Just over a month ago, I wrote about an Israeli-born friend of mine who is supporting Trump. Not only was he supporting Trump, he told me that the Jewish community he was involved in was entirely supporting Trump. He's a smart guy but he doesn't pay obsessively close attention to the presidential race the way we do here at DWTand, besides, he and his wife just had their second baby last week so, like most Americans, they've had their minds on more important things than following the intricacies of the presidential campaign. He came over yesterday and told me he had watched the debate. He was mortified that he ever considered voting for Trump. “The man is a joke,” he told me with disgust. Boom! Trump lost a vote. Actually polling shows that Trump lost a lot of votes by his performance Monday night.
Every single poll taken since the debate has shown Clinton moving out ahead– both nationally and in all the battleground states. Last week, before the debate, Fox was screaming about how Trump was beating Clinton in swingy Nevada (as well as in North Carolin and Ohio). He was up by 3 points in Nevada in Fox's own September 18-20 poll. That didn't last long. Clinton 3 point deficit turned into a 6 point margin– so a 9 point swing– after Trump made a money out of himself at the debate. And the Suffolk University poll of likely Nevada voters, was done before Trump's apparent– and very public– mental breakdown over Alicia Machado following the debate.
The Nevada poll shows Hillary gaining slightly as Trump hemorrhaged support after debate viewers saw him in action. She now leads him 44-38% in the state, after he lead her 44-42% in the same poll in August.
“Hillary Clinton’s strong debate performance resonated with women in Nevada,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “There was a corresponding increase in Donald Trump’s unfavorable rating, and fewer voters see him as honest and trustworthy.”
Among debate watchers, 57 percent said that Clinton won the debate, while 23 percent said Trump was the winner, and 12 percent called it a draw. When likely voters were asked who performed better than expected, Clinton was the choice of 60 percent to Trump’s 27 percent, while 5 percent said both candidates exceeded their expectations. The poll was taken in the three days immediately following the first general-election debate by the major-party candidates.
Among women, Clinton bested Trump by 15 points, 49 percent to 34 percent. This was higher than the 5-point margin in August, 44 percent to 39 percent.
Likely Nevada voters gave Trump an unfavorable rating of 59 percent, compared to 55 percent in August. And 61 percent said that he wasn’t honest and trustworthy, notably higher than the 52 percent recorded in August.
And it wasn't just among women that Trump lost support. My Israeli friend isn't just not a woman, he was an Israeli Navy SEAL equivalent whose main problem is that he was afraid Hillary would be a weak president internationally– which is how he perceives Obama– compared to Trump. That perception was turned right on its head during Trump's adderall-fueled debate performance Monday.
PPP, polling nationally and across several key states came to the conclusion that Trump hurt himself badly during the debate. Clinton how leads him by 4 points in a head-to-head matchup and by 4 points with all the third party candidates competing as well. “Monday night's debate was a big success for Clinton,” they wrote. “54% of voters think she won it, to only 31% who think Trump won… Clinton has solid leads in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Virginia– states seen as important to her path to 270 electoral votes– and modest leads in Florida and North Carolina, where wins would be indicative of a dominant overall victory in the Electoral College. If these results hold up, Donald Trump has no path to victory.”
• Colorado- Clinton 46, Trump 40, Johnson 6, Stein 2
• Florida- Clinton 45, Trump 43, Johnson 3, Stein 1
• North Carolina- Clinton 44, Trump 42, Johnson 7
• Pennsylvania- Clinton 45, Trump 39, Johnson 6, Stein 2
• Virginia- Clinton 46, Trump 40, Johnson 7, Stein 1
In each of these states, voters saw Clinton as winning the debate by big margins– by 24 points in Virginia, by 22 points in Colorado and North Carolina, by 19 points in Pennsylvania, and by 17 points in Florida. It was much worse for Trump among millennials, where Clinton was seen as winning the debate by much higher numbers– 41 points in Colorado, for example, and even 33 points in Florida! Voters in all the states polled said they found Trump unprepared tp be president, with the wrong temperament to be president and untrustworthy to be in charge of nuclear weapons. Even in his best state among the 5, Florida, only 40% viewed him as prepared to be president– as opposed top 55% who said he;s not prepared. Majorities in each state found Hillary prepared to be president and with the right temperament to be president.
My Israeli friend seemed sensitive to Trump being overly bellicose and reckless internationally. He said Trump would get us into a war, something as the father of a 2 year old and a new-born, that particularly disturbed him. PPP asked voters which candidate they thought would be more likely to cause a nuclear war. I doubt these numbers will surprise anyone:
PPP also asked this question: “There is a proposal in Congress to privatize some of the services veterans receive from the VA. Currently VA Hospitals cover veterans for all their health care needs. Under this proposal some of the hospital programs would be privatized, and veterans would get a credit card like voucher, where they would have to pay for their health care through a private for profit insurance company. The voucher would only pay for some of the costs for private insurance, and the hospital services currently fully covered by the VA would go away. Would you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose this plan to privatize some VA services and eventually do away with the VA health care system?
• Colorado- 27% favor, 64% oppose
• Florida- 27% favor, 61% oppose
• North Carolina- 26% favor, 62% oppose
• Pennsylvania- 27% favor, 62% oppose
• Virginia- 27% favor, 65% oppose
And, yes, PPP is a polling firm generally favored by Democrats. But Fox isn't. They agreed with PPP's findings: “Hillary Clinton has gained ground on Donald Trump, who has slipped in key measures of the presidential race after the first debate… Clinton is ahead of Trump by three percentage points: 43-40 percent in the four-way matchup, according to a new Fox News Poll of likely voters.”
The consequences of the debate, which voters score as a win for Clinton by nearly three-to-one, are even clearer on other measures. Trump’s honesty rating is down, most still say he doesn’t have the right temperament, and over half wouldn’t be comfortable with him as president.
Meanwhile, more voters now see Clinton as honest than Trump, the number who say she has the right temperament is up, and over half think her long tenure in government is a positive. Plus, her support increased among women, non-whites, and younger voters.
In addition, the number that believes Trump is honest and trustworthy is down 8 points since mid-September: 31 percent vs. 39 percent. At the same time, Clinton has mostly held steady on this measure: 35 percent now vs. 34 percent two weeks ago.
This evening the New York Times reported what many people have long assumed– Trump isn't releasing his tax returns because his business incompetence gave him a $916 million loss in 1995 that gave him the opportunity to avoid paying any federal income tax for 18 years. The Trumpf campaign's response to the Times exposé was a statement asserting that the serial bankrupt “is a highly-skilled businessman who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required.” They made a point that he pays other kinds of taxes, like sales taxes (on all his tasteless, gaudy furniture for example). At least they didn't quote him saying “vagina is expensive” again. Trump's attorney threatened to sue The Times for publishing his records.
The 1995 tax records, never before disclosed, reveal the extraordinary tax benefits that Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, derived from the financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s through mismanagement of three Atlantic City casinos, his ill-fated foray into the airline business and his ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.
Tax experts hired by The Times to analyze Mr. Trump’s 1995 records said tax rules that are especially advantageous to wealthy filers would have allowed Mr. Trump to use his $916 million loss to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income over an 18-year period.
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” — Sinclair Lewis