Opinion Columns & Blogs

ERICKSON: Donald Trump won't beat Hillary Clinton

Dozens of rabbis are planning to boycott a scheduled speech by Donald Trump to the nation’s largest pro-Israeli lobbying group on Monday to protest what they feel is divisive rhetoric by the Republican presidential front-runner.
Dozens of rabbis are planning to boycott a scheduled speech by Donald Trump to the nation’s largest pro-Israeli lobbying group on Monday to protest what they feel is divisive rhetoric by the Republican presidential front-runner. Associated Press

Donald Trump has a numbers problem. It is a numbers problem that has persisted since last summer when many of us, myself included, underestimated him. All the polling that shows Trump winning the Republican nomination also shows him losing to Hillary Clinton, without a third party challenger.

In 19 of the 20 past polls, Trump consistently trailed Clinton by around eight points. State by state, Trump loses to Hillary Clinton in New York and New Jersey, two states that Trump claimed he could put into play. He loses in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio. He even puts states like North Carolina and Florida into the Democratic column.

Certainly polling can change, but therein lies the rub for Trump. He performs remarkably well with blue collar white men. He performs terribly with college educated white men, women of any background, black voters, Hispanic voters, Asian voters — pretty much everyone other than blue collar white men.

For Trump to make inroads with those voters, he risks alienating his core. If he wants to build a Hispanic coalition, he is going to have to walk away from his wall. If he walks away from his wall, he is going to see his voters walk away from him.

On top of that, only a quarter of voters in the polling believe Trump is trustworthy. In fact, Trump is actually the only candidate running for president viewed as less trustworthy than Clinton. On top of that, he is the only candidate with higher unfavorables than Clinton.

Beyond that, take the exit polling from North Carolina, Ohio, Florida and Missouri. All are swing states. The exit polling data from those states show that fully one-third of Republican voters would not vote for Trump in a general election. Of voters who rejected Trump so far, that number goes up to 40 percent of Republicans. Clinton has no such problem with Democrats. Virtually all Democrats would support her in the general election.

Trump voters label everyone who opposes Trump as "establishment," when the better word is "American." Most Americans oppose Donald Trump. A sizable portion of the Republican Party will stop being Republican if Trump is the nominee. He will not gain black, Hispanic, Asian, or women voters in large enough numbers to stop Hillary.

Sure, a number of Trump supporters say things like, "I am a woman and Christian and I support Trump, therefore this is false information." These voters are confusing anecdotes with data. They are not the data, but exceptions to rules. As I used to tell political clients when I did consulting: know when you are in the minority even when you think you are right. Trump voters may think they are right, but they are in the minority.

On top of that, conservatives gathered yesterday in Washington in a meeting I helped organize. These are not the Republican elite, but the leaders of grassroots movements across the country dedicated to fiscal and social conservatism. There are enough of us who will vote third party if Trump is the Republican nominee that he is guaranteed to lose.

As we noted in our statement, "We believe that the issue of Donald Trump is greater than an issue of party. It is an issue of morals and character that all Americans, not just those of us in the conservative movement, must confront." Many Republicans will not vote for Donald Trump. If Hillary Clinton becomes the next president of the United States, that is the price the nation will pay to stop the menace of Donald Trump.

Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.

  Comments