Yesterday, the horror-shit speech, maybe of the year: ‘“Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that, and I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain. Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues.”‘
Specifics-free, and concluding: ‘“But one thing, I can promise you this: I will always tell you the truth.”‘
The Donald is one shameless, asshole-kind of guy, and would be slapped aside as resembling a character from a straight-laced, surreal Aaron Sorkin/Mel Brooks screenplay, maybe produced by Marvel, but destroying any entertaining effect is a shiver of fear the douche could become the most-powerful man on the planet.
Despite the ignorance of the ‘“Says Who?”‘ polling news-byte, most surveys reveal Trump losing by a wide margin, seemingly even growing wider. Yet life can shift on a dime, sometimes in a catastrophic direction — a similar view from FiveThirtyEight last Wednesday:
The polls-plus forecast puts Clinton’s chance of winning at 78 percent; over the past 10 days, her chances according to that model have been between 76 percent and 80 percent.
Simply put, the polls aren’t perfect at this point in the cycle — there’s still a good deal of uncertainty inherent in trying to predict who will win the election and by how much based on the polls.
In 1980, Jimmy Carter, after a successful convention, was tied with Ronald Reagan according to the national polling average.
But Reagan ended up winning by nearly 10 percentage points.
Reagan’s gains were greater than the deficit Trump faces now.
Just four years before Reagan’s victory, Gerald Ford nearly pulled off the greatest comeback in the modern polling era.
Ford was down by double digits in 1976.
But aided by a decent job approval rating and perhaps by Carter’s missteps, Ford narrowed Carter’s lead and even inched ahead in the final Gallup poll of the campaign.
Ford didn’t win another term, but he proved that a race can change even after both conventions are in the rearview mirror.
Perhaps the most interesting potential precedent for the 2016 campaign is 1968.
Richard Nixon was up by 8 percentage points and opened an even larger lead in the fall.
But Hubert Humphrey was able to consolidate a previously divided Democratic base (as Trump needs to do with Republicans) and cut into Nixon’s lead.
Humphrey was also aided by President Lyndon Johnson’s rising approval ratings and the original October surprise (an announcement by Johnson that the U.S. was halting the bombing in Vietnam).
Humphrey ended up losing in the second-closest presidential election of the 1900s.
It’s not too difficult to imagine Republicans rallying behind Trump — perhaps Clinton is hit with a scandal or WikiLeaks drops an October surprise.
In the right now, all the entertaining-hilarious value of this nonsense is way-gone…especially with the T-rump tempest in management hires this week.