Don’t look now, but Trump has taken the lead in Ohio and Florida — both critical battleground states — according to the latest CNN/ORC polls:
Among likely voters in Ohio, Trump stands at 46% to Clinton’s 41%, with 8% behind Libertarian Gary Johnson and 2% behind Green Party nominee Jill Stein. In Florida, likely voters split 47% for Trump to 44% for Clinton, within the poll’s 3.5 percentage point margin of error, and with 6% behind Johnson and 1% backing Stein.
And where Trump is gaining, Clinton is losing — particularly among younger voters:
Younger voters, who were a key driver of President Barack Obama’s support in both 2008 and 2012, are not lining up as solidly behind Clinton in either state, and they are less likely than older voters to make it through a likely voter screen at this point in the campaign, suggesting they are less enthusiastic about voting in this election.In Florida, Clinton tops Trump by 6 points among those under age 45 who are likely to turn out in November, and in Ohio, Clinton and Trump are about even among this group. Obama carried this group by double-digits in 2012 in both Florida and Ohio.
So what’s causing the lack of support for Clinton among the under-45 crowd? Apparently, it’s Gary Johnson:
One big difference this time between younger and older voters: Support for Gary Johnson. In both states, Johnson reaches double-digits among those voters under age 45 who say they are likely to turn out, while he gets low-single-digit support among older voters.
As Townhall’s Guy Benson put it, Trump should send Johnson flowers.
But it doesn’t stop there. Independents are also proving to be a boon to Trump:
Both candidates have the support of roughly 9 in 10 of their own partisans in each state, but Clinton trails Trump among independent voters in both places, with Trump up 10 points among independents likely to vote in Florida and 8 points in Ohio.
To be sure, Trump still has a long way to go to pull an upset, debates and all. But Team Clinton should be panicking.