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Clinton Keeps Pulling Ahead Heading Into Second Presidential Debate

First Presidential Debate 2016

As we head into the second Presidential debate tonight, the race for the White House appears to be at a turning point that could have an impact up and down the ballot, and it’s all thanks to Donald Trump. First, there was a clearly bad debate performance on Trump’s part that included questions about disparaging comments he made about a Miss Universe pageant that caused him to go off on a week long tirade that completely diverted the campaign from whatever message it may have intended to push in the wake of the debate. Shortly after that, The New York Times published a story indicating that Trump has suffered a nearly $1  billion loss in the mid-1990s that likely meant he ended up paying no taxes for at least eighteen years thereafter, a story which also sent Trump off onto a tirade. The biggest story, though, came late on Friday when audio from 2005 of Trump talking to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush about women in a lewd manner that has caused numerous Republicans to call on Trump to step down, and even for his own Vice-Presidential nominee it was a step too far. While it’s clear that the calls on Trump to step aside as the GOP nominee, or for the GOP to replace him, are little more than fantasy, it’s also clear that Trump’s fellow Republicans are on the verge of abandoning him completely and putting their resources into an effort to protect down ballot races for the Senate, House, Governor’s Mansions and state legislatures. In other words if things were difficult for Trump heading into this final month of the campaign, they may be on the verge of becoming impossible, especially if Republican voters follow the lead of their representatives and turn their back on Trump.  All of this happened, of course, as what was possibly the worst possible time for Trump, After several weeks of tightening in the polls, it became apparent last week that the tide seemed to be turning in Hillary Clinton’s favor both at the national and the state levels..

At the national level, Hillary Clinton began pulling away from Trump in a manner that suggests that this race may become one that the GOP cannot win thanks to Trump’s comments. With the exception of the Los Angeles Times poll, which has been heavily weighted in Trump’s favor from the beginning. Other polling, though, clearly showed Clinton pulling ahead of Trump and halting the momentum that he had developed over the previous month or so. That trend continued in the wake of the first debate and what turned out to be a rather uneventful Vice-Presidential debate and puts Clinton in an excellent position to shut the door on Trump in the near future. The RealClearPolitics National Average for a two-way race, for example, showed Clinton (47.5%) with an average lead of 4.6 points over Trump (42.9%), a significant improvement over the 3.8 point lead she had last week as well as two weeks ago when her average lead was at 2.3 points and three weeks ago when it was at 1.3 points. In a four-way race that includes the major third-party candidates, Clinton stands at an average of  43.7% compared to Trump’s 40.9%, giving her a 3.2 point lead. Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson stands at 6.5% and Green Party nominee Jill Stein stands at 2.3%, giving Clinton an average lead of 2.6 points, which compares favorably to where it stood two weeks ago when it was at 1.5 points and three weeks ago when it stood at 1.1 points. Pollster shows similar improvement in both a two-way and a three-way race.

You can also see signs of Clinton’s upward tick in the RCP Charts:

RCP Two Way Chaart 10916

 

and, the four-way chart:

RCP Four Way Chart 10916

 

The past week has also seen Clinton largely put a halt to Trump’s momentum and, potentially, push back against  Trump in states where Trump was showing signs of strength.. For example, we’ve seen Clinton’s numbers improve in states such as Pennsylvania and Virginia, where she was already leading albeit by smaller margins than in the past, and to make inroads in states like Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, and Iowa where Trump seemed to be showing good news for Trump. As a result, the RCP Electoral Vote Map now gives Clinton 260 Electoral Votes compared to 165 for Trump and 113 grouped among nine states as being toss-ups. Without toss-ups, and if the RCP averages are taken as indicative of the final results, Clinton would have 340 Electoral Votes to 198 for Donald Trump.

Turning to the projections, Clinton’s turnaround continues to be reflected there as well. Nate Silver’s polls-only forecast, for example, projects a 81.3% likelihood of a Clinton victory and a  18.7% chance of a Republican victory while the ‘Polls-Plus’ forecast gives Clinton a  77.1% chance of winning versus 22.9% for Donald Trump and the “Now-cast,” which purports to project would happen if the election were held today, showing a 85.3% chance of a Clinton victory and a 14.6% chance of a Trump victory. These are all significant improvements over where Clinton was over the past two weeks. As was the case last week, Clinton fares slightly better in Sam Wang’s forecast and in Larry Sabato’s forecastThe New York Timesmeanwhile, gives Clinton a 83% chance of winning the race while DailyKos gives Clinton a  93% chance of winning. These are also an improvement over Clinton’s position last week.

The question going forward, of course, is what impact the latest revelations about Trump’s past statements about women, as well as his performance in tonight’s penultimate debate, will have on the race. For Trump’s core supporters, I tend to doubt that even these comments will be enough to turn them away from a candidate that they have invested their emotions in for the past sixteen months or more. However, Trump was never going to win the election with just the support of those core supporters. To do that, he needs to attract support from independents and other voters who weren’t already in his camp, and he needs to drastically improve his position among women and younger voters. Is it possible that Trump can show enough contrition to stop the bleeding from last week’s revelations? I suppose it is, but it doesn’t seem as though it’s very likely this will happen. First of all, Trump’s supporters are refusing to admit that the comments are as bad as they obviously are, and many of them seem to think that the best way to respond to questions about what Trump said is to regurgitate arguments from the 1990s regarding Bill Clinton’s sexual past, including the allegations that he had sexually assaulted several women going back to the time when he was Governor of Arkansas. The problem is that those stories were largely litigated 20 years ago and it seems unlikely that most Americans are going to want to hear about the yet again.. Second, it just isn’t in Trump’s nature to be apologetic and we already know that he is easily goaded into putting his foot in his mouth. In the last debate, for example, all Hillary Clinton had to do was mention the Miss Universe comments and Trump took to the issue like someone who can’t help himself when it comes to attacking people. Finally, the fact that this is going to be a “town hall” style debate means that it will be much harder for him to go on the attack against Clinton. Given all that, the odds that Trump will be able to turn things around seem to be quite low.

 

Previous posts:

With Eleven Weeks To Go, Hillary Clinton Appears To Be Unstoppable
Ten Weeks Out: The Presidential Race Tightens A Bit, But Clinton Still Lead
With Nine Weeks To Go, Clinton’s Post-Convention Bounce Seems To Have Disappeared
With Eight Weeks To Go, A Tighter Race But It’s Still Advantage Clinton
Presidential Race Continues To Tighten With Seven Weeks To Go
Presidential Race Remains Tight Heading Into First Debate
With Five Weeks To Go, Clinton Appears To Have Momentum

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    The race was over when Trump won the primaries, solely because 15 million benighted idiots thought a buffoon/oaf/con man with zero knowledge of domestic and foreign policy and a frightening propensity to be jerked around like a trout by anyone who strokes his ego would make a good president.

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  2. CSK says:

    I forgot to add self-confessed pervert to that list.

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  3. michael reynolds says:

    As I predicted the Trump voters are still with him, at least in early polling. They want a crude, vile, racist creep and they insist on getting one.

    I think what’s happening now is that the GOP is choosing up sides for a civil war. The white collar Republicans on one side, Beavis and Butthead on the other. It will be fascinating to see the turnout in 30 days. No one has ever seen anything like this, a political party leadership in open feed about supporting their candidate.

    My very cautious approach is to figure that any state where Nate shows a greater than 65% chance of Hillary winning she will win by virtue of organization. Right now that’s everything but Iowa, North Carolina and Ohio. They have not been polled much post-pussy, and I suspect it’ll widen out to a 5 point HRC lead in all but Iowa.

    Incidentally, there’s a rumor that someone from The Apprentice has tape of Trump dropping the N-word. Mark Cuban is volunteering to pay the 5 million dollar penalty for this producer. If true the timing is beautiful – just the rumor will give Team Trump the squirts, and the actual tape? Oh, if Cuban wasn’t already offering I’d see what funds I can scrape up.

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  4. Scott says:

    After reading the comments here and other places, I realize I must be the only person who does not want to watch the town hall debate this evening. Not that I was ever going to consider voting for Trump anyway; however, the whole conversation about his entire vulgar life is just as distateful and gross as it gets. Instead of lauding the entertainment value, I would hope the nation would just turn its collective back on this.

    Being part of the boomer generation, I hope these candidates will be the last of us and let the country move on.

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  5. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Just couldn’t stay away, could you? 😀 Certainly the Trumpkins are still with their man. They’ll be with him even if someone turns up with a video/audio of him raping a nun.

    Of course there are more and worse tapes.

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  6. JKB says:

    For Trump’s core supporters, I tend to doubt that even these comments will be enough to turn them away

    You gloss over the basic facts. Donald Trump is the only thing that stands between Hillary Clinton and the Oval Office. The choice is between someone who has spoken vulgarly in private and someone who has exposed code word level secrets of the United States, left men to die in the field, sold her offices and whose authoritarian tendencies will be unopposed by the news media and her fellow travelers in both parties as she continues the usurpation of the Constitution. Not to mention install a confessed sexual abuser as the First Person, for he surely ain’t no gentleman.

    Those who turn away because of the delicate nature of their ears, turn away from the rule of law and the ancient liberties.

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  7. An Interested Party says:

    …someone who has exposed code word level secrets of the United States, left men to die in the field, sold her offices and whose authoritarian tendencies will be unopposed by the news media and her fellow travelers in both parties as she continues the usurpation of the Constitution.

    Ohhhhh…spooky! Do you think you will be one of the first to be rounded up and sent to the re-education camps? Perhaps they’ll remove your shiny hat there…

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  8. Sarah Benton says:

    @JKB: Regarding “Rule of Law” and
    “Ancient Liberties”, DT knows nothing of either!

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  9. CSK says:

    @JKB

    I accept your premise, for the purposes of discussion, and stipulate that you regard Hillary Clinton as a greater danger to the Republic than Donald Trump. Fine.

    But…what on earth makes you think that Donald Trump will be a capable, or even minimally competent, chief executive? The man is proudly ignorant. He can’t remember what he says from one day to the next, and apparently never bothered to read the “policy” positions put forth on his own campaign website. What is it about a man who engages in Twitter wars at 3 a.m. with D-List celebrities that inspires your confidence? What is it about someone who changes his position on abortion three times between lunch and the cocktail hour that elicits your trust?

    Do you think he can be controlled by the “really, really good” people he’ll hire? What makes you think he’ll even listen to them? What makes you think he can hire really, really good people? He’s fired more campaign staff than anyone else in living memory.

    If you could offer some concrete back-up as to why you think Trump is even slightly equipped to “make America great again,” I’d be happy to listen. Or read.

    And, by the way, I don’t have sensitive ears. I do think, with considerable justification, that a man who publicly obsesses about his penis size, who overtly sexualizes his own daughter on multiple occasions, who can be goaded into fits of temper by the slightest criticism, is probably too mentally ill to oversee the candy concession at your local movie theater, much, much less an entire country, where you can’t go to Congress and yell “You’re fired!” at some legislator who annoys you.

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  10. Steve Verdon says:

    How is the peso doing?

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  11. Blue Galangal says:

    @An Interested Party: I saw a great description of this phenomenon on Balloon Juice: the tin foil insanity horizon.

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  12. Steve Verdon says:

    Predict Wise gives Clinton an 88% probability of winning. After tonight Trump’s probability may even go into single digits.

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  13. The worst thing is that I can´t imagine Hillary beating Marco Rubio or John Kasich. But, that´s what the GOP wanted.

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  14. Mister Bluster says:

    … left men to die in the field,

    Lest we Forget, 33 Years Ago This Month:
    Worse Than Benghazi: After Reagan Ignored Warnings, 220 Marines Were Killed by a Terrorist in Beirut

    “They had no mission but to sit at the airport,” Reagan Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger recalled years later, according to a Fox News report, “which is just like sitting in a bull’s-eye. I begged the president at least to pull them back and put them back on their transports as a more defensible position.”
    http://www.pensitoreview.com/2015/06/01/worse-than-benghazi-reagan-ordered-220-marines-to-beirut-where-they-were-slaugthered-by-terrorists/

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  15. JohnMcC says:

    @CSK: The nun was asking for it.

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  16. CSK says:

    @JohnMcC:

    Oh, of course she was asking for it. She probably threw herself at Trump and begged for it, as he’s said so many other women have done.

    Apropos of that, Mark Burnett, executive producer of The Apprentice, and a Trumpkin, has threatened to sue anyone who leaks outtakes of Trump performing in his role on the show. By doing so, of course, he just admitted that there are tapes damaging to Trump. These people are not smart.

    What’s even more amusing is that Burnett has no capacity to sue; the tapes are owned by MGM.

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  17. Jen says:

    @Scott: I’m not watching either. As I noted before the last debate, these things start too late for me, as I get all wound up and then can’t sleep, and I have early morning work which requires me to be up, caffeinated, and at my desk by 6 a.m.

    I hope it goes well for Wash U, if only because I have a friend who works there who is very much involved with making sure things go off without a hitch.

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  18. Jen says:

    @Mister Bluster: Wow, that makes me feel old. Remember, that happened October of the same year the embassy was bombed in April, killing 17 Americans. Same year, same city. 237 Americans killed in one year, in the same spot.

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  19. Cian says:

    Here’s my prediction: Trump will apologies. He will refuse to go after Bill. He will pivot as often as possible to Hillary’s stance on trade, her missing emails, Benghazi, her speeches to Wall Street. If the story tomorrow is how he managed to put her on defense, the story moves on the media starts the come back story. Anything less than a Trump melt down is a win. That’s how shallow the country has become.

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  20. JKB says:

    @Sarah Benton: DT knows nothing of either!

    Perhaps, but he will have the entire media complex, Democrats and Republicans in Congress aligned against him. As such, any tendencies will be inhibited.

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  21. JKB says:

    @CSK: But…what on earth makes you think that Donald Trump will be a capable, or even minimally competent, chief executive?

    You misunderstand. Donald Trump is NOT Hillary Clinton. That is the key deciding point. Had the Democrats fielded some other candidate, the choice might have been difficult, but they chose Hillary Clinton, the choice is simple.

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  22. JKB says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    The Battle of Mogadishu was 23 years ago this month.

    On 15 December 1993, U.S. Secretary of Defense Les Aspin stepped down, taking much of the blame for his decision to refuse requests for tanks and armored vehicles in support of the mission

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  23. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: Trump didn’t just “speak vulgarly in private”, dum-dum. He boasted of sexual assault and getting away with it. Into a microphone and in front of a film camera.

    If you think that’s “private”, I’d hate to see what you think is “public.”

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  24. grumpy realist says:

    @Blue Galangal: Ah, I think that was mine. If not, great minds think alike!

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  25. stonetools says:

    @JKB:

    Huh. By that standard, all the Republicans in the House should step down because they refused State requests for increased funding for security for foreign embassies. But then you probably forgot about all that because Fox News etc. doesn’t report those inconvenient facts.

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) acknowledged on Wednesday that House Republicans had consciously voted to reduce the funds allocated to the State Department for embassy security since winning the majority in 2010.

    On Wednesday morning, CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien asked the Utah Republican if he had “voted to cut the funding for embassy security.”

    “Absolutely,” Chaffetz said. “Look we have to make priorities and choices in this country. We have…15,000 contractors in Iraq. We have more than 6,000 contractors, a private army there, for President Obama, in Baghdad. And we’re talking about can we get two dozen or so people into Libya to help protect our forces. When you’re in tough economic times, you have to make difficult choices. You have to prioritize things.”

    JKB is the classic example of the guy who buries himself so deeply in the right wing bubble that he is simply living in an alternate reality. In that reality, Hillary Clinton is some kind of comic book super villain instead of a left of center Democratic politician who will probably govern the country competently and well for four to eight years. It wouldn’t be so bad if he didn’t represent millions of voters who think like him (if “think ” is the right world).

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  26. Mister Bluster says:

    @Jen
    I was 13 in August 1961. Things weren’t looking too good then either.
    http://www.the-berlin-wall.com/videos/the-berlin-wall-goes-up-and-statement-of-willy-brandt-532/

    Ain’t no time to hate, barely time to wait,
    Wo, oh, what I want to know, where does the time go?

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  27. Mister Bluster says:

    @stonetools:..JKB is the classic example of the guy who buries himself so deeply in the right wing bubble that he is simply living in an alternate reality.

    Get with it man.
    We all know that It’s OK if You Are A Republican!

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  28. Kylopod says:

    @Cian:

    Anything less than a Trump melt down is a win.

    Funny, I was hearing exactly the same thing a couple of weeks ago before the first debate, and look what happened.

    This whole “Trump will be declared the winner as long as he doesn’t crap on the floor” has gotten way out of hand. This is not a reprise of the 2000 election, and Trump is not being treated by the media in anything approaching the deferential manner Bush was that year. If Trump behaves as you describe tonight, he might contain some of the damage, but I doubt it would be sufficient to recover (especially since he’s never actually led the polls, just fluctuated in how far he’s behind).

    Personally, I suspect he won’t take the path you’re describing. Remember that he was actually upset by Pence’s performance at the vp debate last week. It should be clear by now that Trump operates on animal instincts and cares more about short-term bruises to his ego than about achieving his long-term goals.

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  29. stonetools says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    I call BS on that view. If Kasich or Rubio weren’t competent enough to beat Trump with all his flaws, and indeed, not even come close, what makes you think they would have done better against Clinton?

    Here is a tweet from good old Ted Cruz:

    NBC had tape 11 yrs. Apprentice producer says they have more & worse. So why not release in 2015? In March? Why wait till October? #MSMBias

    That because it’s not the job of the media to do your oppo research, genius. That’s your effing job.
    I have to wonder again: what were the campaign teams of the best, deepest Republican field in history doing between June 2015 and June 2016?
    Meanwhile Clinton’s team clearly did its homework, kept its cool when the polls moved against them, and are in the process of turning this race into (hopefully)a rout with some well timed revelations of stuff that was out there for everyone to get.
    Had Kasich or Rubio been the nominee, they would have been hit too, although there was probably less out there. I bet that they would not have done any better than Trump, because they don’t have his loyal base of racists and nativists to back them no matter that.

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  30. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @CSK: And Burnett, along with his wife, Roma Downey, are the Good Christians who brought us such Bible-based fare as The Dovekeepers and A.D. The Bible Continues when they aren’t making money off of The Apprentice.

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  31. CSK says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    Burnett also graced us with Sarah Palin’s Alaska.

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  32. stonetools says:

    Trump just held a press conference with four of the women that accused Bill Clinton and invited them to the debate.
    Classy and presidential as always!

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  33. Jen says:

    @stonetools: The bottom line is that every Republican during the primary *chose* to ignore the mountains of oppo research on Trump because they assumed that he’d flame out on his own and they could collect his voters. It’s as simple as that. None of them wanted to be the bad guy who ticked off Trump’s supporters until it was way too late. Cruz’s campaign manager is an EXPERT in digging up dirt on opponents. Take a look at what he’s done in Missouri, and tell me that he couldn’t have found this stuff on his own. Please. Blaming it on the “lamestream media” is…lame.

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  34. CSK says:

    @Jen:

    Brava, Jen, brava. You nailed it.

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  35. Kylopod says:

    @stonetools:

    If Kasich or Rubio weren’t competent enough to beat Trump with all his flaws, and indeed, not even come close, what makes you think they would have done better against Clinton?

    Alright, everyone. Repeat after me.

    Primary elections are not general elections.

    Everyone got that?

    Primary elections are not general elections.

    Let’s say that one more time!

    PRIMARY ELECTIONS ARE NOT GENERAL ELECTIONS.

    Thank you! I hope that finally sinks in.

    You cannot judge a candidate’s strength in the general election by how well he or she did in the primaries. For one thing, you’re talking about completely different electorates. Many of the things which GOP voters didn’t like about Rubio and Kasich would have been attractive to many other voters.

    And that’s not even getting into the vast differences in structure between primary battles (which consist of a series of races with differing rules held over a period of months) and a general election held across all the states on one day in a more or less uniform way. Moreover, as I have pointed out many times before, there were polls during the primaries indicating that when voters were asked to choose between Rubio and Trump, Rubio beat Trump by double digits. In other words, Rubio’s inability to break through was to some extent a result of an unusually crowded field, which would not have been a factor in the general election.

    By your logic, any time a nominee loses an election, that implies that anyone he defeated in the primaries would have done worse. So I suppose that because George McGovern lost 49 states and won only 37% of the popular vote, that implies that, say, Hubert Humphrey would have lost all 50 states and gotten only 35%. Puh-lease.

    And as for their inability to do “oppo research” on Trump, keep in mind that Hillary is still the least popular candidate the Democrats have ever nominated, and really the only reason she’s winning is because her opponent is even more unpopular. The point isn’t that Rubio and Kasich are fantastic candidates. They would not, however, be viewed by most people as wildly unfit for the presidency, which means they would likely perform more or less as well as a generic Republican, which is bad news for a candidate like Hillary. I’m not saying it’s fair. Sure, I agree a lot of it can be chalked up to sexism and outsize negative media coverage, but the fact remains there’s no reason to believe she’d be doing better faced against a Republican who doesn’t spend his time talking about grabbing women’s pussies.

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  36. PJ says:

    I have a question.

    Will Republicans own the loss this year?

    Due to what they have done this so far we now have the following groups:

    Republicans who will never vote for Trump and may either stay at home or only vote for down-ticket Republicans.
    Trump voters who will, due to the events in the last couple of days, refuse to vote for any down-ticket Republicans who are anti Trump, or they may decide to skip the election.

    If the GOP ends up losing more House and Senate seats than anyone would have estimated, will the GOP own it or will it spend the next four years screaming that the election was rigged, as Trump is bound to do?

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  37. CSK says:

    @PJ:

    The Trumpkins will scream that it was rigged, and blame everyone but their lousy candidate. They already are.

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  38. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:
    You and your ilk are frankly sickening to me. You are doing – have already done – terrible damage to this country, to our democracy. You are dragging this country down to the level of a banana republic. No traitor has ever harmed this country as much as this vile man and you, his vile supporter.

    Shame on you.

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  39. PJ says:

    @CSK:

    The Trumpkins will scream that it was rigged, and blame everyone but their lousy candidate. They already are.

    Yes, question is what the GOP establishment will do.

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  40. CSK says:

    @PJ:

    I don’t know what they can do, at this point. If they have to cater to the Trumpkins, they might as well close up shop.

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  41. CSK says:

    Is anyone listening to or watching the debate? Trump sounds as if he’s been heavily sedated, speaking in a robotic monotone.

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  42. DrDaveT says:

    @Scott:

    After reading the comments here and other places, I realize I must be the only person who does not want to watch the town hall debate this evening.

    Not the only one. I’ve got the football game on in the background while I do other things. I’m DVRing the ‘debate’, in case there’s some major event that I want to go back and watch, but I don’t think my stomach could take the whole thing.

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  43. PJ says:

    Can anyone imaging Romney promising that if he became President he would prosecute Obama? Kerry promising that he would prosecute Bush?

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  44. DrDaveT says:

    @JohnMcC:

    The nun was asking for it.

    The “tight wimple” defense?

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  45. Blue Galangal says:

    @CSK: He seemed to have been sedated. (Maybe Kellyanne is one of those moms who gives her kids Benadryl to get them to go to bed.) He was weary; he seemed worn out. OTOH the sniffing… what was that (again)?

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  46. Blue Galangal says:

    @grumpy realist: Oops, sorry! It was brilliant! (I need to add some kind of citation manager to Chrome for this election season.)

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  47. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    She accomplished what she needed to accomplish – goading him into entrenching himself as the nominee and keeping him off balance. I’m just waiting to see when the rumored tape of him using the N-word drops.

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  48. michael reynolds says:

    @PJ:

    No, that’s the kind of crap you usually hear of in some place like Guatemala.

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  49. Lit3Bolt says:

    @stonetools:

    The Intercept:

    *Superfriends announcer voice*

    MEANWHILE AT THE LEGION OF DOOM HEADQUARTERS, HILLARY CLINTON ADDRESSES HER FELLOW NEOLIBERAL CAPITALIST PIGS!

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  50. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Jen:

    This is perfect analysis, but I’ll just add there’s also a dimension of the blue collar vs white collar within the Republican party, as well as the entire Republican media appendage turning against the party elites. And I think when Trump got away with punking John McCain, right wing war hero, it made every conservative politician gun shy and afraid of ever attacking Trump. And Trump thrived in such a submissive, docile environment.

    But you’re absolutely right in that everyone thought Trump would flame out, or lose interest, or was simply enjoying his Hermain McCain “I Am America” moment in the sun during the primary. Then he won every single primary. Whoopsie!

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  51. MBunge says:

    I have pretty much given up on this election. Trump is largely indefensible and I am 1000% sure Hillary will be a disaster. All I want to do is pray things go better than I fear.

    However…

    It is not sexual assault if the woman consents. What Trump is talking about is boorishly hitting on women and women letting him because he’s rich and famous. Where was this Victorian concern for sexual propriety when, oh, about a kajillion other things have happened?

    If you look, you can already find examples of GOPers who have abandoned Trump getting some aggressive pushback from voters. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t abandon Trump but it would be a very good thing if our political establishment understood that what they are doing is taking all of their remaining credibility and legitimacy and betting it on Hillary Clinton. If she comes up snake eyes as President, what’s going to follow Trump will make all this look like a garden party quibble over what wine goes best with fish.

    Mike

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  52. Matt says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I wouldn’t hold your breath on that. Remember the whitey tape that was going to destroy Obama?

    Although there is definitely a much higher chance of the N tape existing.

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  53. An Interested Party says:

    It is not sexual assault if the woman consents. What Trump is talking about is boorishly hitting on women and women letting him because he’s rich and famous. Where was this Victorian concern for sexual propriety when, oh, about a kajillion other things have happened?

    Oh bravo! Kellyanne should cut a commercial with that theme, I’m sure it will really help her client…

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  54. PJ says:

    Remember what Clinton said she admired about Trump, his children.

    Remember that both Ivanka Trump and Maria Mamples have said that they raised the children on their own without any help from Trump…

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  55. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @MBunge:

    hitting

    Obviously your operation definition of “hitting on women” includes unsolicited kissing and grabbing their pu**y.

    Trump gave no indication that he asks permission !

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  56. MBunge says:

    @PJ: If someone broke the law, they should be prosecuted. If convicted, they should be punished. It shouldn’t matter how “important” the someone is. I am sure that Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld and various other members of the W. Bush administration are pleased that so many people in our politics think otherwise.

    Mike

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  57. MBunge says:

    @An Interested Party:

    And if Trump by some dark miracle wins, he should send a bouquet to each and every supporter of Bill Clinton for normalizing sexual misbehavior by a political figure.

    Mike

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  58. MBunge says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    Did you somehow post that from your time machine after traveling back to 1952?

    Mike

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  59. Kylopod says:

    @Matt:

    Although there is definitely a much higher chance of the N tape existing.

    Well yeah, in the sense that, other things being equal, someone who has actually like made racist remarks about a particular group is much likelier to also have used a racial epithet against said group than someone who never made such remarks.

    The difference between the N-word and “the blacks” is only a matter of degree. When did Michelle Obama (or Barack for that matter) ever say anything that could be even remotely construed as prejudicial against white people?

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  60. An Interested Party says:

    And if Trump by some dark miracle wins, he should send a bouquet to each and every supporter of Bill Clinton for normalizing sexual misbehavior by a political figure.

    No worries, as he is not going to win…meanwhile, if Bill Clinton supposedly “normalized” sexual misbehavior, it surely must come as a shock to you that so many are outraged at Trump over what he said…

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  61. JohnMcC says:

    @MBunge: I happen to remember the ’51 Kaiser that my family had as the family car (a very archaic concept, eh? the ‘family car’). So I must remember 1952 somewhat without any ‘way-back-machine’.

    So I will take it upon myself to inform you that at that time in the United States there was a very strong current that can be honestly thought of as anti-female popular culture. Women who had been amazingly strong throughout the Depression and the 2d World War were being urged in the way that popular culture and pop-media works, to get married to a returning GI, have children (there had been a birth-deficit during the Depression and War years) and become stay-at-home mothers.

    Very unpopular point of view if expressed today, eh? Politically incorrect. Although there are some (mostly evangelical) pockets that hold similar points of view. You can use the google machine and look up ‘quiver-full’ to find most of that. But I digress as old folks do…..

    During that time there was a way of thinking of the male–female/husband–wife/guy–doll relationship that looked back on a sort of idealized chivalric code. Men protected women. Men even protected women’s ‘reputations’. Boys had fist-fights over this stuff. Movies were made about it. Errol Flynn and Gary Cooper shot it out with the bad guys over it. God-help-us, we had even protected women-folk from the Nazis and Japs and we — the brave American Caucasian successors of the knights of the round table — had laid down our lives to protect them.

    You are obviously much more clever and modern than we. But that sense that men who really were admirable would protect and care for woman-kind and would reject and attack coarse descriptions and ugly insinuations about the females in our world was — as I recall — damn near an absolute rule.

    Donald Trump is everything that we boys in my hometown who were just learning about manhood in ’52 thought that we would grow up to despise. If I understand your terse and dismissive remark about respect for femininity being somehow a sign of archaic values correctly — well — screw you.

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  62. JKB says:

    @Bob@Youngstown: unsolicited kissing and grabbing their pu**y.

    Of course, it was unsolicited. Solicitation is illegal in almost all US jurisdictions. Even in his vulgar comments, Trump intimated that the women permitted these kisses and vulva grabbing.

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  63. anjin-san says:

    @JKB:

    vulva grabbing

    One gets the sense that most of your vulva experience is theoretical…

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  64. anjin-san says:

    @PJ:

    Maria Mamples

    Actually, she said it was “a blessing” that she raised their daughter “mostly by myself.”. Ouch.

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  65. Matt says:

    @MBunge

    : I am 1000% sure Hillary will be a disaster.

    Why? Because she’s a woman?

    Or are you seriously arguing that Bill’s presidency was a disaster that we as a country barely survived???

    It’s been interesting how certain people have gone from fond remembrance of Bill’s era to utter disdain of the era after his wife announced she was running for president…

    Yeah Bill dropped the ball on some stuff but he saw Osama as a threat long before the rest of us and for his effort the GOP and media elites started screaming WAG THE DOG!!….

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  66. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Jen: The combined death total from all the incidents in 1983 in Beirut, as I recall, was about 260. When critics asked why Marines had to be stationed in such a vulnerable position, and why they shouldn’t be withdrawn, the entire Reagan Administration launched into an attack on their patriotism – a few months before we scuttled out of Lebanon.

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  67. Jen says:

    @SC_Birdflyte: My parents lost good friends in the embassy attack. The fact that it was 33 years ago was a bit jarring, in many ways it seems to me like it was more recent. You just don’t forget things like that.

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  68. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:

    You make less and less effort at rationality.

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  69. al-Alameda says:

    @JKB:

    You misunderstand. Donald Trump is NOT Hillary Clinton. That is the key deciding point. Had the Democrats fielded some other candidate, the choice might have been difficult, but they chose Hillary Clinton, the choice is simple.

    Indeed, it is very simple: vote for an ongoing disgrace like Donald Trump, or for Hillary Clinton.

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  70. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Scott: As a fellow boomer, allow me to second your thought and say that it’s time for us to, in the words of some former Colorado governor, “get out of the way” and let someone else have a chance to screw this thing up for a while.

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  71. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @JKB: Wow! Serious CDS, dude. I realize that Priebus and Cruz, among others, are making the same argument, but I don’t take them seriously–they’re politicians and have to say it.

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  72. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @PJ:

    Republicans who will never vote for Trump and may either stay at home or only vote for down-ticket Republicans.

    Seeing the efforts of the down-ticket Republicans over the past 8 or so years, I would prefer that they stay home. Is there anything we can do to encourage them to?

    Maybe a slogan: Don’t vote, it only encourages them!

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  73. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: That’s not fair! A banana republic would not grant citizenship to JKB. There are principles at stake.

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  74. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Jen: I didn’t lose any friends, although one friend I made in the early 1990s had lost a brother in the October bombing. Truly, you don’t forget such days.

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