There are plenty of news outlets there that will tell you all about how Donald Trump is either tied or narrowly leading Hillary Clinton in three battleground states, per a new poll out from Quinnipiac. And they’re right—it’s worrisome. Just look at the percentages:
Pennsylvania: Trump 43, Clinton 41
Florida: Trump 42, Clinton 39
Ohio: Clinton 41, Trump 41
These numbers put the lie to the myth that Clinton will roll to an easy win in November, and cement the truth that yes, it’s going to be very, very close. But there’s a more worrisome element to these polls that’s getting less play in the mainstream media, and it has to do with honesty. Let’s look at which candidate voters find most honest, again going state-by-state:
Pennsylvania: Trump 49, Clinton 34
Florida: Trump 50, Clinton 37
Ohio: Trump 47, Clinton 37
If that first set of numbers was mildly surprising, this is staggering. How the hell is anyone, much less the Democratic nominee, losing in trustworthy metrics to Donald Trump? How is that possible? This is a man who routinely makes things up, gets called out on them, and responds by weaving more fictions. Sure, maybe he’s charismatic, and maybe he’s capturing some national anger in his campaign, but if the Dems should be winning anywhere, it’s in the honestly department. Instead, Clinton trails badly.
These numbers, I think, should be far more worrying to those of us who wake up sweating in the night when we imagine a Trump presidency. If voters don’t think a candidate is honest, why would they vote for her in anything approaching the numbers needed to win? Democrats will surely hope that these numbers are a temporary response to the email scandal, while Republicans will work like dogs to make sure that nobody forgets Clinton’s integrity issues for one second between now and November. So far, it looks like the right is winning.