She still leads, but that lead has shrunk dramatically as Trump no longer is the center of attention and the spotlight is on Hillary.
On August 24, I noted that Hillary’s strategy was to run out the clock, in light of her massive lead in the polls since the conventions, Hibernating Hillary Running Out the Clock:
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:
That was then. Before Hillary’s hibernation combined with more email problems, and Trump’s staying out of trouble, caused something approaching a collapse.
Here’s what that same chart looks like now. Hillary is still leading, but in every category her lead has shrunk dramatically.
This is what a collapsing looks like nationally head to head (the first collapse was Trump’s, the second Clinton’s):
And in two key states, Florida and Ohio, where the collapsed lead was due to Trump rising more than Hillary falling:
The MSNBC forum was a fiasco for Hillary. Trump sharing — back to back — a stage with Hillary helped Trump tremendously.
Matt Lauer is being savaged by the liberal media for being mean to Hillary, with the sexism card being played, Trump’s sexist strategy gets assist from Matt Lauer:
In the aftermath Lauer has been widely called out for what many saw as an unfair, sexist approach to moderating.
For one thing, he devoted about a third of his time with Clinton to questions about her emails, while rushing her through other, weightier topics. He interrupted her, while allowing Trump to talk over him in his usual way, and he left unchallenged Trump’s contradictory statement about not supporting the war in Iraq (he did), among other things. The outrage across social media was immediate. “How in the hell does Lauer not fact check Trump lying about Iraq? This is embarrassingly bad,” asked former Obama aide Tommy Vietor, echoing many.
It was a fresh teachable moment for women everywhere about what happens when a woman dares to seek power.
Trump himself made this lesson plain when in response to a Lauer question, he issued a staunch defense of a tweet he’d made three years ago about how sexual assault in the military is in large part the inevitable result of allowing women to serve in the armed forces.
As offensive as this sexism is, it’s not new.
Why the Trump rise?
He has avoided screw ups. He has avoided making himself the issue in the race.
The race is becoming about Hillary. That’s not where Democrats want to be.
In my prior post, I suggested that at the beginning of the 4th Quarter (Labor Day), Hillary was ahead by three touchdowns. We’re just a few minutes in to the Quarter, and already the lead is down to 10 points.
Hillary has many structural Electoral College advantages shared by all Democratic presidential candidates. And the media refs are on her side. It may be enough. But what looked like a nearly sure thing just two weeks ago looks less certain.
At the end of my prior post, I cautioned that there still were risks for Hillary.
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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