an easy win for Donald Trump in the final Des Moines Register poll this year. She had Trump beating Ted Cruz 28/23; the actual result was Cruz 27.6, Trump 24.3. She missed, in other words, by a net of eight points. Her final forecast for the general election, published last night: Trump by … seven. What could go wrong?
I’m just teasing. There’s every reason to believe Trump will win this state, which went twice for Obama, even if the margin isn’t quite the landslide Selzer is seeing. He hasn’t trailed in the RCP average of Iowa since September 1st and he led by seven points or better in more than one poll in mid-September. If Iowa, with its huge white working-class population, can’t deliver for Trump than we won’t need to worry about electoral maps or battleground states. It’ll be a national wipeout for Clinton.
Groups - Clinton - Lead - Advantage - Lead
Among other groups, meanwhile, Clinton’s lead is significantly lower than the advantage she enjoys nationally. She holds just a 3-point lead among women, for example, a demographic Democrats have been banking on to reject Trump and lift Clinton and one that she leads by a dozen or more points in national polls.
How is Trump succeeding in a state where McCain and Romney failed? Partly it’s the college-educated/working-class divide among whites you’ve heard so much about nationally, but in Iowa it’s also due to younger voters tilting red. Iowans under age 35 split 33/26 Democratic in 2008 but break 32/25 Republican today. Selzer’s read on that is that the Bernie Sanders contingent of young liberals isn’t turning out for Clinton this time, a surprising result given that Clinton had been doing better nationally...
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