A troubling bookend to this morning's review of national polling. Trump fans who aren't simply discarding the very polls they cheered throughout the primaries -- and as recently as last week -- generally respond to this trend line with two points: First, it's still early. That's true to an extent, but post-conventions is the beginning of crunch time. Second, what really matters is the polling in battleground states. That's definitely the case, which is why these new numbers should raise red flags for anyone rooting for Trump who hasn't fully ingested the "RIGGED!" storyline. Michigan (down nine head-to-head):
The eye-popping part of the Michigan poll (besides Trump taking 32% of all votes) -- are they qualified to be POTUS? pic.twitter.com/4jLxGi1ZyJ— Tim Alberta (@TimAlberta) August 4, 2016
New Hampshire (down 15):
STRIKING: Clinton by 15 pts with NH likely voters.— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) August 4, 2016
63% say Trump unfit to be president.
Sample: 36% R, 29 D, 34 indy https://t.co/6VswCOIQc0
Pennsylvania (down 11):
Another bad poll for Trump - down 11 in Pennsylvania:— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) August 4, 2016
Florida (down six):
FLORIDA— PollingReport.com (@pollreport) August 4, 2016
Clinton (D) 48%
Trump (R) 42%
(Suffolk U. Poll, LV, 8/1-3)
Clearly, Trump's serious "candidate characteristics" deficits highlighted in the new Fox poll are also manifesting themselves in key states. I'd argue that last two surveys mentioned above are the most concerning from Trump's perspective. Florida is self-explanatory; without it, Trump has no remotely viable path to 270 electoral votes. Period. And Pennsylvania is rough for reasons I laid out this afternoon on Fox News (via Right Sightings):
Trump has three major opportunities to improve his standing on those crucial metrics, and to undercut Hillary's "there is no other Trump" attack: The debates, the first of which is probably the most important. He needs to seriously focus and thoroughly prepare. Does he have the capacity to do so? We'll find out, starting September 26th.