Trump is Down 16 Points in Virginia, Which is Really, Historically Bad For Him

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A Roanoke College poll shows that Donald Trump is down 16 points in the “battleground” state of Virginia:

Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has opened a 16-point lead over Republican Donald Trump among likely voters in Virginia (48%-32%), according to The Roanoke College Poll. Libertarian Gary Johnson received the support of 8 percent of likely voters, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein trailed the field with 3 percent, while 9 percent remain undecided. In a two-way matchup, Clinton’s lead extends to 19 points (55%-36%). The candidates were tied in the May Roanoke College Poll.

Minor analysis: Even the Trump voters say they’re more against Hillary Clinton than they are for Donald Trump, by a 49-35 margin, which means that even most of his own voters understand he’s a terrible candidate.

Major analysis: Here’s how Democrats have fared in Virginia over the last few presidential elections:

2012: +3.9

2008: +6.3

2004: -8.2

2000: -8.1

1996: -2.0

1992: -3.1

1968-1988: All Republican, all the time. (Except that one weird election where a rogue faithless elector cast his ballot for a Libertarian named John Hospers, but come on, who cares?)

Obama’s wins in the state show the changing demographics as the D.C. area grows and more northerners make their way to the state, but it doesn’t come close to explaining a 16-point lead. Maybe Tim Kaine makes a difference, but again, 16 points? There’s only way to read this, which is that Trump is facing an historically huge deficit in one of those so-called swing states that he really can’t afford to lose.

How does he swing the election back? Maybe three great debate performances, plus muzzling himself in public, plus more revelations about Hillary’s emails. Beyond those dramatic swings, though, all we’re likely to see is eight or nine more campaign directors, and more movement in the wrong direction. The Trump campaign isn’t quite on life support, but it’s getting close.

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