Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Donald Chronicles: Consensus of the Numbers

A consensus of the presidential campaign numbers and the media people who study them as we enter September makes two basic conclusions: Hillary Clinton is far enough ahead in enough states with enough electoral votes to win the presidency, but a true landslide is unlikely.

The latest state poll--Monmouth's in PA--shows Clinton's substantial lead there has not diminished.  The New York Times daily summary of polls  shows that poll averages have her comfortably ahead also in Virginia, Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin and New Hampshire, clearly if narrowly ahead in Florida and Ohio, and slightly ahead in North Carolina and Iowa.  Trump has no path to victory that doesn't include some combination of Ohio, Florida, PA and Virginia.  National poll averages continue to show Clinton up by about 6 points.

To win back the Senate and the House, Dems are hoping for the landslide tide that lifts all boats.  That would probably follow from a vote victory of over 10 points. While within the realm of possibility in an unhinged election year, most media commentators say it's unlikely.  Stuart Rothenberg at W Post is among the latest. He emphasizes demographic clusters defining blue states and red states in suggesting Clinton's victory will most likely be of Obama-like proportions (probably the narrower 2012 win.)  Other analysts emphasize the two party polarization, to the extent that they exist in separate opposite universes where the candidate of the opposite party is the devil.

However, NBC First Read is among the media analysts who believe, even absent a landslide, the Dems are "on track" to win back the Senate, but just barely.  A Clinton landslide would likely add seats.

This is all "state of the moment" stuff, but indicates that Clinton has some margin for a bad debate performance, say, or negative external events.  The presidential campaign they say used to start after Labor Day weekend.  No more.  But it's still true that it gets more intense.

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