Top Democratic strategists are working quickly to capitalize on the extraordinary events of the last several days, now believing they have a real shot at retaking the House majority.
Fresh internal polls conducted by the DCCC — the House Democrats’ campaign arm — after the second presidential debate on Sunday night painted a grim picture for Republican lawmakers.
According to the Washington Post’s Fix’s electoral vote tracker, if the election were held today, Hillary Clinton would win 341 electoral votes to Donald Trump’s 197. Combine that with the massive exodus of Republican lawmakers renouncing their support of Donald Trump and you have the perfect recipe for a Democratic majority.
Democrats think that Republicans are now stuck in the impossible position of either embracing their party’s presidential nominee and alienating swing voters critical to maintaining their hold on Congress or rejecting him and angering their base.
Trump has been battered over that time by bad reviews of his debates showings as well as the revelations of lewd sexual talk in a 2005 hot-mic video. His poll numbers have taken a commensurate hit — both nationally and in swing states. That hit is reflected in the Post’s weekly update of the Fix electoral map, which shows Trump’s always-narrow path to 270 electoral quickly becoming a footpath.
Pennsylvania, which was in the “toss-up” category last week, immediately moves back to “lean Democratic.” Of the five polls conducted in the state after the first debate, Clinton had led by four, eight, 12, nine and 10 points; her average lead, according to RealClearPolitics, is now 8.6 points.
That move is hugely significant for Trump’s chances. Taking Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes out of the “toss-up” category means he would literally need to run the table of the states remaining in that category — and then some — to win.
Arizona now looks more like a “toss-up” than ever. The Real Clear Politics average in the state gives Trump a one-point edge. The last four polls in Arizona have shown Trump leads of two points and four points, a tie and Clinton up two. The last Democrat to carry Arizona at the presidential level was Bill Clinton in 1996.
Utah and Indiana have now moved to the list of competitive states. Trump has been doing worse than a generic Republican in Utah for months because of Mormon resistance to his candidacy. A Salt Lake Tribune poll conducted before both debates and the “Access Hollywood” tape showed Trump up only nine points. In Indiana, a state that Barack Obama carried in 2008, an independent poll from last week shows Trump with a two-point edge over Clinton.
H/T: The Washington Post.