Monday, November 07, 2016

The Done with Donald Chronicles: Mo Better

If the presidential election depended on James Comey, Trump would have been ahead by Saturday night.

But on Sunday, Comey's letter to Congress essentially saying Never Mind about the emails the FBI announced it found last week may help Hillary on the margins, confirming what probably most Americans feel, which is they are tired of hearing about the damn emails.  (A point made in a brilliant final campaign sketch on SNL.)

Comey's latest letter enraged Trump and other GOPers who hit the reset button on the rigged system etc.  It did seem that the coverage of Comey essentially exonerating Clinton did not get anywhere near the same prominent and sustained coverage on Sunday as his Federal Department of Insinuation announcement a week ago Friday.  We'll see what Monday brings.

It might make the Trump chosen closing argument ring a little more hollow to non-alt.right cultists.  The latest ABC/WPost tracking poll has Hillary up five points, and winning the "moderate" vote.  This might help a little more in that group, especially with women who may be confirmed in their view that Hillary has been getting a raw deal, and enough is enough.

Some stories emphasize the closeness of the race.  But no polls so far have shown Trump ahead nationally nor in enough states to win.  The latest tracking polls show a trend towards Hillary.  NBC gives Hillary a 4 point lead, Politico 3.

Moreover, though headlines may emphasize that Trump has a chance, the stories say what was said a month ago, that it will take a Trump wave in virtually all the battleground states plus a big blue state like PA for him to get the minimum 270.

 Whereas Hillary has several possible combinations to get there and well beyond.  And polling is showing no Trump wave building.  Only the Trump campaign is saying there is one, based it seems on requests for rally tickets.  Did I mention how big McGovern's crowds were the last week of the campaign?

Again, there's nervousness because Trump is campaigning in blue states and so is Clinton.  But again, this is normal for Dem candidates to rally the base, especially now in states without early voting, like Michigan and PA.

The continuing theme of the surging Latino vote includes many who haven't voted before and are unlikely to be counted in polls.  What the polls do measure is the proportion, and Hillary is above 70% with Latinos.  And after all the propaganda about "hidden" votes for Trump, there's speculation on a hidden vote for Hillary, by women, not picked up by pollsters.  This one sounds plausible, though no way to know how statistically significant it might be.

Lots of media is playing it conservative possibly because Nate Silver keeps issuing cautions.  Though he gives Hillary a 2 in 3 chance to win, he finds her in a weaker position than Obama in 2012.  But there's some pretty strong disagreement among these experts.  The NYTimes Upshot gives Trump a 16% chance to win.

States in play: I refuse to believe New Hampshire will leave the blue.  Iowa maybe.  North Carolina and Florida (where the Latino vote is off the charts and more black voters than in 2012 early voting) remain probable for Hillary.

 Ohio remains possible (H leads in early voting so far, with claims that as in Florida, Rs are included.)  Utah likely Trump now, Arizona still maybe Hillary, on the strength of the Latino vote.  Pennsylvania and Michigan stay blue, and may not even be close.

So depending on how close it is in the eastern states, Hillary's victory could be obvious fairly quickly.  I'll be interested in when they call Florida, since they expect 70% of the vote to be cast before Tuesday.  But it may be close and take several hours.  Last time it took awhile, though Obama's victory was clear there.

So to sum up: On the basis of the Latino vote and Dem voter enthusiasm--which should pick up even more after the Comey announcement--I continue to believe Hillary has the momentum.  The ground game is paying off already and this is when the Dems access to the stars makes the final rallies meaningful.  LeBron James in Cleveland, JT in New Hampshire, the Boss in Philly.

In Florida Sunday, President Obama scored the kind of political point that can move those roiled uncommitteds, when he noted that Trump's campaign has taken away his Twitter privileges. "Now, if somebody can't handle a Twitter account, they can't handle the nuclear codes," Obama said.

Meanwhile the Trump campaign is flailing.  His events continue to be hate rallies. The parody of an "assassination attempt" that the Trumpeters are trumpeting turns out to be his own supporters beating up a Republican.  Like the man that President Obama defended at a Hillary rally, he was silently holding a sign.

The LA Times final election map gives Clinton 352 electoral votes, despite their poll consistently skewing towards Trump.  I expect Hillary to overperform the poll numbers, basically because of Latino and women voters.  That puts her in landslide territory, at least electorally.

In the end, a major chunk of that 67% or whatever it is that says the Donald is unfit to be President will finally manifest itself, I'm convinced.

Harbingers: long lines reported in Ohio early voting, but also in young and liberal North Hollywood CA--even though CA outcome is supposedly foreordained.  In other words, this is enthusiasm.

The Senate, they say, leans towards a Dem majority but essentially is a coin toss.  You really have to know individual races at this point to make predictions there.  It would take a Clinton popular vote as well as electoral vote landslide to create a wave that raises Senate and even House boats/votes.  But it could happen.

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