(MSNBC: Steve Benen) — Michael Cohen, a leading figure in Donald Trump’s operation, was reminded on CNN yesterday that his boss’ campaign, at least for now, is trailing in the presidential race. “Says who?” Cohen responded.
Host Brianna Keilar, apparently surprised by the comment, replied, “Polls. Most of them. All of them?” Again, Cohen said, “Says who?”
“Polls,” Keilar answered. “I just told you.” Cohen, incredulous, asked, “OK, which polls?”
“All of them,” the CNN host responded.
It’s been that kind of summer for the Trump campaign. Consider the latest Quinnipiac polling, as reported by Politico yesterday afternoon:
Hillary Clinton holds double-digit leads among likely voters in Colorado and Virginia and a narrow edge over Donald Trump in Iowa, according to a trio of battleground-state Quinnipiac University polls released Wednesday. In the head-to-head matchups, Clinton leads Trump 49 percent to 39 percent in Colorado. The race is closest in Iowa, where Clinton holds a 3-point lead over the Republican nominee – 47 percent to 44 percent. But in Virginia, where Trump will campaign Saturday in Fredericksburg, Clinton leads by 12 points – 50 percent to 38 percent.
The full Quinnipiac report, including crosstabs, is online here.
Note, among all of the major pollsters, Quinnipiac has generally published results favorable to Republicans this year, making yesterday’s data that much more discouraging for the right.
The Quinnipiac poll coincided with a new Fox 2 Detroit/Mitchell Poll out of Michigan, where Clinton leads Trump by double digits, 49% to 39%, even with third-party candidates included in the mix.
The news for the Republican nominee wasn’t all bad. A Monmouth University poll, for example, showed Trump leading comfortably in Indiana – the Midwest’s reddest state – while Public Policy Polling found him leading Clinton in Missouri by three points, 45% to 42%.
Of course, given that Mitt Romney won Missouri by nine points in 2012, the fact that the Show-Me State is competitive at all is discouraging news for the GOP ticket.
In early July, Trump told the New York Times we’d soon see him cracking the 50% threshold in key battleground states. “It’ll happen after the conventions,” he said at the time. “Believe me.”
The prediction was wrong. Both parties’ nominating conventions have come and gone, and Clinton enjoys a stronger advantage now than Barack Obama or George W. Bush had at this point in each of the last four election cycles.
The New York Times recently added, “Polls conducted a few weeks after the conventions have proved to be generally accurate. They’re not perfect, but no modern presidential candidate who has trailed a few weeks after the conventions has gone on to win the popular vote.”