After Trump locked up the Republican nomination, the general election narrative was simple: Clinton will not only win, but win big. Clinton, the thinking went, would not only win blue and blue-leaning states, but would compete in places Democrats rarely win, like Arizona, Georgia, and Utah. But over the last few days, polls from Fox News and ABC have showed Trump with a narrow lead over Hillary Clinton.
These polls should be disconcerting for Team Clinton, but for now at least, Trump is the least of her worries. Trump’s bump has largely come from Republicans unifying behind their candidate. Democrats haven’t done that yet, and likely won’t for another few weeks, at least. Clinton’s challenge now isn’t winning over the voters who are lining up behind Donald Trump, it’s winning over those who have been supporting Bernie Sanders.
As NBC reported Monday morning, those voters generally have a negative opinion of her, so it will be a challenge, especially if her surrogates continue to attack Sanders for staying in the race, as they did for much of last week. (I’m reading the recent poll that suggested that as many as 20 percent of Sanders’s voters would vote for Trump as proof of that animus, rather than as proof that Trump could win over a considerable share of Sanders’s voters.) Thankfully for Clinton it’s still May, which means she has plenty of time to win over Sanders’s supporters.