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USNews.com

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2016-01-08/new-poll-shows-donald-trump-is-a-real-threat-to-hillary-clinton

Trump Could Win It All

A new survey shows a sizable number of Democrats ready to defect from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump.

Trump’s the one?

By Jan. 8, 2016, at 4:00 p.m.

So if Donald Trump proved the political universe wrong and won the Republican presidential nomination, he would be creamed by Hillary Clinton, correct?

A new survey of likely voters might at least raise momentary dyspepsia for Democrats since it suggests why it wouldn’t be a cakewalk.

The survey by Washington-based Mercury Analytics is a combination online questionnaire and “dial-test” of Trump’s first big campaign ad among 916 self-proclaimed “likely voters” (this video shows the ad and the dial test results).  It took place primarily Wednesday and Thursday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

Nearly 20 percent of likely Democratic voters say they’d cross sides and vote for Trump, while a small number, or 14 percent, of Republicans claim they’d vote for Clinton.  When those groups were further broken down, a far higher percentage of the crossover Democrats contend they are “100 percent sure” of switching than the Republicans.

[SEE: Editorial Cartoons on Donald Trump]

When the firmed showed respondents the Trump ad, and assessed their responses to each moment of it, it found “the primary messages of Trump’s ad resonated more than Democratic elites would hope.”

About 25 percent of Democrats “agree completely” that it raises some good point, with an additional 19 percent agreeing at least “somewhat.”

Mercury CEO Ron Howard, a Democrat whose firm works for candidates in both parties and corporate clients, concedes, “We expected Trump’s first campaign spot to strongly appeal to Republican Trump supporters, with little impact – or in fact negative impact – on Democratic or independent voters.”

He continues, “The challenge to Hillary, if Trump is the nominee and pivots to the center in the general election as a problem-solving, independent-minded, successful ‘get it done’ businessman is that Democrats will no longer be able to count on his personality and outrageous sound bites to disqualify him in the voters’ minds.”

Trump’s formidable challenges remain obvious and in no small measure reflect his general style.

[SEE: Editorial Cartoons on Hillary Clinton]

A total of 66 percent of Democrats are very concerned with it, as are 32 percent of Republicans and 41 percent of independents, according to the survey.

Further, 65 percent of Democrats said that the “prestige” of the country would be hurt by his election, as did 19 percent and 29 percent of Republicans and independents, respectively.

But what if Trump lowered the bombast in a general election?

 

  • James Warren is a contributing editor at U.S. News & World Report and an award winning reporter, columnist and editor.  He is chief media writer for the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.  He was managing editor of The Chicago Tribune and Washington bureau chief for both The Tribune and New York Daily News.  He’s been a regular commentator on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and Al-Jazeera America.  He was a Chicago columnist for The New York Times and has written for Vanity Fair, Politico, Washington Monthly, Time, The Atlantic, Daily Beast and Huffington Post.  Follow him on twitter at @jimwarren55.

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