There is a consistent trend developing in state level polls of a significant number of Republicans saying that they will vote for Hillary Clinton in November if Donald Trump is the Republican presidential nominee.
The Monmouth University Poll of Maryland Republicans found that although Trump has a dominant lead in the state’s primary (47%-27% over John Kasich), 11% of Republicans stated that they would support Hillary Clinton in the general election if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee.
A Monmouth poll of New York that was released found that while Trump has a big lead in the primary (52%-25% over Kasich), 9% of Republicans in his home state would cross over and vote for Hillary Clinton in November. In Ohio, ten percent of Republicans said that they would support Clinton in an election against Trump. In Michigan, 9% of Republicans are going to support Clinton over Trump.
There is also a percentage of Republicans in each state ranging from 9%-12% who say that they will vote for neither Clinton or Trump in November. If Republicans nominate Donald Trump, they are facing the potential loss of 18%-25% of their vote in November.
A drop of as little 5 points in the popular vote could trigger a Democratic landslide. A drop of ten points from 2012 levels would cost Republicans House and Senate seats. A drop of 20 points would set the stage for Republicans up and down the ballot to be wiped out.
Part of the problem that Republicans are facing is that straight ticket voting has increased. In 2012, only 26 House districts voted for one party’s nominee and the other’s congressional candidate. Split ticket voting is increasingly a thing of the past. An unpopular presidential nominee like Donald Trump is almost certain to cost Republicans House and Senate seats. If Republicans cross over to support Clinton in substantial numbers, they may also decide to throw out their local congressperson and senator too. If this happens, Republicans may be looking at the sort of landslide that hasn’t been witnessed in this country in 20 years.
The numbers suggest that Donald Trump’s nomination will be more than a path to defeat for Republicans. A Trump nomination could trigger a gigantic victory for the Democratic Party in November.