Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has a “very good” chance of winning against Republican rival Donald Trump if she is able to win Florida and one of other three biggest swing states of North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, an election expert has said. In a teleconference call hosted by New York Foreign Press Center, Quinnipiac Polling Institute’s Assistant Director Peter Brown said “it’s a pretty fair consensus” of various election polls that Clinton has a “small lead” over Trump of three-five points nationally.
Brown said the four biggest swing states are Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In Florida, Clinton has a 5-point lead over Trump, while in Ohio, Trump had a 5-point lead. In Pennsylvania, Clinton had a 4-point lead and in North Carolina, a 3-point lead.
With the two presidential nominees heading into the second crucial debate, the 68-year-old former secretary of state is slightly ahead but not gigantically ahead, he said. Brown, however, said if Clinton could win Florida and one of the other three swing states, “the chances are very, very good she’ll win the presidency. It’s not 100 per cent locked, but it’s very good.”
On how the debates affect the presidential race, Brown said that following the first debate there seemed to be unanimous sense among the media and pundits that Clinton had won the debate easily. Brown outlined that the Clinton campaign is basing its efforts on trying to convince average voters that Trump is not fit to be president. Trump, on the other hand, is running on the themes that “Clinton is a crook” and there is enormous sense of support in the US for change.
“The question is: What kind of change? It’s not hard to see Trump as being a perceived a potential change agent. He’s running against the Washington establishment. He’s not only running against Democrats in Washington, he’s running against Republicans in Washington,” Brown said.
“But again, voters don’t always vote based on what (issues) the candidate agree or don’t agree with. Much of it is also a sense of what they represent. And in that case Trump, although clearly slightly behind, has an opening, if he can present himself as the candidate of change,” Brown said.
He noted that in this election roughly 7 out of 10 voters say they are not happy with the direction of the US. “So both Trump and Clinton are trying to tailor their messages to that point of view,” he said.
As the two nominees head into the second crucial debate, the expert said “I think the numbers out of the first debate were in the mid-80 million. That’s a lot of eyeballs. So obviously, the debates provide opportunities to the two candidates” to send their message out to the American voters.
On what she needs to do in order to change her numbers in Ohio, where Clinton is lagging behind Trump, he said “pretty much what she needs to do in some of the other swing states”. “The thrust of Clinton’s campaign is to convince voters in Ohio and Iowa and Kentucky – any place that – that Trump is not fit to be President. The tone of her television ads make that a point as many times as they can,” Brown said.