Donald Trump isn't in a very strong position for a match-up with Hillary Clinton, despite his claims to have dominant polling results in head-to-head contests with the Democratic front-runner, according to GOP policy adviser Karl Rove.
In a commentary for the Wall Street Journal,
the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff for the George W. Bush administration argues battleground states pose a particular problem for the GOP front-runner — and that's even before Democrats turn their full attention to him.
"[Democrats] will pummel him over his bankruptcies, this summer's Trump University fraud trial, his crude and misogynistic statements, his nativism while hiring foreign workers, his imperious manner," Rove writes. "These things may not matter to Mr. Trump's die-hard Republican primary supporters; they will matter to swing voters in a general election."
Rove writes Trump's assertions that he out-polls Clinton are "not true."
"In the 49 national polls since the beginning of last May, he led [Clinton] in five, was tied in two, and lost 42," Rove writes, citing the national poll averaging of Real Clear Politics.
"Mr. Trump is the only remaining GOP candidate who has never led Mrs. Clinton in the Real Clear average."
In "critical" battleground states polling averages by Real Clear Politics show Trump trails Clinton in New Hampshire by 7.5 points and North Carolina by 1 point, Rove notes.
"Worse, the latest polls suggest his position may be deteriorating," he writes. "He loses North Carolina by six points in a Feb. 17 survey by Elon University; Virginia by 17 points in a Jan. 26 Roanoke College survey; and Iowa by 8 points in a Jan. 7 poll by NBC/The Wall Street Journal/Marist."
His "bright spots," Rove writes, are in Florida, Ohio and Colorado.
"In Florida he's tied with Mrs. Clinton in the Real Clear average," he writes. "In Ohio, he leads Mrs. Clinton by two points in a Feb. 20 Quinnipiac survey, and in Colorado by 11 points in a Nov. 18 Quinnipiac poll."
Rove also argues Trump may not be able to count on help from blue-collar states either, despite his primary victory Tuesday in Michigan, though "he might have a shot at Minnesota," and could win in Pennsylvania.
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