Certain demographics can unexpectedly turn an election and tend to be demographics that Democrats usually win.
In what is anticipated to be a very close election, even losing one of them could result in a crushing defeat, which is what we are starting to see happen among independent voters now.
With every passing day, Trump's lead in the primary poll seems to grow.
In national averages right now, Trump now holds a 61.7-12.2-11.3 edge over DeSantis and Haley respectively.
In Iowa, Trump holds a 46.7-19.6-15.0 edge over DeSantis and Haley, respectively. In New Hampshire, Trump is ahead 44.7-18.9-11.6-7.7, with the trailing order being Haley, Christie, and DeSantis.
Trump also holds significant leads in Nevada, South Carolina, Michigan, and Missouri, all states where voting takes place before Super Tuesday.
Texas and California are the big prizes on Super Tuesday, and Trump has a commanding lead in those states as well, so by March 6, unless something dramatic changes, I expect this race to be over.
That would bring us to general election polling, where Trump has now taken a lead over Biden in crucial battleground states and national polling.
Here is another breakdown of battleground states…
🇺🇲 2024 GE: Bloomberg/Morning Consult
Trump 48% (+7)
Trump 46% (+4)
Trump 47% (+3)
Trump 46% (+3)
Trump 47% (+1)
Trump 48% (+9)
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) November 9, 2023
Trump has already gained significant ground among black voters, and that grows considerably if Trump adds a black VP to his ticket.
Trump has now pulled off a bit of a coup regarding independent voters, finally taking the lead against Biden, 37-28, according to the latest Economist/YouGov poll. Trump also led Biden 42-41 overall in the poll, but I want to talk about the independent voters.
There is a considerable chunk of independent voters that will not pull the handle for either of them, with 14% saying they will vote for someone else and 12% saying they will not vote at all. The remaining 9% are still making up their mind, which could lead to an even more significant chunk of this demographic falling to Donald Trump in the election.
Now, as I have stated before, the wildcard for Trump is his being convicted of a felony, where he loses about half his support.
For the sake of argument here, let's assume the case's verdict has not yet been declared or the cases are going through an appeal, and these numbers are still holding true.
The Trump campaign team has completely alienated DeSantis voters, and while some of them will surely pull the handle for Trump, the feeling on social media is that most of them are going to either not vote or vote 3rd party in the election, as well as down-ballot Republicans.
So, don't be surprised if you see more Republican votes for down-ballot candidates than in the presidential race.
Because of that, Donald Trump is going to have to make up votes in other areas, such as minority voters and independent voters.
The way these numbers are trending right now leads me to believe that if this pattern holds, Trump can recover those DeSantis voters.
The shame of this is that if Trump's campaign had not alienated the DeSantis demographic, this election would probably be a romp in his favor rather than a nailbiter.
I have believed all along that it would be virtually impossible for Trump to win a general election without that demographic, but the strides the GOP is making among black and independent voters are very impressive and will undoubtedly be the key to Trump winning this election.
And, while Trump has alienated DeSantis voters, those voters will still play a key role in helping the GOP hold the House and retake the Senate.
In order for Trump, or any Republican, to be effective, the GOP has to have control of both chambers. Otherwise, it will be a stalemate, and the only way anything will get done is via executive order, which we do not want to see.
This really is the calm before the storm because there is going to be a flurry of activity once the new year rolls in, which will give us a much clearer picture of how this will all play out.