Bloomberg journalist Mark Halperin suggested Friday morning that Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump could put Democrat Hillary Clinton on the defensive in the true blue state of California in the general election.
While “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough insisted the state has been a “virtual wasteland” for Republicans for the last two decades, Halperin said Trump would likely put new states in play come November.
Based on his current poll numbers, Halperin predicted the frontrunner would lose the Hispanic vote if the general election were held today, but that he’s not sure that will be the case long term.
According to the Field Poll of California, Clinton holds in 28 point lead in the state in a possible general election race against Trump.
“The math here is not as cut and dry as, he’s not going to do well with the Hispanic vote and can’t win,” he said.
Scarborough later cut in to say, “He’s never going to win California anyway” in the general election.
“The Trump voters are interested in the trip he’s on now, he was there yesterday, he’s there again today,” the “Game Change” writer replied. “Can he, not win it, but can he make Clinton play defense there?”
Halperin went on to say Trump can “probably” put more states in play if he’s the GOP nominee.
“Can I answer that question?” Scarborough interrupted. “No, no, he cannot make Hillary Clinton play defense in California.”
“I’m not sure that’s true,” Halperin said, going on to credit Arnold Schwarzenegger with “rebuilding the state party with celebrity.”
Watch the exchange, captured by TPM:
This post has been updated.