Wednesday, November 2, 2016
It ain't over till it's over
Just when you thought the Trump campaign was dead, here he comes again. All though, one has to wonder about all this volatility in the polls in the final week given that so many persons had purportedly made up their minds after the debates. Polls show him gaining in many states, and Nate Silver has reflected those changes in 538. He currently has Hillary with a 71.2% probability of winning the election, but that's off 16% from her high of 88.1% on October 16.
Trump appears to have taken back Ohio, Iowa and Arizona, all states that had been leaning toward Hillary in mid-October. Florida and North Carolina are now virtually 50-50, although Nate still projects them for Hillary. She has also slipped in Nevada. Real Clear Politics currently has Trump up ever so slightly in Florida, and down ever so slightly in North Carolina. If Trump were to turn both Florida and North Carolina, it could be enough for him to win the election.
It is hard to believe Comey's letter is the reason for this sudden shift. The race had already been tightening before the letter was exposed Friday. However, calling attention to the letter is certainly not helping Hillary. Add to that the recent release of FBI files concerning Bill Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich, and you have to wonder what the hell is going on here. Has James Comey been offered US Attorney General in Trump's administration?
The polls have been all over the place from the start of this election and seem to have gone bat-shit crazy in this final week. We saw a similar situation 4 years ago when Mitt pulled virtually neck and neck with Obama in the final week, only to lose many states that appeared to be leaning his way, including Ohio. One can only hope that this will be the case this year.
It's not like Trump has done anything to warrant this sudden jump. What has helped him is all the media scrutiny once again leveled at Hillary, in particular her on-going e-mail saga that took a very strange turn in regard to the Anthony Weiner "sexting" scandal. The e-mails were between his wife and him but some apparently passed through a state.gov server as Huma Abedin was working as Hillary's deputy chief of staff at the time.
Throughout this campaign, Hillary has been the one projected as everything that is wrong with government. Trump has hammered this theme home on the campaign trail, and the ongoing wikileaks live stream serves to confirm this impression. Now, she is linked to the sordid case of Anthony Weiner, whom Trump publicly thanked for the generous gift.
It has helped to divert attention away from Donald's own woes, including two upcoming court cases regarding Trump University and a re-opened rape charge, both of which were conveniently moved until after the election. Trump's greatest asset appears to be his army of lawyers.
Harry Reid has tried to switch the focus back on Trump by pointing out in an open letter to James Comey that the FBI director has been far more circumspect regarding potentially "explosive information" that links Trump with the Russian government, demanding the release of this information. Instead, we have to rely on the "liberal media" to reveal such connections, which of course most voters don't respect.
There is so much conflicting information at this point that voters screen out much of it, relying instead on their impressions, which appear to swing in the wind like an old barn door. We rely on the media to scrutinize this information and offer us some kind of logical interpretation, but sadly the mainstream media has played this election like a schlock reality show and are content to do so until the end.
The Al Smith dinner should have been the final dagger after his awful performance in the debates. He had Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Al Smith both squirming in their seats, shocked by the absurd claims he leveled at Hillary, including that she "hates Catholics." Many have given him up for dead, but he refuses to go away.
Understandably, stress levels are high this final week. Hopefully, clearer heads will prevail come election day and that we can bury Trump deep, deep into the ground. Sadly, Trumpism will continue to linger as he has exposed the foul underbelly of our society, and this stink is not likely to go away anytime soon.