GOP insiders: Maybe Trump can win – Politico

Once resigned to a November defeat, swing state Republicans are increasingly optimistic about Donald Trump’s chances now that the GOP presidential nominee has closed a once-yawning deficit in the polls against Hillary Clinton.

That’s according to The POLITICO Caucus — a panel of activists, operatives and strategists in 11 battleground states, 10 of which President Barack Obama carried in 2012. While a majority of GOP insiders still say Clinton would carry their state if the election were held today, significantly more Republicans now say Trump would win than even just a few weeks ago.

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But despite Trump’s improving prospects, GOP insiders express little confidence in the Trump campaign’s infrastructure — particularly compared with how Democrats feel about Clinton’s campaign.

Still, the uptick in how Republicans view Trump’s chances is striking. In this week’s survey, 61 percent of GOP insiders said Clinton would win their state, but the 39 percent who picked Trump to win is a new high-water mark for the GOP nominee. It’s a measure The POLITICO Caucus tracks on a weekly basis, and for most of August, only about one-in-five Republican insiders thought Trump would win their state.

“Trump has turned the tide in Ohio, and he would win by a microscopic margin if the race were held today,” said a Republican there. (All respondents completed the survey anonymously.)

“The political landscape has changed in the past few weeks in Colorado, as well as the nation,” added a Republican there. “Reluctant Republicans are realizing the choice is ideological, angry Bernie supporters just can’t support Hillary because of what the DNC leaks exposed, and independents are indicating many will also throw support for Trump in Colorado because Hillary is so toxic.”

An Iowa Republican added: “Hillary has spent millions here. She’s pounded on him for months, unopposed and unrelenting. And she’s still behind. She’s functionally the incumbent and she has little to no room for growth. In short: she hasn’t put him away, she probably can’t put him away, so he wins.”

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