“Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?” Hillary Clinton asked on Wednesday. While Clinton probably doesn’t really expect that she should be in the lead by 50 points, it does highlight a question that many of her supporters are increasingly wondering.
Trump has a lot of baggage
After all, Clinton is running against Donald Trump who has never held an elective office and carries with him a whole host of baggage. Trump has refused to release his tax returns, has randomly attacked ethnic groups and Gold Star families, and has vowed to build a two-thousand-mile wall along the Mexican border. He is a billionaire who, according to The Washington Times has switched political parties at least five times. On top of that, Mr. Trump has been married three times, would be the oldest person ever elected president, and has broken every rule in the presidential campaign playbook.
Why is Clinton not way ahead
How has an experienced politician like Clinton not buried her opponent by now? — The Washington Post
Well Hillary, there are a couple of reasons:
Country is pretty evenly divided
For starters, the nation is pretty evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. The candidate of each major party starts out with somewhere between 40 to 45 percent of the vote before the campaign even gets underway. Since 1964, only two presidential races have been decided by a double-digit margin (Nixon in 1972 and Ronald Reagan in 1984). Presidential victory margins tend to be small.
Voter turnout is only about 52%
Secondly, the turnout of voting age Americans in presidential elections has hovered around the 52% level since 1972. Only slightly more than half of the eligible voters in 2016 will actually vote, so voters need to be enthusiastic about supporting their candidate and right now Trump’s supporters are more committed to their candidate than are Clinton’s supporters.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll earlier this month showed that while 46 percent of Trump backers were "very enthusiastic" about voting, just 33 percent of Clinton backers said the same. And 93 percent of Trump backers were certain to vote in November, as compared with 80 percent of Clinton backers. — The Washington Post
Historically high unfavorable rating
Another major reason Hillary isn’t up by 50 points is Mrs. Clinton’s image. Clinton and Trump both have historically high unfavorable ratings in the opinion polls. Only 38% of voters have a favorable opinion of Clinton compared to the 37% that regard Mr. Trump in a favorable light.
Clinton has self-inflicted a number of wounds on her image over the past year or two. The public remains disturbed about her use of a personal email account while Secretary of State, and of the potential conflicts of interest with the Clinton Foundation. Her campaign maintains these issues are overblown, but the public appears to disagree.
Clinton does not represent change
Finally, Hillary Clinton does not represent a voice for change at a time when America seems to want change. A Gallup poll is taken every month asking Americans if they are satisfied or dissatisfied with the “way things are going in the United States at this time?” Since 2012 the number of those expressing dissatisfaction with the direction of the country has rarely dropped below 70 percent.
Hillary has been part of the national presidential political scene for the past 25 years, while Donald Trump has been around for less than two years. Trump, for all his many imperfections, represents a change which is something Americans appear to want in 2016.