Dr. Christopher Borick: Trump Could ‘Break 50 Percent’ in Pennsylvania

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Dr. Christopher Borick, Director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion, was a guest on Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM with host Stephen K. Bannon, where he offered his projections for next week’s Pennsylvania primary.

“More and more, the polls appear to have Donald Trump poised for a big victory in Pennsylvania — maybe not quite the level of what happened in New York, but he’s well-positioned in almost every poll I’ve seen, including some new ones out today,” said Borick.

He said Pennsylvania is “rich” with the core voters who have been turning out for Trump across the country: “White working-class voters, lower education levels, frustrated by the loss of manufacturing jobs.”

Borick added that Trump’s message does not resonate solely among such voters.  “He does well enough in groups like the higher-educated, those with a college degree,” he said.  “He’s right in the mix with both Kasich and Cruz among that group, here in Pennsylvania.”

He expected Ted Cruz to do better in Pennsylvania than New York, citing Cruz’s slam at “New York values” as a reason for his exceptionally poor performance there.  However, Borick thought Cruz’s candidacy “just doesn’t translate well to the Northeast,” where the population of evangelical voters is smaller.

He also thought Ohio governor John Kasich’s candidacy was “a real issue” for Cruz in the Northeast.  “Kasich’s got draw in western PA,” he said.  “The proximity to Ohio, he was born in Pennsylvania, he has roots here.  He runs about even in our polls out in the Pittsburg area.  So there’s a little bit of draw that’s taking away from potential Cruz voters there.”  

“They’re probably going to divvy up the vote pretty evenly here, and that’s a great position for Donald Trump to be in,” Borick judged.  “As long as that’s the case, in a place like Pennsylvania, the ability to close the gap on Trump remains quite limited.”

When it comes to a general election matchup against the Democrats, Borick conceded that “Pennsylvania has been a reach for Republicans since 1988,” but he thought Trump “does have some assets that nobody else has brought to the table, in his ability to get those white working-class voters not only to go Republican, but to show up, in pretty big numbers.”

“He makes it an intriguing environment that we haven’t seen here in awhile.  I still think demographically, with a million more registered Democrats in the state, that it’s a tough haul for Republicans, but one that I think Trump might bring some dynamics in to shake it up a bit,” Borick said.

On the Democrat side, Borick acknowledged that minority voter turnout is “the ace in the hole for Democrats in the state, and that’s a big question mark.”

“I think you’re probably going to see the same breakdown among African-American voters, voting Democrats in the race,” he predicted.  “The key is how many do turn out.   The draw of President Obama in places like Philadelphia was extreme.  Having that not there is a question mark.  If that fails to live up to expectations for Democrats, and Trump mobilizes white working-class voters, it could be a lot tighter than we’ve seen in the past in this state.”

“It’s hard to imagine a scenario, coming out of New York, without any big events happening, that Trump doesn’t get in that forty, forty-five – maybe even a little bit more – percent of the vote,” Borick said of the Republican race in Pennsylvania.  As for Cruz and Kasich, he said “every poll I’ve seen has them running fairly even, they’ll probably score in the high twenties, which will make it a sizable victory for Trump.”  

He thought it was possible that Trump could break fifty percent, “if he does better in suburban Philadelphia than he has been.”

“That’s the rich voter area in the state,” Borick clarified.  “Again, we talked about those higher-educated voters that showed up for him in New York, if they show in Pennsylvania, in suburban Philadelphia, he could fifty, or close to it.”

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00AM to 9:00AM EST.

You can listen to the full interview with Dr. Christopher Borick below: