The game is afoot!
The Donald continues to pull ahead of Her Imperial Majesty in a variety of polls; it’s important to note that the real estate mogul’s Electoral College path is still tougher than that of the Dowager Empress, but it’s doable. Polling analyst Nate Silver has cautioned Democrats that if the polls still look like this a week from now, it’s brown-trousers time. Excerpt:
Hillary Clinton’s lead in the polls has been declining for several weeks, and now we’re at the point where it’s not much of a lead at all. National polls show Clinton only 1 or 2 percentage points ahead of Donald Trump, on average. And the state polling situation isn’t really any better for her. On Thursday alone, polls were released showing Clinton behind in Ohio, Iowa and Colorado — and with narrow, 3-point leads in Michigan and Virginia, two states once thought to be relatively safe for her.
It’s also become clearer that Clinton’s “bad weekend” — which included describing half of Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables” on Friday, and a health scare (followed by news that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia) on Sunday — has affected the polls. Prior to the weekend, Clinton’s decline had appeared to be leveling off, with the race settling into a Clinton lead of 3 or 4 percentage points. But over the past seven days, Clinton’s win probability has declined from 70 percent to 60 percent in our polls-only forecast and by a similar amount, from 68 percent to 59 percent, in our polls-plus forecast.
Readers of these virtual pages know that I was for either Scott Walker or Rand Paul in the GOP primaries, and remain today a skeptical supporter of The Donald as the lesser (by far) of two evils. But I’m beginning to appreciate the savvy with which the Trumpmeister manipulates the legacy media, and the smarts he showed last week when Her Imperial Majesty was self-destructing; he did the best thing possible, he shut up and let her campaign continue its self-immolation.
I’m looking forward to the first debate – next week – more than ever. It may well be the swan song of Her Royal Highness’s campaign – or it might not. But it will be entertaining and that, True Believers, makes it worth watching in itself. As my Millennial offspring (none of whom are voting for the Dowager Empress) are fond of saying, just for the lulz.