The current polling gives little rational reason to think Donald Trump will win in November.
No matter how you slice it — national 4-way, national head-to-head, battleground states, electoral college, unfavorability — Trump is deeply underwater, as this polling average chart at Real Clear Politics today shows:
The trends are not any better for Trump than the averages. The two weeks after the Republican Convention were a complete disaster for Trump, from which he has not yet recovered:
You could argue that the polls are rigged or skewed. Because that worked so well in 2012.
Or you could argue that there are a lot of first time Trump voters out there who are not surveyed in polls. But where is the evidence of that? There’s some anecdotal evidence of Republicans doing better at registering new voters, but it’s doubtful it would be in large enough numbers to swing an election.
To use the football analogy, we’re at the end of the 3rd Quarter, and on Labor Day the 4th Quarter starts. Hillary is up by three touchdowns.
Yes, of course, anything is possible.
And we have in Hillary Clinton a candidate considered untrustworthy and dishonest, who also is one of the worst campaigners in history, someone who fails to inspire and epitomizes crony capitalism. How she got to the end of the 3rd Quarter with such a big lead was the result of repeated and devastating turnovers by the Trump side.
Hillary isn’t winning, Trump is losing through self-inflicted damage that may be irreversible.
At this point, Trump is losing people who were open to him, as this Luntz focus group indicated:
Logically looking at the situation, Hillary should be playing to avoid turnovers and to run out the clock.
Which according to Politico, is her strategy, Hillary Clinton’s run-out-the-clock strategy:
She is not planning on sitting for another televised armchair confessional to rehash regrets about a private email server. Nor is the campaign setting up the kind of war room employed last year to discredit a book that aimed to expose a quid-pro-quo relationship between Clinton Foundation donors and State Department officials.
With 75 days until Election Day and new emails once again casting a pall over her campaign, Hillary Clinton aims to “run out the clock,” confidants say, on the latest chapters of the overlapping controversies that have dogged her campaign since the start.
According to allies and operatives close to the campaign, Clinton’s team thinks “they can ride out” any negative reaction to a set of new emails that show Clinton Foundation officials trying to set up State Department meetings for donors during her tenure as the nation’s top diplomat.
“That doesn’t mean no response,” one Clinton team insider said, “but a muted one rather than a five-alarm fire.”
It’s a strategy borne, in part, of a belief held deeply by Clinton herself that the email controversy is a fake scandal and that voters are as sick of it as the candidate herself — and by the profound weaknesses of Clinton’s opponent.
If I were in Hillary’s position I’d run out the clock as well, and hope that lightning doesn’t strike the field.
That lightning could be some legal action against Hillary by the feds, something that should have happened already but didn’t. Maybe a local U.S. Attorney will go rogue, but there’s no reason to think the FBI or DOJ is going to do anything dramatic prior to the election.
Maybe the Russkies will drop the big one on Hillary’s campaign in the form of some blockbuster email. But it would have to be a thermonuclear email at this point to swing the election.
Or Trump could score big wins in the debates, and change perceptions overnight. That’s a more likely scenario than an external force intervening, particularly if Trump does the unexpected and patches together a few good weeks and the polls tighten.
I don’t think more State Department cronyism email revelations will make a difference unless it is something so simple on its face and so insanely outrageous that it will transcend the normal Clinton corruptocracy. More drip, drip could help tighten the polls, but it’s going to take more than that.
Sleaze and the stench of corruption is baked into the Clinton candidacy already. Democrats don’t care, and neither does Hollywood and the mainstream media.
So Hillary is hibernating. It’s one of the few things she does well.
Meanwhile, to give solace to those facing a harsh reality, there’s a risk to Hillary running out the clock. She may wake up in late October and find that her overwhelming lead has narrowed, and that it’s a game again. That will depend on Trump executing a comeback strategy, not just winging it, and avoiding more unforced errors and fumbles.
Because there’s a catch to trying to run out the clock.
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