Harrington Discusses State of GOP Primary, Trump’s Prospects in General Election

• April 29, 2016 12:15 pm


Washington Free Beacon staff writer Elizabeth Harrington appeared Friday on Fox News to analyze the Republican presidential primary and how GOP frontrunner Donald Trump would fare in a general election against presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Speaking with host Heather Childers and the Washington Post’s Philip Bump, Harrington predicted that Trump will win the Indiana primary on May 3 and virtually lock up the Republican nomination for the party convention in July.

"Once Indiana happens, Trump really has this [primary] wrapped up because there is this growing sense of inevitability behind him, and voters want to back a winner," Harrington said. "So once Indiana comes down, which I think will be for Trump, really I think all these late deciders, which we saw on Tuesday as well, Trump outperformed in the polls because the late deciders wanted to back a winner. So I think he’s got this locked up, and then he will be pivoting toward Hillary."

She added that Trump’s primary opponents, Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, hurt themselves by forming a deal to not campaign in certain states to help each other gain delegates and stop Trump from getting the Republican nomination, arguing that the move "backfired."

Harrington also discussed how Trump would perform in a potential general election against Clinton, making the point that the real estate mogul can exceed expectations despite losing to her in the polls right now.

"It’s a long time between now and November," Harrington explained. "You’ve already seen [the polls] tightening up for a general election matchup between Hillary and Trump, so I think the polls are a little misleading that saw Trump trailing so much in the last couple of weeks. I think those are going to be close and he really does have a chance against the conventional wisdom to beat Hillary in the general election."

The Real Clear Politics poll average currently has Clinton leading Trump by seven points, 47.4 percent to 40.1 percent.

Harrington also said Trump will attack Clinton as no other candidate would be willing to, going after her husband’s past sexual transgressions and other issues that could hurt the former first lady.

"I think he’s going to try to brand Hillary just as he’s branded ‘low-energy Jeb Bush’ and ‘lying’ Ted Cruz throughout this primary, and so he’s going to come at Hillary with everything," Harrington said. "He’s going to throw everything out there and see what sticks. He’s got a lot of ammunition because Hillary has been around a long time. She’s got a lot of baggage. She’s got the Clinton email server under FBI investigation; she’s got already voters [seeing] her as untrustworthy. And Trump will be the only Republican candidate that will be willing to bring up Bill Clinton’s past history with women."

A majority of voters believe Clinton is untrustworthy and dishonest, according to recent polling, a point Trump will likely use in a general election to attack the former secretary of state.