There is no home-course advantage for Donald Trump in this election.
A look at where the GOP’s courses are presents a sobering and very real scenario for the golf enthusiast: Trump may not win a single state where he has a golf course.
Trump has proudly put his name on eighteen, twelve of which are in the United States and can be found mainly along the East Coast, along one course located in southern California.
Trump’s twelve courses can be found in six states - New York (3), New Jersey (3), Virginia (1), North Carolina (1), Florida (3) and California (1) - all of which the Republican nominee currently trails Hillary Clinton in the polls.
Several states like New York, New Jersey and California are not even in play this cycle and haven’t been for the Republican Party for a long time. In New York, for example, the latest reliable polling was done at the end of May where Clinton had a lead between fifteen and twenty-six points over Trump, depending on the survey.
As for California and New Jersey, there is no recent general election polling, likely because it would be a waste of money.
As it stands, with less than 70 days left in the campaign, Trump is relatively more competitive in Virginia,and Florida, all states that are considered battlegrounds and critical for Trump to win.
The latest CBS News Battleground Tracker in North Carolina shows a tight race with Clinton holding a slight lead over Trump 46 percent to 42 percent - still within the margin of error.
A deeper look at precisely where Trump’s clubs are in these states draws an even greater contrast between the voters who live close to his properties and Trump’s politics.
All of these properties are situated near large cities - New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Charlotte, Miami and Los Angeles - and are in counties that voted overwhelmingly for President Obama over Mitt Romney in 2012. Looking back even further, most these areas have a long history of supporting Democratic candidates in presidential elections.
Three of Trump’s courses are in Bronx County, NY, Los Angeles County, CA, and Miami-Dade County, FL -- all extremely heavily Democratic areas where Obama won by 83 percent, 42 percent and 24 percent in 2012, respectively.
Several other locations -- like Somerset County in New Jersey and Loudoun County in Virginia -- were closer in 2012 but still favored Obama, while two counties, Iredell in North Carolina outside Charlotte and Monmouth just south of New York City, favored Romney.
Rick Wilson, GOP Strategist and frequent critic of Trump, put it this way: “Even in places where Trump has properties, he’s in the political rough”.
Many presidents have enjoyed playing golf. President Obama, for example, has played over 300 rounds during his eight years in office -- and his detractors do not let him forget it. Trump, meanwhile, has the potential to be the first president who would actually own the courses that he could play on.
In June, Trump traveled to Scotland to celebrate the reopening of his course at Turnberry. With the press following him around the course in carts he talked about the similarities between fixing golf courses and fixing the country.
Trump was also asked about his neighbors who live around his various courses. At Turnberry, some had put up Mexican flags before Trump arrived, and back at several of his courses in the U.S. Trump has had well documented legal fights due to construction and zoning.
“I have most neighbors – just so you understand – most neighbors love us. I have one or two that are a little contentious which is fine because they lost. It’s like some of the people I beat in the primaries. They’re not exactly in love with me. Well, I have one or two neighbors that we beat, and they’re not exactly in love with me. that’s okay. But most of the neighbors really like me,” Trump told reporters.
Asked for comment on this specific story about Trump’s courses in the U.S., spokesperson Hope Hicks told CBS News, “Mr. Trump owns and operates some of the most beautiful and iconic properties in the world. He is incredibly proud of the developments all over the country and grateful for the tremendous support he has received.”