We’ve never believed that polls are very accurate, but it’s conspicuous that Donald Trump majorly underperformed in Oklahoma to the tune of over 17%. Could it be that with Oklahoma’s closed primary, Democrats weren’t able to sabotage the nomination process by helping him win the GOP nod? The answer seems to be complex, but the simple version is, “Yes.”
Trump was up by 11.4% in the 3 Oklahoma polls this week, then lost by over 6%. The fact that Democrats could not vote for him in Oklahoma, Iowa, and Alaska is conspicuous. Supporters will say, “See, he converts Democrats to wanting to build a wall and deport people!” Intelligent Republicans will cry, “Sabotage!”
His supporters will point to Ronald Reagan who brought in his “Reagan Democrats” to vote for him. The difference is that Reagan was following a very unpopular President who had a 57% approval rating among Democrats – the lowest in modern history. By contrast, President Obama has an 80% approval rating among Democrats, the highest since John F. Kennedy. With Hillary Clinton vowing to keep his policies rolling if she’s elected, it’s practically impossible for Trump to be pulling in Democrats the way that the narrative is being painted.
What is very likely is that in open primaries, Democrats realize that Hillary Clinton is going to be the nominee over Bernie Sanders. All of the chips are stacked against Sanders, so whether they like Clinton or not, she’s their nominee. Knowing this, their best bet for winning the general election is to help Republicans nominate the only candidate who consistently polls under Clinton in head-to-head matchups. They know that Trump cannot win the general election, so they’re voting for him in open primaries.
This isn’t as complex as it initially sounds. It’s called opponent crafting and it’s very clearly happening in this race. The question is whether or not Republicans are going to allow Democrats to pick their nominee.