Allen B. West

Forget health: THIS could cost Hillary the election…

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Hillary Clinton’s health could dissuade some voters from casting their vote for her this November, but this is hardly the only issue plaguing her campaign. She’s been plagued by scandal – hence an “untrustworthy” rating of nearly 70 percent. And even in the case of her health, it’s not necessarily the status of her health that may cause voters to think twice, but that she tried to pretend she had no problems whatsoever and withheld a pneumonia diagnosis from the public.

If there’s something I’ve yet to see this election, it’s an enthusiastic Hillary supporter. I know few people who could explain their support for Hillary without mentioning Donald Trump’s name, arguing he’d be even worse. During the Democrat Primary all the enthusiasm was behind Bernie Sanders (fueled mainly by young voters), and it hasn’t moved over to Hillary.

Via The Hill

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What matters more in winning elections: voter enthusiasm or the ground game?

It’s a question that has long been debated among political operatives and is now being put to the test in this year’s presidential election.

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is running her operation by the book, spending millions of dollars on staff, TV ads, data modeling and field office in battleground states.

Her Republican rival, Donald Trump, has done little of that. He has relied largely on media coverage to fuel his candidacy and has called data-led political activity “overrated.” His field operation is skeletal, leaning instead on the more extensive network put in place by the Republican National Committee.

But, for all that, Trump is competitive, recently pulling ahead of Clinton in polls of swing states like Ohio and Florida, and reducing the Democrat’s lead in national polls to around a single percentage point.

One reason for his strength: People who intend to vote for him are more enthusiastic about doing so than those planning to back Clinton, according to three major recent polls. That fact alone makes some Republicans bullish about Trump’s prospects.

“You can have all the infrastructure you want, but if people are not inspired or excited to vote for you, then it is not going to do you any good,” said Michael Steele, a former chairman of the RNC. “You can have very little, or weak, infrastructure, but if you create momentum or a force majeure that wins the argument.”

If Steele is right, it would be very good news for Trump. Recent major polls have sent a consistent message on voter enthusiasm: The GOP nominee has the edge over Clinton.

Most strikingly, a CNN/ORC poll indicated that more than 1 in 5 five would-be Clinton voters were “not at all enthusiastic” about backing her, almost twice as many as said the same about Trump. The poll found 58 percent of Trump supporters saying they felt either “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic about their choice, and only 46 percent in the Clinton camp feeling the same.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 46 percent of Trump backers were “very enthusiastic,” compared with only 33 percent of Clinton supporters. And a New York Times/CBS News poll saw Trump outperforming Clinton by the same metric, 45 percent to 36 percent.

Those who’ve long written off the possibility of a Trump presidency have forgotten he doesn’t need to be liked to get elected – he needs to be viewed more favorably than Hillary Clinton. Not such a tall order.

[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]

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