But the margin is never decisive. Sure, Rick Scott pulls away as Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio falter, but he leads by less than one point in three surveys released over the past month. In 2008, Barack Obama continues to hold a lead in polls of Florida, but he still loses by less than one percent in the end to John McCain.
The theory behind this reporting is fairly simple. Voters are largely behind Donald Trump — and the candidates with the strongest chances of stopping him aren’t surging, they’re steadily losing support. Either that’s the end of this race, or Trump is likely to do more to keep this one from finishing.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Pastimes and objects often have unconscious symbolic meaning, and that applies in Washington, D.C., politics as much as anywhere else. After months of Democratic self-destruction, and months of Republican cheerleading, it’s only natural to think this election is going to be just like 2016. And it’s not.]
It’s also not surprising that Trump is holding on to most of his 2016 supporters, especially those older voters who voted for him enthusiastically. He’s still hanging on, even while often acting inappropriately, like when he handed out thousands of dollars worth of hats, and insulted the intelligence of a Gold Star family. Over the past month, even as Democrats have assumed a lead in the polls, Trump has held up much better among people over 50 than among people under 50.
The lack of new data clearly emboldens Democrats and Republicans alike, even as they avoid saying things that alienate voters.