On June 7th, Hillary Clinton secured the necessary delegates (2,383) to be the Democratic nominee for President. Technically, if you disregard super delegates, who don't officially vote until July, Clinton does not have the necessary delegates. However, pretty much everyone but the DNC has declared her the nominee, which sets us up for a crazy five months.
The former secretary doesn't have the same momentum her opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, has against Donald Trump. In fact, she needs to improve in key demographic areas to beat him. Unless Donald Trump offends white, Christian males, the only group he has yet to insult, she has a lot of work to do. It's still early, but it's clear no one will win in a landslide. If Clinton doesn't appeal to the target demographics below, she won't win at all.
The millennial. The word alone sounds like a Nat Geo special. It's no secret that the youth vote helped President Obama soar to victory in both 2008 and 2012. However, Hillary Clinton is not Barack Obama, which could be a problem for her in the general election. In 2012, 60% of voters 18-29 chose Barack Obama over Mitt Romney, just 6% lower than the 18-29 year olds that chose him over John McCain in 2008. Hillary Clinton isn't anywhere near that percentage. In fact, the most recent polls show her leading Trump by only 3 points with Millenials, 45 points to Trump's 42.
An overwhelming amount of millennial voters support Bernie Sanders, and should be Hillary Clinton's main priority right now. Except, she faces a major hurdle with them, a lot of them are not only pro-Bernie, but also anti-Hillary and her establishment. Her Wall St. connection, contributions to the Iraq War, and flip-flopping on key issues have led Millenials to label her as untrustworthy. The most recent example is the response from Millenials on social media who criticized Clinton for wearing a $12,495 Armani jacket while giving a speech about inequality.
Hillary giving a speach on economic inequality wearing a $12,500 Armani coat pic.twitter.com/iCXXr8IscA
— anys (@JeSuisAnys) June 6, 2016
That being said, she also managed to draw the youth in and start an entertaining worldwide trend, #DeleteYourAccount, after tweeting this to Donald Trump on Thursday afternoon:
Still, Hillary Clinton could lose the millennial vote for being too "company" based. This is due to the fact that Donald Trump resembles Bernie Sanders, who used his tactic of "not being company owned" to take the millennial vote, and it's already helping Trump . Right now, Clinton leads Trump 44-40 with all voters. That's a huge shift from her lead against him in March, and the primary reason is voters under 30. A two-week old poll shows that Clinton recently lost 19% of young voters, and Trump picked up 17% of them. Now that she's the presumptive nominee, that number could easily rise, and could cost her greatly in the general election.
Hillary Clinton actually has a great lead over Trump with Latino voters, beating him 62-23. Still, she'll need more than that in the upcoming months to secure the Latino vote. By comparison, 71% of Hispanic voters chose Barack Obama over Mitt Romney in 2012. While Trump's recent remarks concerning Latinos, specifically federal judge Gonzalo Curiel, have hurt his appeal, past polls show that when he downplays his positions on immigration, his numbers with Latino voters rise. It's too early to predict, but he could easily lock in many of the Sunbelt states, several of which will be important battleground states.
Despite this, Clinton has one more advantage when it comes to Latinos; who she names as her running mate. While the past 48 hours have placed Senator Elizabeth Warren VP favorite, Clinton could choose a Latino, and there are many on her list. The highest on that list is Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro. If she chooses to go with someone older, she could also name Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who would not only secure her a Latino vote, but a union vote as well. She also has a third option, Rep. Xavier Beccera (California). Clinton dominated in the Golden State, and Beccera's effort played a lot into that.
Whoever she chooses as VP, Clinton would need to do more to maintain her lead with Latino voters, especially if Trump decides to lead a more serious campaign before November.
Anti-Trump and Anti-Hillary Voters
This group might be the most diverse, and toughest of all. I'm talking Muslims, Arabs, and Jews who strongly favored Sen. Sanders, Anti-Trump Republicans, and non-white women under 40. Most of these voters have an undergraduate college degree or higher, so they probably won't be jumping ship to Trump, who leads with all non-college educated voters. However, that doesn't necessarily mean they'll be voting for Clinton either.
Both nominees could lose these voters to another candidate. As of today, there is no severe 3rd party threat, but if one were to come out, a large percentage of these voters could choose that candidate as an alternative to both Trump and Clinton. This possibility would be worse for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump because he wouldn't lose any key states.
For example, the Michigan primary went to Bernie and Trump, thanks to both the Muslim American vote and the anti-Muslim American vote. Michigan Democrats won't need much convincing to vote for a different party, or sit out the general election completely. It's in battleground states like this that Clinton needs to do more because they could add up to big numbers come November. If Trump pays a little more attention to them than she does, and subtly changes his tactics, she won't be able to maintain a lead throughout her campaign.
Yes, November is far away and unpredictable, but Trump is gaining momentum. This means Clinton will need to lock in these voters before Trump has a chance to. She needs to gain back the trust of Millenials and keep her lead with Latino voters. If a third party comes out to play, the competition gets even tougher.
It surely won't be a landslide, more like a gladiatorial contest in the Coliseum. In other words, there will only be one real winner as the summer election season heats up - the media. Much like gladiators who fought to the death in Ancient Rome, elections are entertaining - and tough, unstable ones are the best kind. Let the games begin.