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Conventions Helped Trump More, Even Though His Was Awful and Hers Wasn’t

2016 Election Buttons

For the first time in decades, I didn’t watch live television coverage of either convention. I’ve typically watched at least the big speeches and especially those of the two candidates but just couldn’t bring myself to do so this year. From the social media buzz, news coverage, and sound bytes, though, it was pretty clear that the Republicans put on a much worse show. Despite the early protests by Bernie Sanders supporters, the Democrats were relatively unified and brought in all their big guns. The Republicans, by contrast, had C-list celebrities and almost none of their top draws. Further, while Sanders himself said all the right words in urging his supporters to back Clinton, GOP runner-up Ted Cruz was given the stage but refused to do so. And, of course, Trump has issued so many outrageous statements over the last few days that I’ve lost track of most of them.

Despite all that, the conventions appear to have been at best a wash and if anything helped him more than her. Trump got a modest if unexpected bounce. Clinton seems to have bounced back, but not to her previous height.

The latest Reuters poll shows her up six points nationally, albeit in a slightly different survey.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton held a 6- percentage-point lead over Republican rival Donald Trump, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll with new wording that was released on Friday, the day after she formally accepted her party’s nomination for the Nov. 8 election.

Nearly 41 percent of likely voters favor Clinton, 35 percent favor Trump, and 25 percent picked “Other,” according to the new July 25-29 online poll of 1,043 likely voters, which overlapped with the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

The poll has a credibility interval of 4 percentage points.

The presidential tracking poll reflects a slight change of wording from previous surveys, replacing the “Neither/Other” option given to respondents with just “Other.” An internal review had found the word “Neither” has, at times, siphoned support away from one or the other candidate.

We’ll see with more clarity how much the wording matters when we get more post-convention polling. But Clinton got a similar bounce-back in the Rasmussen poll, too.

It should be noted that the same poll shows Clinton and Trump tied at 37 in the four-way, with Gary Johnson drawing 5 and Jill Stein 1.

The previous Reuters poll, released July 20, had it at Clinton 40, Trump 36 in the head-to-head and 39-35 with Johnson (9) and Stein (4) included.

Then again, the July 6 poll had Clinton leading 44-33 in the head-to-head and 42-33-6-4 in the four-way.

Looking at the RealClearPolitics collection of head-to-head polls, Clinton led pretty much every pre-convention poll not conducted by notoriously-Republican-leaning Rasmussen. Ditto the four-ways, although there are many fewer of those. Now, Trump is leading or tied in most of them.

I’m frankly baffled, as I have been all cycle, that Trump hasn’t imploded. But Megan McArdle offers some useful reminders:

Some things to remember when you’re posting about how a speech went, or a convention went:

1) If you’re already planning to vote for the candidate, then the fact that you liked the speech is irrelevant. You’re not the important audience.

2) If you hate the candidate, and would indeed drag yourself to the polling place by your tongue to vote against them if your arms and legs should happen to fail, then the fact that you hated the speech is irrelevant. You’re not the important audience.

3) “That speech was effective (or ineffective)” is a statement with almost no analytical overlap with “This candidate would be a good (or bad)” president. The former is a positive analysis; the latter is a normative analysis. Most people fight about the former when they’re really trying to argue about the latter. Candidates can win Argument B by delivering on Argument A. You, the Facebook poster, cannot. People like it or they don’t. No amount of arguing that they should have liked it, or hated it, will change that visceral reaction.

4) Things play really differently to different audiences. Urban progressives love being told that people in other countries are horrified by Donald Trump. To people who don’t have passports, that sounds teeth gratingly like “We should substitute the opinions of some foreigner for yours”. Think about who the candidates need to win, not who they already have.

5) All sorts of things matter that shouldn’t. Women have a handicap. Taller men have an advantage over shorter ones. People with less-than-sonorous speaking voices, unusual facial architecture (think Ted Cruz’s smile, which is clearly just the way his face is made), male pattern baldness, less symmetrical features, wooden speech delivery, etc. all take a penalty for something over which they have no control. Liberals get a boost from the fact that urban professionals who make up the media, all else equal, feel more natural affinity with them than they do with conservatives, especially social conservatives, and that inevitably creeps into the way they assess and talk about the candidate. In a better world none of these things would be true, but in this one they are, and arguing that it shouldn’t, to friends who are pretty likely to already agree with you, may be satisfying, but won’t make those things less real.

Human beings have a remarkable capacity for reading what they want into a speech based on their preconceptions and biases. We’ll naturally give the benefit of the doubt to our candidate and read the worst possible intentions into statements made by the opposition. And, yes, while Clinton gets some benefits from being a woman she’s also penalized for it. Her voice and inflection can be grating.

Megan makes two other points:

6) Getting angry with folks who have different reactions from you, or who argue that something about a candidate is off-putting to voters, is really unhelpful. There are no refs in this election, so you cannot work them to skew things in favor of your candidate. Or rather, there are a couple hundred million refs, almost none of whom follow you on Facebook. And given the social architecture of Facebook, where most of your friends are going to end up being a lot like you, even mass Facebook activism is not going to reach the folks you want to convince that it’s so unfair. Pour that energy into actually phone-banking or knocking on doors or otherwise making a palpable difference in the election outcome.

7) Take it from a longtime columnist: even if you had a bigger platform, most of the people you want to convince still wouldn’t agree with you. Getting and staying angry about this is a surefire recipe for social sorrow and personal misery. So be nice to each other. Whoever gets elected may do bad things. But what you will still have is the people around you, and your connections to them. Don’t fry those connections with overheated statements about the other side. Psychopaths are estimated to be about 1% of the population. The other 99% are decent people very much like yourself: trying to do the best they can with what they’ve got.

The commentariat here has, for a variety of reasons, not all of which I understand, shifted from one mostly to my right to one mostly to my left—even as I myself have shifted left. But most of the explanations I see in the threads fall into the category Megan mentions in point 6 above.  While outright bigotry surely explains some of Trump’s appeal, it doesn’t explain roughly 40 percent of the electorate. There’s something more basic going on here but I can’t put my finger on it.

My stock in trade as a political commentator has been an ability to simultaneously advocate a position and understand the opposition to it. I’m really having trouble doing that this cycle.  While I’m sympathetic to the frustrations about “the system,” both in terms of the domestic system and the globalized economy, are making it very hard to compete, I’m baffled that Trump is seen as a viable alternative. And I’m not exactly living in a bubble.

While my Facebook and Twitter feeds are highly skewed to national security professions and those with advanced degrees, who are almost universally appalled by Trump, a goodly number of my old Army buddies and high school friends are enthusiastic supporters. Ditto a substantial number, if not an outright majority of my uniformed colleagues and students.  Most of them are extraordinarily good people who simply process the speeches, debates, and other stimuli of this campaign completely differently from me. I clearly need to spend more time and energy in trying to understand where they’re coming from.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. SKI says:

    Way, way too early to reach the conclusion you have. Any poll released Friday wasn’t in the field after the DNC. Give it a couple weeks.

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  2. James Joyner says:

    @SKI: You’re right, in that both the Reuters and Rasmussen polls were conducted throughout the DNC week, although they did include some polling post-convention. Two weeks out would skew the “bounce” issue, since there’s so much news on a daily basis.

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  3. SKI says:

    @James Joyner: a week, then? You can’t measure something’s impact without letting it happen first.

    In today’s world, the reality is that many, like yourself, don’t watch live. They get their reaction from the news stories, clips and conversations online and in person and the creation/hardening of perception is the actual impact.

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  4. Dumb Brit says:

    It is way too early to see how the Democratic Convention’s messages have been absorbed. There should be a better idea of the respective bounces in about a week.
    With regard to the baffling 40%+, UK recently voted for Brexit (against our own financial interests) with a coalition of UKIP, the Far Right and Radical Left along with Boris, Donald, Vladimir and the Le Pens. The losers? All major parties, most foreign leaders, entertainment personalities, economists, FTSE CEOs, military and religious leaders and the better educated and we’ll travelled. The warning seems to be that if the electorate are angry enough with their current political class, they may be inclined to give the proverbial middle finger to the Establishment irrespective of the consequences.
    Hillary needs to destroy Donald in the debates and her surrogates must mention Trumps bankruptcies and the failure to release his tax returns at every single opportunity; then there might be the landslide win that common sense dictates.

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  5. There are apparently two national media polls expected on Sunday that will cover the period both during and immediately after the convention, so we’ll see what they say compared to the Reuters tracking poll.

    It’s worth noting, by the way, that the Reuters poll is an online poll. One of the new generation of online polls that is more than just a question on a website. Still, they remain somewhat untested in terms of their accuracy.

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  6. edmondo says:

    I’m baffled that Trump is seen as a viable alternative.

    One candidate tells you the system is working against you; the other candidate promises more of the same. And you have no idea why he’s tied with her in the polls?

    You need to get out of DC more often.

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  7. Dave Schuler says:

    James:

    Since the Reuters/Ipsos poll was changed recently, you can’t really compare the results of the most recent Reuters/Ipsos poll with previous results from the same poll.

    They changed it because so many people were selecting “Neither”. That alone should tell you something.

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  8. wr says:

    @edmondo: “One candidate tells you the system is working against you; the other candidate promises more of the same. And you have no idea why he’s tied with her in the polls?”

    So I guess if a third candidate popped up and promised everyone would get two million dollars in cash every day, idiot Republicans would rush to vote for him? Because all that matters is what Trump says, not the obvious fact that he’s lying?

    What do you do with a political party made up of people desperate to be lied to? And why do you rush to embrace the lies?

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  9. PogueMahone says:

    I have to agree with Ski. It’s way too early.

    Convention “coverage” is not like it used to be. Me, along with many I know, did not watch the conventions as they happened.
    I was way too busy the last few weeks to watch any of it. But last night, I watched all of the major speeches via youtube. And I expect many will also watch the major speeches over the weekend.
    Then, of course, there will be side-by-side analysis through a montage of clips fastened together to show the strengths and weaknesses. Given the hopeful, positive message from the DNC vs. the RNC’s message of fear, my guess is the DNC will come out ahead. This will help shape those “on the fence” or those who dislike Clinton but looking for a valid reason to vote for her over Trump.

    TLDR: modern communication alters traditional “post convention” impact.
    Give it time, a few days at least.

    And, yes, while Clinton gets some benefits from being a woman she’s also penalized for it. Her voice and inflection can be grating.

    I understand. HRC is the quintessential politician who seemingly claims to represent exactly what she thinks the listeners want to hear. And her voice can be grating at times especially when raised. And she oftentimes comes off as insincere.
    However, the speech she gave at the DNC was very solid. Authentic, level-headed, even sincere. So when you compare that against Trump’s discombobulated hodgepodge of hate and fear, whatever superficial characteristics you might find mildly annoying with HRC’s tone, convection, and style, will seem too inconsequential for any meaningful consideration.

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  10. Pch101 says:

    Oddly enough, Trump is the hope and change candidate of 2016. That aspect of him appeals to some people.

    As for the racism aspect:

    -Some really like the fact that he’s a racist

    -Some are in denial that what he is saying is racist. (Those who fall into this camp are likely to be the kind of racists who act like racists while adamantly denying that they are racists. There are a few of those types posting in the comments section here.)

    -Some don’t particularly mind whether or not he’s a racist

    -Some think that it’s just rhetoric and that he doesn’t mean it, so it doesn’t matter

    -Some loathe Clinton so much or are so party-loyal that the racism takes a back seat

    -Some are willing to overlook the racism because they like other aspects of the candidate

    What’s a bit sad is that in a three-way race, Trump will fare better in 2016 than did Hitler in the 1932 elections. If you think that this country is committed to freedom and equality, then think again.

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  11. MBunge says:

    I believe the Reuters poll is the only major poll that has ever shown Hillary up by double-digits but no one sees that as an outlier because…well, they don’t want to.

    This whole thing could be a tremendously enlightening, multi-faceted social experiment, except for what could happen to us all at the end.

    One aspect of the experiment is a test of how denial works, even on people who pride themselves on being well educated and rational. For example, the bewilderment that Trump is able to survive smashing so many taboos is kind of ridiculous given that…

    A. The GOP has been smashing taboos like the proverbial bull in the china shop for years with little to no reaction from the rest of our political establishment.

    B. Democrats actually beat the GOP to the punch and kicked-off the era of taboo shattering by deciding that not only was Bill Clinton’s previously unacceptable behavior now acceptable, but only for him, but that the governing standard in place since Watergate of “the cover up is worse than the crime” no longer applies.

    The inability to recognize Trump as the entirely predictable result of that trend is psychologically fascinating.

    Mike

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  12. Pch101 says:

    @MBunge:

    I would have to use a lot of questionable pharmaceuticals for an extended period of time before I would be able to find even a partial linkage between a blow job and the McCarthyistic segregationist rhetoric of the Trump campaign. Because without cloudy judgment, you just won’t find one.

    Your Clinton Derangement Syndrome is so profound that you can’t even remember folks such as George Wallace. How is Trump any different from a stereotypical Southern politician of the pre-Civil Rights era?

    Trump would have won a bloc of several Southern states had he campaigned like this during the 19th century. Read a history book or two, and you might know this.

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  13. michael reynolds says:

    james:

    While outright bigotry surely explains some of Trump’s appeal, it doesn’t explain roughly 40 percent of the electorate. There’s something more basic going on here but I can’t put my finger on it.

    Bigotry explains a lot of it. The rest is misogyny.

    Bigotry is not binary, one is not either 100% bigot or 0%. You do not need to actively hate a minority group, you can simply discount them.

    An example for purposes of illustration: a bomb goes off in Kabul and kills 50 people. A bomb goes off in Britain and kills 10 people. Which leads the news? We discount the lives of Afghans relative to Brits. Afghans are them and Brits are essentially, us.

    The same thing happens between races, religious groups, gender, here in the States. We are each at the center of our own own series of circles. In the inner circle, us and family. The next circle may be close friends and extended family. Further out, people who we know or who live close by. Then people who we do not know but with whom we feel some identification.

    And that’s bingo. Because that circle, in the case of the bigot, consists of people who he judges to be like himself in racial or ethnic or religious terms. To a white male that circle is likely to consist largely of white males. All others are discounted – like Kabul bomb victims. They are far away, outer circle, maybe far, far outer circle.

    Of course it is impossible to feel equal levels of compassion for all people. We prioritize. The concerns of the other are never as pressing as the concerns of me, mine, us. When me, mine, us is defined in terms of race, or ethnicity, or religion or gender, that is indeed a form of bigotry – it is an assumption that simply by virtue of that difference, they are of less value.

    Then add decades of dog-whistle incitement and that relative indifference grows into hostility and resentment. You don’t just care less about X, Y or Z (soft bigotry) you resent them, feel victimized by them. You have a spectrum of bigotry then that ranges from “they aren’t us,” to, “they are harming us,” to, “they must be destroyed.” 10%, 50%, 100%.

    Your friends are likely not 100% or they wouldn’t be your friends. But I’ll guarantee you have quite a number of friends in the middle zone, the ones who resent but do not hate, the ones who are indifferent, the ones who feel taken advantage of, etc…

    But it’s not all bigotry, a great deal of it is male panic.

    We men have lost ground relative to women for decades. Women retain unique female roles – reproduction – while we have for the most part lost our uniquely male roles. Men do not know how to define themselves. Men don’t know their purpose as men. So men hear Trump’s aggression and misogyny and think he’s the reincarnation of some tribal war chief.

    Some misogyny, some racism, you add it up and you have the Trump voter, especially in the wake of a black president and facing a woman president. It’s bigotry and male panic.

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  14. Stan says:

    Giving a prime speaking spot to a Muslim father at a time like this was an act of political courage on Hillary Clinton’s part. So was her and Bill’s backing of civil rights in Arkansas during the early 80’s. So is her outreach to Hispanic voters, given Trump’s success in pitching his brand of white nationalism. Give credit where credit is due. The Clintons are far from spotless, but in the things that matter the most to me they’re heroes.

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  15. MBunge says:

    @Pch101:

    Thanks for proving my point. Your posts here give every indication of being a relatively intelligent guy who even prides himself on being smarter than the riffraff, but you just turn your brain off when it comes to this.

    A lot of people believe what Bill Clinton did was seriously wrong. You may even have been one of them. I imagine if you’d been proposed the hypothetical in 1991, young Pch101’s response might have been “What a ridiculous question! Of course such behavior would be unacceptable in a President!”

    But even if you want to pretend you are more sophisticated than that, you are not so stupid as to not realize a whole bunch of people did feel exactly that way. And their feelings, their beliefs, their understanding of how the world is and how it should be was not simply rejected, it essentially spat on. How could those people be expected to react with anything other than anger, disgust, confusion and alienation? And seeing how the rules were changed on them, how could you not expect them to change the rules themselves?

    For pity’s sake, you’re arguing stuff from 20 years ago should be dead and buried WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY ARGUING THAT THINGS ACTUALLY HAVEN’T CHANGED MUCH FROM THE 19TH CENTURY. That’s practically schizophrenic.

    Mike

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  16. Pch101 says:

    @MBunge:

    This country was founded on slavery, but you want to blame Bill Clinton’s dress stain for Trump being a bigot.

    I’m impressed that you are able to type comments on the internet while wearing a straitjacket. I’ve seen a lot of delusional people online, but you’re competing for a place in the top 10.

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  17. Grumpy Realist says:

    Heh. I was in Japan during the last Clinton kerfluffle, and was remarkable to watch the differing international reactions:

    The French: “he has a mistress? Et alors?”

    The South Americans: “only ONE mistress? What’s wrong with the man?”

    The Japanese: “but what will this do to the economy?”

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  18. Barry says:

    @michael reynolds:

    James: “While outright bigotry surely explains some of Trump’s appeal, it doesn’t explain roughly 40 percent of the electorate. There’s something more basic going on here but I can’t put my finger on it.”

    Michael: “Your friends are likely not 100% or they wouldn’t be your friends. But I’ll guarantee you have quite a number of friends in the middle zone, the ones who resent but do not hate, the ones who are indifferent, the ones who feel taken advantage of, etc…”

    James, they might not come for the bigotry steak, but they sure do wolf them down.

    And when their meal comes with a quart of racist A-hole sauce on it, they praise the taste.

    I just got back from a family reunion – all Trumpists. They might not wear Klan robes, but they will happily vote for those who do.

    They will also deny it loudly and longly, but note that they hated the outsider Obama.

    Their objections to the system are 100% Republican.

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  19. Barry says:

    @MBunge:”For pity’s sake, you’re arguing stuff from 20 years ago should be dead and buried WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY ARGUING THAT THINGS ACTUALLY HAVEN’T CHANGED MUCH FROM THE 19TH CENTURY. That’s practically schizophrenic.”

    Says the party of endless Clinton scandals which lusts for the 19th century.

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  20. giantslor says:

    @SKI: IMO, any DNC bounce should really start showing up in polls released Monday.

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  21. CSK says:

    @Grumpy Realist:

    I’ve always thought that if Clinton had had better taste in mistresses, none of this would have happened. If he’d picked a discreet, emotionally mature woman ( in short, been European in his selection) with whom to dally, the people who would have known wouldn’t have cared, and the people who would have cared would never have known.

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  22. charon says:

    Dr. Joyner =

    Perhaps you should look at different polling.

    This story and its headline look to me like pure confirmation bias.

    I have seen polling showing the diametric opposite to your premise.

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  23. charon says:
  24. wr says:

    @MBunge: “not only was Bill Clinton’s previously unacceptable behavior now acceptable,”

    Because Bill Clinton was the first American president to have extramarital sex?

    Wow, are you really this naive? Or just so desperate to prop up your dumpster fire of a party that you’ll make yourself look so foolish?

    The only difference between Clinton’s “behavior” and that of multiple previous presidents was that your part decided to prosecute it, despite the fact that just about all the prosecutors were doing the same or worse, and the press decided to play along.

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  25. wr says:

    @MBunge: ” How could those people be expected to react with anything other than anger, disgust, confusion and alienation?”

    Well, they could have pretended to be adults and accepted the well-known fact that in males the urge to power is strongly connected to the urge for sex, and that powerful men are frequently sexually voracious and have been throughout history. Perhaps they might have noticed that the Speaker of the House who was leading the charge had dumped one wife for a mistress and was in the middle of doing it again. Perhaps — and maybe this is just too difficult for the Republican brain to grasp — they could have decided that the president’s sexual behavior is actually none of their business unless it affects the running of the country, which no one ever claimed this did. Perhaps they, like me, could simply have not given a crap about where the president chose to stick his dick anymore than I would about any other complete stranger.

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  26. stonetools says:

    @MBunge:

    . Democrats actually beat the GOP to the punch and kicked-off the era of taboo shattering by deciding that not only was Bill Clinton’s previously unacceptable behavior now acceptable, but only for him, but that the governing standard in place since Watergate of “the cover up is worse than the crime” no longer applies.

    Actually , it’s the the other way. We may not like this, but Presidents have engaged in adultery in the White House for quite some time, and the standard was to pretty much ignore it ( See Warren Harding, Republican). The Republicans shattered that standard by making a big deal out of it: first, proving that such adultery occurred and then goading him into lying about it under oath. He did lie about it, which was wrong, but he wouldn’t have had to had the Republicans not maneuvered him into that position. Note that the Democrats could have maneuvered Reagan into a position where he could have been asked questions under oath about, say, or the breakdown of his marriage to Jane Wyman, or whether he had premarital sex with Nancy Reagan, but no Democrat did that or even thought to do that (They should have that done with Iran-contra but that’s another question).

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  27. wr says:

    @MBunge: “For pity’s sake, you’re arguing stuff from 20 years ago should be dead and buried ”

    With all due respect, it was you who brought up Clinton in your desperate attempt to blame the Democrats for Trump.

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  28. Slugger says:

    Is some of this confirmation bias? I was surprised that Trump got a post convention bounce. After all, this is not the old days when a Jack Kennedy was largely unknown prior to the campaign. Mr. Trump has been building his brand for decades; he has been widely seen on TV and has literally put his name on buildings, steaks, and bottles of vodka. Likewise, Ms. Clinton has not been a shrinking violet since 1992. Her supporters and her detractors are certainly not in the early innings of the game. However, our media believes in the “post convention bounce” story. Due to the actual shriveling up of the press, the survivors are putting out yesterday’s stories rather than digging into what is happening now. We see this in the “convention in turmoil” stories that popped up whenever twenty protestors showed up. There is little interest/resources available to tell us what’s going on, and we get the old stories instead.
    Some examples: recently someone shoot people in Munich. The fact that the shooter was targeting Turks and yelled Ich bin Deutsch and not Allahu Akbar dissappeared in my local newspaper. Recently two policemen were shot in San Diego; the first reports fit these events into the “cop targeting” paradigm, and the followup stories are AWOL.
    My point is that we can not rely on our media when a story fits or fits not into a paradigm.

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  29. stonetools says:

    Most of them are extraordinarily good people who simply process the speeches, debates, and other stimuli of this campaign completely differently from me. I clearly need to spend more time and energy in trying to understand where they’re coming from.

    I have evolved on thinking about this, James. At first I thought the Trump phenomenon could be explained by positing that forty per cent of Americans were outright racists and bigots, but that might be too simple. I think a big part of Trump’s draw is based in part on the mythology of the Republicans since Reagan: that(1) there was a golden age when the USA was ascendant (especially in manufacturing), women were subordinate, minorities knew their place, and Muslims unheard of, and (2) the Republicans could turn the clock back to that age. Trump is simply saying loudly and clearly, that he can turn the clock back through sheer force of will and by doing “simple ” things like building a wall.

    Conclusion: Maybe forty per cent of Americans aren’t raving bigots, but they are nostalgic for a time when white , middle class, “traditional life-style” Americans enjoyed a privileged economic and social status.Trump is winning among them because he is saying he can deliver back that time.

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  30. Skookum says:

    The longer I live, the less I rely on “talking heads” or media clips to totally inform my view. The conventions needed to be watched in entirety–unedited and live stream–to truly understand the hearts, minds, management savvy, and leadership of the two parties and their vision for ALL Americans and people on Earth. I only bring up this point because your blog is one of the few that I truly find of value. Please take the time to form your own views by watching debates and other public appearances without commentary and cherry-picking of headlines and comments-out-of-context by news outlets. Thank you.

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  31. michael reynolds says:

    What I’m seeing is that more or less from the start HRC has led Trump in the RCP average and the Pollster average. At no point has Trump had an edge.

    I don’t know how this goes next. I don’t know if the American voter sobers up or not. I don’t know how many ‘hidden’ Trump or Hillary voters there are.

    But my instinct is that the RNC allowed hidden Trump voters to feel they could out themselves to pollsters, and that coincided with the Bernie Brats at maximum pout. The DNC may allow the BB’s to finally (after much narcissistic talk of ‘holding their noses’) face the fact that 4,500 nuclear weapons are either going to Hillary or to a nasty, stupid, incompetent psychopath.

    There’s still a 10% ‘undecided’ out there. If you’re undecided at this point you’re either lying or a moron, but every year we get the same crap from people who think it makes them important.

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  32. CSK says:

    I don’t think post-convention bounces are accurate predictors of much. Jimmy Carter, Mike Dukakis, and John McCain all got bigger bounces than their opponents. Bush and Gore got the same number.

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  33. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Well, that’s precisely it. It makes them feel important.

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  34. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    There’s something more basic going on here but I can’t put my finger on it.

    I think you’re looking at what poling during a time of concern over security looks like. From the beginning of the election, some have been noting that if national security becomes the issue that drives the election, the GOP is better positioned in the eyes of the electorate to win–even, possibly especially, with Trump at the head. Over the past few weeks several police officers have been killed in the line of duty and the media and/or the conservative echo chamber have managed to associate all of the killings with either Islamic fundamentalism, Black Muslim groups, BLM, or all of the above that the same time (which appears to have been the favorite approach). That Donald “he would have never been able to be born here if we hadn’t let his parents in” Trump is seeing improved polling in this period is not a mystery to me. I don’t understand why it should be to a professional political scientist.

    Now, how long this mindset will continue is another matter. We’re living in a country where there are some folks that I know who don’t understand why “Barack Obama attacked Iraq in the first place considering that Saddam Hussein had already left the country.” I would say that the attention span of the typical citizen is as long as a gnat’s except that’s unfair to the gnat. If we stay on the same course we have been for another 4 months, we may be watching a Manhattan real estate speculator turning over the duties of the Presidency to Mike Pence because the speculator can’t afford the Yuuuuuuuggggge cut in pay being President entails.

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  35. grumpy realist says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: If you go over to TAC and read the comments, there’s a lot of people swearing that they’re going to vote for Trump because Hillary is obviously the Evillest Person EVAH.

    It’s bitterly amusing watching Rod Dreher on the process to talk himself into voting for Trump because in his mind, Religious Freedom Is The Most Important Thing, totally ignoring that it’s not the Democratic side that’s making all the noises about restricting Muslims. As far as Rod is concerned, what happens to traditional Christians is the linch-pin of everything.

    I’ve gotten to the point where I’m following the lead of one of my friends: “the only thing I want to know is when to sell high, buy low, or get out of the game.” I think we’ve had it as a country. We have too many Americans who seemingly would prefer to bring the entire house down on themselves in one huge collapse, provided that “those people” get crushed as well. It’s pure envy and rage that other people aren’t remaining in their lowly position at the bottom of the heap.

    Crab bucket, spread nation-wide.

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  36. Raoul says:

    JJ: Hillary should be ahead by more but people believe the lies told about her- like the one you said that foreign governments had hacked her emails. I have not seen you retract that statement. I might add that the reason Trump is the nominee is again people like you. The GOP has been misleading the American people since 1980 (“let ‘s cut taxes to raise revenues” among many others) and you were essentially pliant: it is no wonder that the base is sick of its old leadership and its enablers (columnists, bloggers, etc.).

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  37. Loviatar says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Which portion of the American Electorate do you consider yourself a part of?

    American Electorate

    – The 25% 27% who are willing to set the American house on fire because they got their fee fees hurt in 1964.

    – The 20% who are willing to bask in the fire.

    – The 30% who are willing to excuse the arsonist and are unwilling to hold them accountable because of “reasons”

    – The 20% who understand the problem, but don’t know what to do about it.

    – The 3% who are ready to shoot the arsonist on sight

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  38. Tlaloc says:

    538 recommends waiting about 3 weeks to see where the race stands.

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  39. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds:

    There’s still a 10% ‘undecided’ out there. If you’re undecided at this point you’re either lying or a moron, but every year we get the same crap from people who think it makes them important.

    Or they are struggling between voting for their tribe and voting for what is best. Bernie Supporters who haven’t quite given up, and had their passions riles recently by the DNC email leaks. Republicans who are revolted by Trump.

    My father is a lifelong Republican and he is undecided this year because of Trump. I can only assume that he is not alone on this. Not lying. Not a moron. Somewhat racist, but not up to Trumpian levels of racism and incompetence. I have no idea whether in the end he will vote Trump, Clinton or third party — of course, he lives in New York, and the state will go to Clinton pretty solidly.

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  40. JKB says:

    Of the two conventions, the RNC actually introduced new information to the voters, namely the Trump kids. Even CNN pundits were taken with them and it gave a good impression on their father who got another look from many people. The lack of slickness of the RNC convention worked in Trump’s favor given he is the man who isn’t focus-grouped. Even Cruz not endorsing Trump helped Trump with the independents he needs to win.

    On the other hand, the DNC worked hard to suppress dissent but kept leaking out. It is interesting the “USA” chant on Thursday was not a newfound love of America among Democrats but an organized effort to suppress dissenters in the audience. The parade of Hollywood did nothing to present anything different about Democrats. The rush to add American flags and throw on some vets was again focus-grouped.

    So I don’t expect much of a bump for Hillary as nothing changed from the start to end of the DNC. Hillary was already the nominee going in. Bernie had already thrown his support behind her. Hollywood stars were already on her side. Michelle, Bill, Biden, Obama said nothing not already know. Hillary offered nothing new in her speech. All that the public really got that was new was evidence that many Bernie supporters weren’t getting on board. And the Republicans speaking, just added to Trump’s not an establishment man cred.

    BTW, the neverTrumpers are of no consequence. Where they are in any number is district that was already going to go for the Democrats. Maybe a few in Northern VA could have votes that matter if VA is a close race.

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  41. Scott says:

    The commentariat here has, for a variety of reasons, not all of which I understand, shifted from one mostly to my right to one mostly to my left—even as I myself have shifted left.

    I really don’t know whether I have shifted left or whether the center as shifted right. There are days I think I live in a political Alsace-Lorraine. Some days I’m France, some days I’m Germany.

    Or another metaphor: From now until election day, we are in the Battle of the Somme, which was waged 1 Jul – 18 Nov exactly 100 years ago. Huge amounts of bloodshed, basically a draw.

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  42. PJ says:

    There’s a new Raba research (538 gives the pollster a B-) poll out, giving Clinton a 10 point bounce.

    And there will be more polls out soon.

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  43. Jen says:

    I’ll admit, I’ve been reluctant to attribute Trump’s support to outright misogyny, because it didn’t make sense to me. Men have wives, mothers, daughters–many of those wives are helping to support families due to the rise in the need for dual-income households.

    But earlier today, I read David Frum’s latest over at The Atlantic, which is nothing but a compilation of statements by Trump supporters.

    Some choice excerpts:

    “In our America, the gender gap closed a long time ago—and then went into reverse. Obama in the Oval Office was humiliating enough. But Hillary will be worse: We’re going to lose any idea at all that leadership is a man’s job.”

    And:

    “It’s not just our hillbilly voters who are going to vote ‘no’ to all that. A lot of men you never imagined will vote for us. Trump’s going to do better with Latino men than you expect—probably no worse than Romney. He’s going to do better with black men than Romney ever did. And his numbers with white men will be out of sight. Every time you demand that Donald show respect to Hillary—while laughing as Hillary disrespects Donald—you push those numbers up.”

    Of course, there’s more. I’m gobsmacked. While an article of random statements isn’t sound political science, clearly there is something there. This is incredibly depressing.

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  44. Jen says:

    Hm. I managed to bollocks up the link, here it is:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/07/backing-donald-trump/493619/

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  45. wr says:

    @JKB: “Of the two conventions, the RNC actually introduced new information to the voters, namely the Trump kids”

    Apparently you never watched The Apprentice, where they were regular fixtures.

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  46. wr says:

    @JKB: “Even CNN pundits were taken with them and it gave a good impression on their father who got another look from many people. ”

    Yes, and what a slogan: “Vote for Trump, because the ex-wives he cheated on and dumped for younger models did a good job raising his children!”

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  47. wr says:

    @JKB: Shorter JKB: “Whatever happens anywhere in the universe is good for Trump because I say so.”

    Even shorther JKB: “Whatever Jenos says.”

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  48. wr says:

    @Jen: It’s basically the same group of “men” who are screaming in rage and pain because the new Ghostbusters has girls in it. And who like to tweet rape threats to women who complain about misogyny in computer games. Lonely, pathetic, terrified little men.

    You know, guys like Jenos only even more pathetic.

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  49. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Loviatar: What percentage are the people who have been listening to the left tell us that X is going to set the country on fire for so many DECADES now that we’ve become cynical to the possibility of it happening based on the real world that we are looking at?

    Understand, Hillary is a better choice than Trump, but I would be more optimistic about Hillary’s chances at a credible Presidency if the House and Senate changed hands and don’t believe that Trump will get the support from House Republicans to actually usher in the end of days–and don’t expect that he wants to actually DO that anyway. I would expect that the House will do a lot less grandstanding faced with a possibility of having their wishes granted. I may be wrong, but that’s where I see things.

    @grumpy realist: That’s why I don’t go over to TAC very often. Conservatism abandoned me on the side of the road about the time that Pat Robertson’s supporters in Washington were moving GOP caucuses (cauci?) to undisclosed locations to keep anyone but the “faithful” away so that “God’s man for the hour” could run virtually unopposed (they hoped).

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  50. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @michael reynolds: I’m glad you acknowledge this. Ive said before that I assume most white men to be racist. Racist was probably too strong a word. But Bigot and Prejudice certainly fit. I’m on vacation with my family at a resort in Texas…didn’t take me 10 minutes walking around the first day to be asked if I work at the resort. I’ve learned to live with it and when it comes to interactions with law enforcement it’s actually a defense mechanism.

    I don’t make friends and associates based on politics. I think it’s one of the most superficial filters you can apply to human relationships so I’ve talked with educated, upper middle class people that will vote for Trump. They simply believe the political system needs a shakeup and he’s the person to do it. They are not interested in someone willing to work within existing frameworks and thinks accordingly to existing paradigms. So of them actually believe Trump is too stupid to carry out anything on his agenda whereas Clinton is smart and is a threat to enact her. They don’t want any policy advanced… they want they system shaken up. I think Democrats are making a mistake assuming all Trump supporters are poor white trash.

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  51. An Interested Party says:

    From Frum’s piece…

    A lot of men you never imagined will vote for us. Trump’s going to do better with Latino men than you expect—probably no worse than Romney. He’s going to do better with black men than Romney ever did.

    …seems incredibly delusional, and one doesn’t have to be one of the “Acela people” to believe that…Trump goes out of his way to insult just about every ethnic minority group in this country and yet, plenty of the men in these groups are going to vote for him because they are just that misogynistic? Oh please…

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  52. An Interested Party says:

    I think Democrats are making a mistake assuming all Trump supporters are poor white trash.

    Well certainly not “all” but definitely a significant portion…by the way, will you be voting for him? To shake up the system, perhaps…

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  53. Hal_10000 says:

    We won’t know about any bounce for a few days at least. I suspect it will return us to the previous state: Clinton up by a few points. What matters more is what goes on over the next month. Trump is still showing that instability that will matter. He was attacking Khzir Khan’s family, of all things. I have to hope that, at some point, his act wears thin.

    Contrary to popular belief, people can be persuaded. It just doesn’t happen overnight. The only way to convinced people that Trump is dangerously unstable is to keep hammering away at it, so that the steady drumbeat gets through. If you can convinced only 5% of Trump’s supporters that he’s crazy, that’s enough.

    Additional point — that is YUGE amount of undecideds/others. Third candidates rarely poll as well on election day as they do on the phone. While I am big supporter of Johnson, I think it unlikely he will ultimately poll in double digits. There’s also a lot of Bernie supporters currently supporting Stein because they’re disappointed and don’t realize what a whack-job she is. I suspect they will ultimately vote for Clinton. When one candidate consistently breaks 45%, we’ll be getting real information.

    Perhaps — and maybe this is just too difficult for the Republican brain to grasp — they could have decided that the president’s sexual behavior is actually none of their business unless it affects the running of the country, which no one ever claimed this did. Perhaps they, like me, could simply have not given a crap about where the president chose to stick his dick anymore than I would about any other complete stranger

    You know, you guys have spent twenty years trying to rewrite history and it still won’t rewrite, will it? We knew Clinton was unfaithful and elected him anyway. Twice. His infidelity would not have gotten him impeached if he hadn’t gone on TV, wagged his finger at us and lied. He wouldn’t have been impeached if he hadn’t perjured himself, suborned perjury, obstructed justice … all to conceal some oral sex. And please don’t tell me none of that matters unless you think Scooter Libby got a raw deal too. I know the Clinton Defenders like to pretend it was All About Sex (TM), because that’s easy to defend. Much harder to defend the actual law breaking that was going on.

    (PS – I don’t think Clinton should have been removed from office. But impeachment and censure was entirely appropriate.)

    Yes, Presidents have been unfaithful. I might be prepared to ignore that if they didn’t constantly — Republican and Democrat — lecture us about our morality. I might be prepared to ignore that if they weren’t — Republican and Democrat — engaged in a war on sex work. Until they get their nose out of our business, I’m happy to let them all fry.

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  54. Hal_10000 says:

    As to why people support Trump, I know it’s easy to write it off as racism/sexism/etc. But it’s much deeper than that.

    First, is simple party loyalty. A third of the populace will vote Republican even if they nominate Hitler. And a third will vote Democrat even if they nominate Stalin. The more they hear about how awful and evil their candidate is, the more they will hunker down and defend him.

    Second, the Left Wing is, to some extent, the boy who cried wolf. Yes, Trump is blowing an orchestra of racist and sexist dog whistles. But we’ve heard these charges lobbed against every GOP candidate. Remember how Romney’s “binders full of women” was supposed to mean … something? Or how George W Bush didn’t like black people? And all the garbage over the last few years about micro-aggressions? How are people going to listen when you say, “Oh, no, wait, well THIS guy is REALLY bad! We mean it this time.”?

    But the biggest part is just generalized discontent. Something like 70% of the American public think our country is headed in the wrong direction. When that’s the case, someone who says, “I’m not one of the elites! I can change things!” has a deep appeal. Really, it’s a testament to how vile Trump is that, in a race against someone so establishment she’s wired for electricity, Trump isn’t absolutely crushing her in the polls.

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  55. Grumpy Realist says:

    @Jen: there are a heck of a lot of men out there who have a psychic need to feel superior to the rest of Mankind based on their sex or race.

    Probably because otherwise they’re entirely mediocre people who have accomplished zip in their lives and deep down know it.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, am off to work on another patent application…

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  56. humanoid.panda says:

    The first post-DNC poll by a major polling outfit (PPP) just came out. It has Hillary +5, and more importantly at this point, her favorability numbers only minus six points. Methinks you really, really, jumped the gun on this post.

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  57. DrDaveT says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    we may be watching a Manhattan real estate speculator turning over the duties of the Presidency to Mike Pence because the speculator can’t afford the Yuuuuuuuggggge cut in pay being President entails.

    Speaking of which…

    What are the rules about a serving President actively running a business? Does he have to turn everything over to a blind trust, or otherwise divest himself of conflicts of interest? Are there any rules at all? Enquiring minds want to know.

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  58. Tony W says:

    @Jen: This article has another interesting explanation – a unified theory of Trump as it were….

    Lakoff is onto something.

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  59. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @An Interested Party: Absolutely not. One man cannot shakeup the system. The only way a shakeup happens is when a large portion of the voting public loses faith in Political Parties writ large. Most voters still see the opposite party as their enemy and they are too myopic to realize that parties are not organized around solving problems. They are organized around raising money and winning elections.

    They require perpetual enemies and problems to generate campaign contributions and turnout. If a real problem doesn’t exist, they’ll invent one.

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  60. john says:

    We must have watched different Dem. conventions, Doug. Starting off, the DNC chair was fired. Sanders supporters let their gripes be known–on the convention floor, and boos were clearly heard during the moment of silence for the fallen officers, and there was no mention of ISIS or terrorism. So, which Dem. convention did you see, Doug?

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  61. Gustopher says:

    @Hal_10000: Sandwiched between Iran-Contra, and Lying To Go To War In Iraq (Plus Torture!), the Blowjob Incident seems quaint.

    And, it shows that Democratic Presidents will be held to a different standard than Republican ones. As disgusted and offended as anyone manages to be about a blowjob with a willing participant, I find torture to be somewhat worse, along with lying to go to war, and trading arms for hostages.

    Yes, Bill Clinton lied. Whether or not he perjured himself is debatable (his lawyers had gotten the definition of sex in the original case defined very narrowly, so in that case it wasn’t perjury just amazingly misleading). He didn’t fund death squads. He didn’t torture anyone. He didn’t take the country into a war under false pretenses.

    And I find impeachment to be a fairly severe remedy for something that doesn’t affect the functioning of the government — removing the President subverts democracy and should only be used in the direst circumstances. Reagan should have been impeached. George W. Bush and Cheney should have been impeached. Clinton? For that? A collective eye roll would have been appropriate.

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  62. stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    His infidelity would not have gotten him impeached if he hadn’t gone on TV, wagged his finger at us and lied. He wouldn’t have been impeached if he hadn’t perjured himself, suborned perjury, obstructed justice … all to conceal some oral sex.

    Talk about rewriting history. First, Clinton was not impeached because he wagged his finger on TV. No, he was really impeached, so say the Republicans, because he lied under oath at a deposition. Now, FWIW, I wish that he had been truthful about this from the getgo, although the reality is that many men would lie about such things (ask any woman). But if you think that the Republicans would have just let Clinton go if he had admitted the truth at the onset, then you are either being woefully naive or dishonest. The Republicans had spent $40M and six years investigating the Clintons, and all they found was this affair. They certainly weren’t going to let things go with a reprimand. Nope, the impeachment train would have certainly left the station. All they would have done is stretch the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors” from lying about adultery to the adultery itself. If that seems ludicrous, well, its no more ludicrous than what they actually did (remember that adultery and fellatio are still misdemeanors in certain states as well).
    Anyway, re-litigating the 90s is fun, I guess, if you are a Clinton hater. The plain fact is that the Republicans chose to make a stink out of freaking adultery, and still defend that 20 years later, while saying that liberals should get over things like lying the country into a war and allowing bankers to wreck the world economy.Man, if the Democrats take the Senate, I hope they take the same attitude toward the Iraq War,torture, etc. as the Republicans take towards blowjobs. Obama made a huge strategic blunder when he essentially forgave the Republicans for all that, and the Republicans paid him back with BENGHAZI!, etc. Time for some big payback.

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  63. michael reynolds says:

    @john:

    At the DNC every living former Democratic president or nominee showed up. As did all our Senators, Congresspeople and governors.

    At the RNC even the governor of Ohio – the state hosting the convention – did not show up and still refuses to endorse. The last major opponent, Ted Cruz, went on stage and refused to endorse. The previous nominee, Mr. Romney, refused to attend or endorse. Major corporations that had offered support in the past, refused.

    I could go on and on and on and on and on.

    But you live in the Fox/Limbaugh bubble where reality is not allowed, so you wouldn’t grasp any of it anyway.

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  64. Jen says:

    @john: Not Doug, James.

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  65. stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    First, is simple party loyalty. A third of the populace will vote Republican even if they nominate Hitler. And a third will vote Democrat even if they nominate Stalin. The more they hear about how awful and evil their candidate is, the more they will hunker down and defend him.

    That’s some grade A both-sides-ism, right there. Meanwhile, the facts are that in the modern era, the Democrats have never chosen for their presidential nominee anyone remotely like Trump, (or a leftist version of Trump).

    But the biggest part is just generalized discontent. Something like 70% of the American public think our country is headed in the wrong direction. When that’s the case, someone who says, “I’m not one of the elites! I can change things!” has a deep appeal. Really, it’s a testament to how vile Trump is that, in a race against someone so establishment she’s wired for electricity, Trump isn’t absolutely crushing her in the polls.

    What’s interesting is that the liberals who think America is on the wrong track think this because they resent Republicans blocking any Democratic attempts to fix things. Their solution was to elect someone who promises that she can fix things within the system and indeed, continue what Obama started.IOW, liberals picked the more establishment choice in some ways (in other ways, it’s the bolder choice, since Hillary is the first female presidential nominee of a major party).

    The conservatives who think the country is going the wrong way resent Democrats blocking Republican attempts to roll back the country to some golden age. Their response? Elect a bomb thrower who promises to wreck the system.
    As to why Trump is doing so well,the reason is that he is selling a fantasy that has a powerful appeal to conservative voters-the fantasy that he can roll back the country to some mythical golden age. Conservatives are willing to overlook all his flaws so long as he says he can make that fantasy real.

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  66. stonetools says:

    Latest poll:

    With campaigning set to ramp up post-conventions, a new poll puts Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in a dead heat in Missouri.
    Clinton leads Trump by just a single point, 41 percent to 40 percent, in a fresh St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Mason-Dixon Polling & Research poll released Friday. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson earned 9 percent support from those polled, while another 9 percent said they were undecided.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/poll-clinton-trump-missouri-226418#ixzz4FzaYwOzb
    Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook.

    Now I’m going to wait till Ozarks Hill Billy and other Missourians to comment before I let my self believe that Clinton will take Missouri, but that looks really promising to me.

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  67. Kylopod says:

    James,

    This would be an okay post if not for your title “Conventions helped Trump more.” It is a simple fact that the data you’ve brought is way too limited to even have a clue yet as to whether that’s true.

    For starters, you’re not even putting it into the context of previous polls by the same outlet. The last Reuters/Ipsos poll was taken during the RNC convention, and it showed Clinton up by 5; this one, taken mostly during the DNC convention except for one day, shows Clinton up by 6. There’s not much information there, especially since the last Reuters/Ipsos before either of those was more than two weeks before the RNC convention.

    Furthermore, as Nate Silver has pointed out, we need to be cautious about interpreting bounces given that the polls weren’t steady before the conventions; they were already moving in Trump’s direction for about a month, so it’s not even clear how much Trump’s rise in the polls last week was a result of the convention. And given that the two conventions were back to back, that will make it even harder to compare the bounces each candidate got.

    Look, I understand it’s a little hard to get used to the fact that Trump’s fortunes seem to be that of a relatively normal candidate, despite the fact that his campaign hasn’t functioned remotely like that of one. I still think Clinton is the favorite (if he’s been trailing Clinton for months and the only impact of the convention is to briefly bring him dead even in the polls, that’s a bad sign for him–you have to look at the big picture here), but it’s not going to be Goldwater-Johnson all over again. For one thing, Johnson in 1964 was way more popular than Clinton is now. For another, we just aren’t in that era anymore, and there aren’t that many persuadable voters.

    To ask why Trump hasn’t “imploded” is looking at it the wrong way. Presidential candidates don’t implode, they win or they lose. Trump could go on live TV and say “God bless Adolf Hitler” or take off his clothes and smear maple syrup all over, and it would still be up to voters in November to decide what to do with him. The important thing isn’t that he’s competitive, it’s that he’s doing strikingly badly against a party running for its third straight term with an unpopular nominee.

    As I’ve mentioned before, I think there are a lot of parallels between this election and the Senate race between Harry Reid and Sharron Angle in 2010, where the Republicans blew a perfectly winnable race against an unpopular Democrat by nominating a total nutcase. Even then, the race appeared competitive until the very end, and Reid actually scored an upset victory that contradicted what the polls were saying. I don’t know how this race will turn out or how accurate the polls will turn out to be, but I do think the fundamentals of the race (unpopular Democrat, racist nutcase Republican) are pretty much the same, so what we’re seeing shouldn’t be too surprising.

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  68. Jen says:

    Trump is already whining about the debate schedule (and managing to sneak a lie in while doing so–he says the NFL “sent him a letter” and they said “nope”), but I am wondering why the debate commission would set up debates that conflict with the NFL schedule. I suppose there’s always going to be some conflict, but has this been the case in previous years?

    My hunch is that he’s laying the groundwork to back out of one or two of them, but who knows.

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  69. Kari Q says:

    @stonetools:

    Mason-Dixon is generally regarded as not a top tier pollster because they have a consistent Republican lean. I’m just going to let that sink in.

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  70. CSK says:

    @Jen:

    Oh, I think he’s definitely laying the groundwork for backing out of all of the debates. This is a man who’s said that he sees no need to learn about policy till he ascends to the presidency. (Maybe he’ll hire “really good people” to explain it to him.) What’s he going to do in a debate forum–stand behind a lectern yelling: “CrookedHillaryCrookedHillaryCrookedHillary…” till someone brings out the gaff and yanks him off stage?

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  71. charon says:

    We should bear in mind that for the past several months, Bernie Sanders has been running a campaign that was insidiously damaging to HRC and the Democratic party – by, for example, continuing accusations of Democratic corruption and also by his complaints of a rigged nomination process.

    Now that Bernie’s people have concluded their disruptions at the DNC convention and Bernie is in the rear view mirror, the effects of Bernie’s behaviour should wear off, with attendent recovery in HRC’s poilling.

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  72. Hal_10000 says:

    @Gustopher:

    If they’d wanted to impeach Bush over torture, I would have been all for it.

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  73. john430 says:

    @michael reynolds: Don’t be such a dildo, Michael. I wasn’t comparing conventions, just noting that disarray was a common feature in BOTH conventions.

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  74. john430 says:

    @Jen: Yup, sorry about that. I shot from the hip on that one. Mataconis is such an apologist for Democrats that I just assumed it was him.

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  75. Kylopod says:

    A Morning Consult poll was just released, showing Hillary with a 7 point bump; the same poll gave Trump a 6 point bump last week.

    We’re going to need a lot more data from other polls before we get a good sense of how big a bump Hillary got compared with Trump’s, but it’s already clear that James’ conclusion that the “conventions helped Trump more” was amazingly premature.

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  76. gVOR08 says:

    @john430:

    just noting that disarray was a common feature in BOTH conventions.

    ‘Cause both sides do it. Of course one side does it an order of magnitude more than the other. Runner-up refuses to endorse to widespread boos v/ runner-up moves to suspend voting and nominate by acclimation. Two previous R prez are no-show v/ incumbent prez enthusiastically endorses. Host state R guv no shows v/ host state D guv takes his turn at the podium flaming Trump. Etc. But keep telling yourself the Dems are in disarray and both sides do it. Both sides do it. Both sides do it.

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  77. M. Bouffant says:

    Her voice and inflection can be grating.

    Whereas listening to Trump grunt “Believe me folks” over & over again (Quite a “tell”, innit?) in his inconsistent, incoherent third-grade level speeches is not in the least grating? It would be irritating enough if one had to sit through his act at a Rotary luncheon; that there’s the slightest possibility that he & his third-grade mind could become the proverbial leader of the (self-described) free world puts it far beyond that.

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  78. M. Bouffant says:

    @Jen: Your questions answered:

    Everything You Need to Know About Trump’s NFL BS

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  79. Kari Q says:

    Sam Wang says Clinton’s bounce is 7 points. That’s quite high given the current sharp partisan divide.

    http://election.princeton.edu/2016/08/01/post-democratic-convention-bounce/

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  80. charon says:

    @Kari Q:

    I followed your link, noticed HRC bounce bigger than the other recent 3 Democratic bounces, Trump worse than 4 out of 5 recent Republican bounces.

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  81. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Probably time for an update.

    Election Update: Clinton’s Bounce Appears Bigger Than Trump’s:

    Initial polls conducted after the Democratic National Convention suggest that Hillary Clinton has received a convention bounce. In fact, it appears likely that Clinton’s bounce will exceed Donald Trump’s, which measured at 3 to 4 percentage points. Thus, Clinton will potentially exit the conventions in a stronger position than she entered them, perhaps also making up for some of the ground she lost to Trump earlier in July. This is good news for Clinton, but we’ll need to wait a few weeks to see if she can sustain her bounce before we can conclude that the race has been fundamentally changed.

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