Hillary Clinton is beating Donald Trump in Georgia by 44 points to 40 in a poll released today. Georgia is a deep red state that has voted for every Republican presidential candidate for the last 20 years. A Clinton lead, even one as narrow as this one, is strong evidence that conservatives and moderates are considering abandoning Trump.
The Clinton campaign is making an appeal to conservatives disenchanted with Trump. Several high profile Republicans have already endorsed Clinton and today’s endorsement from former CIA director Michael Morrell will give moderate Republicans reason to consider her.
The Georgia poll shows that in a four-way contest including Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein, Clinton would win 41 percent of the vote to Trump’s 38. If that were the result on election day, Clinton would carry the state.
Georgia is a must-win state for Trump. If Clinton manages to take the state, it will be a huge blow to the GOP’s strategy. Trump’s campaign depends on reliably red states remaining reliable. The Georgia poll, combined with a national lead for Clinton of 9 to 15 percent and big leads in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, is rattling the Republican leadership.
Rumors of an ‘intervention’ to bring some discipline to Trump’s campaign have morphed into speculation about dropping Trump from the ticket. The specifics of dumping Trump are very difficult and would split the party. The fact that the GOP has not suppressed public discussion of abandoning the nominee is a sign of the disarray in the leadership.
Trump enjoyed a large lead over Clinton in Georgia until very recently. Most analysts did not believe Georgia would be in play this year but Trump’s string of controversies are shaking the GOP’s lock on the state. The last time Georgia went blue was in 1992 when Clinton’s husband defeated George H.W. Bush.
An unexpected lead for Clinton in a normally solid red state is very bad news for the Trump campaign. Many Republican strategists and lobbyist have already abandoned Trump for Libertarian Gary Johnson while others are actively supporting Hillary Clinton.