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With Eight Weeks To Go, A Tighter Race But It’s Still Advantage Clinton

Trump Clinton

With just fifty-six days to go until Election Day, the campaign has settled somewhat into a pre-debate pattern in which both campaigns seem to be circling each other waiting for an opportunity to strike, but mostly holding off for the most part until the first debate, which now lies some less than two weeks away. For the most part, that means the race has gone into something of a holding pattern in which nothing earth-shattering that would have a real impact on the candidate’s standing is occurring.

Donald Trump has, for the most part, avoided slipping back into the pattern that we became familiar with from the start of this campaign where he ends up saying something outrageous that take over the news cycle and ends up derailing whatever message the campaign may have for a particular day. No doubt, this is largely attributable to the influence of his new campaign team, which actually seems to have managed to convinced him to stay on message for the most part. Additionally, Trump seems to have adopted the practice of using teleprompters for more of his campaign speeches, and to stick to the script laid out before him. While it does tend to make his speeches come across as somewhat flat and passionless, it has the advantage of ensuring that he stays ‘on script,’ where the campaign wants him.

For her part, Hillary Clinton has continued moving forward, although she has had some stumbles along the way. The first came toward the end of last week when she said at a fundraiser that half of Donald Trump’s supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables” that includes racists, xenophobes and other bigots. The Trump campaign was quick to jump on Clinton for the comment, and even many pundits who aren’t generally Trump supporters wondered if this would turn into a “47 percent” moment for Clinton akin to the one Mitt Romney faced when he commented that nearly half of Obama’s supporters were dependent on government and therefore not likely to support Republicans. Clinton quickly retracted the comment, but the Trump campaign has continued to exploit it over the past several days. Clinton’s second mistake manifested itself on Sunday when she became ill at the 9/11 memorial commemoration in New York and left early while he campaign kept the press in the dark for several hours before revealing that the candidate had been diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday, a decision the campaign now seems to agree was a mistake on their part.

Even Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson got into the news cycle his past with, for both good and bad reasons. On the good side, Johnson and his running mate former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld secured the endorsement of the traditionally Republican Richmond Times Dispatch, which declined to endorse a Republican candidate for President for the first time in recent memory, as well as the Winston-Salem Journal out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. So far, Johnson has earned more newspaper endorsements than Donald Trump has. On the bad side, Johnson had a particularly bad moment on live television late in the week when he appeared to be unaware of what Aleppo, the Syrian city that is the center of the nation’s refugee crisis, was or where it was located. It was an embarrassing moment that managed to push Johnson into the news cycle for all the wrong reasons, but to his credit the candidate acknowledged that he had made a mistake and didn’t resort to the traditional political response of trying to paper over a gaffe or claim that he had “misheard” the question. Whether that moment would blunt what had been a good couple months for Johnson remained unclear as the week ended.

Turning to the polls, the race appeared to continue to tighten over the past week, although some polls showed Clinton in better shape than others, and none of them appeared to show anything resembling a decisive shift in momentum toward Donald Trump at this point. In a two-way race, the RealClearPolitics average has narrowed to 2.4 point lead for Clinton (45.8%) over Trump (43. 4%) thanks in no small part to the LA Times/USC  Tracking Poll which has shown a decided pro-Trump bias for this entire cycle and which employs a unique methodology that may or may not provide new insights that traditional polling does not. Clinton’s margin has also slipped in the four-way matchup, with RealClearPolitics now giving her a 2.4 point edge over Trump at 41.9% to 39.9%. Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson remains stable at an average of 9.0% and Jill Stein at 2.9%.  These margins are tighter than we’ve seen since the party conventions at the end of July, and, as the charts demonstrate, they show that the race continues to tighten:

RCP Two Way Chart 91316

And here’s the four way chart, which for the first time shows signs of movement over a shorter period of time:

RCP FOur Way Chart 91316

Turning to the states, we continue to see evidence of tightening there as well as several state polls have shown a slip in Clinton’s lead, or even a slight turn toward Trump that may or may not last very long. The most notable changes have been in states such as Wisconsin and Michigan, which have seen Clinton’s once dominant lead shrink slightly and in Florida and Iowa, where Donald Trump has actually taken a slight (as in under 1%) lead thanks to one or two recent polls. The result is that several states have shifted into the toss up category on the RealClearPolitics Electoral Map so that it now shows the Clinton/Kaine ticket with 209 Electoral Votes, Trump/Pence holding steady at 154 Electoral votes, and thirteen states, along with one Congressional District in Maine, adding up to 175 Electoral Votes falling into the Toss-Up category. Without toss-ups, Democrats continue to hold a comfortable, if slightly diminished, lead with 311 Electoral Votes projected for Clinton/Kaine and 227 projected for Trump/Pence. 

In other projections, Nate Silver’s forecasts show a slightly increased likelihood of a Clinton win, but remained largely stable for the week. The polls-only forecast projects a 69.4% likelihood of a Clinton victory and a 30.6% chance of a Republican victory, for example, while the ‘Polls-Plus’ forecast gives Clinton a 68% chance of winning versus 32.0% for Donald Trump and the “Now-cast,” which purports to project would happen if the election were held today, showing a 72.7% chance of a Clinton victory and a 27.2% chance of a Trump victory. Once again, there have been no significant updates to either Sam Wang’s or Larry Sabato’s Electoral Projections over the past week.

This past week has largely been a continuation of what we’ve seen over the past three weeks, a race that is tightening but which still gives a real advantage to the Democratic candidate thanks to strength at the state level that is remaining fairly consistent. Additionally, as Harry Enten points out, the tightening seems to have its limits in large part because Donald Trump’s momentum in the polls has stopped, which suggests there may be a ceiling to his support after all. To a large degree, in fact, what we’re seeing right now is not entirely different from the fluctuations we saw during the 2012 campaign which ultimately ended in a victory by President Obama that amounted to about 2.45% in the popular vote and a larger margin in the Electoral College. While many people, myself included, expected that this race would be different thanks to the presence of Donald Trump on the ballot, it would appear that this isn’t the case. In no small part, this is likely due in part to the fact that the partisan divide in the country remains notwithstanding the controversy that Trump brings with him and in part to the fact that both candidates are equally unpopular among voters. Whatever the reason, it means that the race is closer than many people think it should be, and this seems to be making some Democrats nervous. Personally I tend to believe that Clinton will pull away from Trump as the election gets closer, and that we’ll see a win more akin to 2008 than 2004, we’re unlikely to see any real movement in the polls in either direction before the upcoming debates which, under the circumstances, are likely to be the highest rated in quite some time.

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

Related Posts:

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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. Mister Bluster says:

    …a decision the campaign now seems to agree was a mistake on their part.

    When will they ever learn?

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  2. CSK says:

    If Trump loses narrowly, I think there’s a real possibility of violence. Trump has suggested that the election will be rigged, and the Trumpkins are all too ready to believe that. These are people who are deranged by hate, not just of Clinton, Obama, and the Democrats, but Republicans as well.

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  3. SKI says:

    Donald Trump has, for the most part, avoided slipping back into the pattern that we became familiar with from the start of this campaign where he ends up saying something outrageous that take over the news cycle and ends up derailing whatever message the campaign may have for a particular day

    A big part of it is also Media fatigue/grading on a massive curve. Basically, if Trump doesn’t publicly soil himself on stage, he is lauded for “being more Presidential”.

    Think about how little coverage was given to Trump causally using a racist nickname towards a United States Senator, getting basic economics wrong in his comments on the Fed, and castigating Yellen and the Fed for doing what he called for in May, said he would attack Iran if their sailors made crude gestures towards US sailors, said we should get China to “fix” North Korea, claimed the debates would be rigged and that the Fed, FBI and DOJ are “obviously” not independent. And all of that was in a single interview on CNBC!

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  4. SKI says:

    Clinton quickly retracted the comment

    Another point of clarification: She did NOT retract the comment. She said only that she regreted using the quantifier of “half”.

    Amazingly, there has been little discussion over whether her comment is factual (newsflash, it is) and all on the optics of it. Another media failure.

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  5. CSK says:

    @SKI:

    In yesterday’s Vox.com, Matthew Yglesias made the argument that everyone, journalists included, has been benumbed by the flux of garbage from Trump’s mouth.

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  6. MikeSJ says:

    @SKI:

    Basically, if Trump doesn’t publicly soil himself on stage, he is lauded for “being more Presidential”.

    Of course if Trump did soil himself on stage the press would immediately run with the fact Hillary took an extra long bathroom break during one of the primary debates so they really are equally shamed.

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  7. gVOR08 says:

    @SKI: Truth is a sufficient defense in a libel case. I fear politics won’t work that way. I see it as a valid effort to pry loose some of the other half of Trump’s support.

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  8. Mikey says:

    @SKI: Don’t forget the Washington Post’s excellent reporting on the Trump Foundation, which is basically just a front Trump uses to pretend to give to charities. In reality he just passes other people’s money through, sometimes illegally (as with the foundation’s gift to Pam Bondi, for which he was fined by the IRS and which looks an awful lot like a quid-pro-quo for Bondi dropping the inquiry into Trump U). All but ignored by the major media, while Clinton’s pneumonia is the issue of the week.

    Once again, the Clinton rules.

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  9. gVOR08 says:

    Mitt Romney faced when he commented that nearly half of Obama’s supporters were dependent on government and therefore not likely to support Republicans.

    No. Romney said 47% of the electorate generally not of Obama supporters. He made a three part statement: a) 47% of voters paid no income tax, b) that same 47% support Obama, and c) that same 47% take no responsibility for their lives.
    a) was true at the time, it’s fallen under Obama.
    b) is totally false. Given that many of the above 47% are elderly, it’s likely they pretty much evenly split their vote.
    c) is unknowable.

    So this 47% statement was a lie, like so much of what Romney said. However, he seemed absolutely sincere when he said this. And the juicy irony is it turned out some 47% of the electorate would vote for Romney.

    Hillary’s statement on the other hand is largely true. See @SKI:. Half of Trump supporters is getting pretty close to the perennial 27%.

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  10. CSK says:

    It may be that Trump’s outrages aren’t being covered not just for the reasons that Yglesias cited–that we’re all numb to them–but because the press believes, based on almost all available polling data, that since he’s going to lose, none of what he says will ultimately matter.

    Just a thought.

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  11. Thor thormussen says:

    “Hillary’s too guarded.”
    “Did you just hear her say that obvious thing we all know?”
    “Yeah. She’s too truthful!”

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  12. cian says:

    @CSK:

    And if he wins, same thing. He will have done so by disparaging everyone other than the most extreme haters in our society. As a consequence, for a time, the haters will outnumber the non-haters and for non-haters there will be hell to pay. His voters will demand action and the action they want is to see the ‘other’ suffer. He and his supporters will attempt to drag the country back to a way of life that thankfully, for millions of Americans, no longer exists. My strong sense is that this is not a normal election, and should he win, what comes next for the country will be truly seismic.

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  13. Davebo says:

    The incomes of typical Americans rose in 2015 by 5.2 percent, the first significant boost to middle-class pay since the end of the Great Bush Recession and the fastest increase ever recorded by the federal government, the Census Bureau reported on Tuesday.

    In addition, the poverty rate fell by 1.2 percentage points, the steepest decline since 1968. There were 43.1 million Americans in poverty on the year, 3.5 million fewer than in 2014.

    The share of Americans who lack health insurance continued a years-long decline, falling 1.3 percentage points, to 9.1 percent.

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  14. CSK says:

    @cian:

    And there’s a third possibility. Suppose he wins and then goes back on all the promises he made to his supporters about deporting 11 million Mexicans, however many Muslims, and building a gigantic wall (an actual physical wall)? What then? Do they storm the White House with pitchforks and torches?

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  15. grumpy realist says:

    @cian: I expect if Trump wins we’ll see attacks against people who look like they’re “Muslim” (i.e., Sikhs should be wary), then dark-skinned people, and women.

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  16. James Pearce says:

    @CSK:

    If Trump loses narrowly, I think there’s a real possibility of violence.

    What makes you think that?

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  17. SKI says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I expect if Trump wins we’ll see attacks against people who look like they’re “Muslim” (i.e., Sikhs should be wary), then dark-skinned people, and women.

    You don’t need to wait.

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  18. Jen says:

    @James Pearce:

    Kentucky governor: Clinton presidency may lead to bloodshed

    Well, there’s that.

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  19. MBunge says:

    So, Hillary as President and Republicans maintain control of the House and Senate.

    Well, it’s great to know Hillary has the good judgment to avoid inflaming a delicate situation by, you know, accusing about 20% of the country of being irredeemably evil or something.

    I already miss Obama.

    Mike

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  20. Tony W says:

    @MBunge:

    accusing about 20% of the country of being irredeemably evil or something.

    She’s not wrong.

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  21. David M says:

    @MBunge:

    So, you’d prefer Clinton be a little less honest. Noted.

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  22. MarkedMan says:

    Also helping Hillary, I suspect the revelation of Colin Powell’s email message may neuter that issue. For those who missed it, it turns out Powell did write an email just 3 days after she started as SOS (not a year later as he claimed) that clearly recommended she use a private email account and explicitly stated that he had done so with the intent of getting around the record retention requirements. I think the commentariat just doesn’t know how to process this revelation and so have been essentially struck dumb.

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  23. CSK says:

    @James Pearce:

    Basically what I said. Trump supporters are very, very angry people, and they’re not rational. They see themselves as perpetual victims of “the elites” (Republican or Democrat, doesn’t matter to them), and Trump is their savior. If HRC wins by a small margin of the popular vote, that’s concrete proof to them that the election was stolen from Trump. And given that they walk around in a perpetual stage of inchoate rage, why wouldn’t they be violent? Sure, most of them may be keyboard warriors, but I’ve never seen such demented fury.

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  24. gVOR08 says:

    @Davebo:

    The incomes of typical Americans rose in 2015 by 5.2 percent, the first significant boost to middle-class pay since the end of the Great Bush Recession and the fastest increase ever recorded by the federal government, the Census Bureau reported on Tuesday.

    Beat me. Had your link on the clipboard. Is it time for one of Doug’s state of the economy posts? And will some Trump supporter explain to me just what disaster they’re saving the country from?

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  25. SKI says:

    @MBunge:

    Well, it’s great to know Hillary has the good judgment to avoid inflaming a delicate situation by, you know, accusing about 20% of the country of being irredeemably evil or something.

    Was it an accusation or a description?

    Do you really think that there isn’t at least 20% of the population that are bigots, racists, xenophobes and/or misogynists?

    And aren’t those beliefs deplorable?

    ___

    It is somewhat ridiculous that the campaign that is based in large part on claims of being anti-PC and whose leader routinely insults just about everyone (but Putin) is complaining about the other side using blunt language but hey, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, right?

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  26. Steve V says:

    @MBunge: Obama pissed off a substantial portion of the electorate too when he called them “bitter clingers.”

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  27. Mikey says:

    @SKI:

    It is somewhat ridiculous that the campaign that is based in large part on claims of being anti-PC and whose leader routinely insults just about everyone (but Putin) is complaining about the other side using blunt language

    Trump supporters: “TRUMP THAT BITCH! TRUMP THAT BITCH!”

    Mrs. Clinton (AKA “that bitch”): “…basket of deplorables…”

    Trump supporters: “WAAAAAAAHHHH!!! SHE SAID SOMETHING MEAN ABOUT US!!!!”

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  28. SKI says:

    And the Clinton campaign hits back with an ad using Trump’s own words… again

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  29. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @MBunge: Deplorable is pretty low on the list of words I use to describe racist, white supremacists, Islamophobes, and xenophobes. And I am not even remotely ashamed of anyone who calls out those people for who and what they are.

    Why are you?

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  30. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:

    She spoke the truth. Trump supporters are deplorables. Anyone who proposes giving that pig of a man control over thousands of nuclear weapons is a moron, or a racist moron, or a misogynist moron, but in all cases, a moron.

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  31. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Evidently we’re still trying to pretend that we elect presidents by popular vote in this country. We don’t.

    Obama led Romney by 0.7% – less than one point – a few days before the election in 2012. He won the electoral vote 332 to 206. WHERE you win matters more than how much you win by. Enough already.

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  32. James Pearce says:

    @Jen:

    Well, there’s that.

    Idle threats from big mouths and bullies. Don’t sweat it.

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  33. James Pearce says:

    @CSK:

    Trump supporters are very, very angry people, and they’re not rational.

    Granted, but they are also the kind of weaklings who will beat up nonviolent protesters at Trump rallies, but then cry bloody murder over being called “deplorable.” Like I said, idle threats from big mouths and bullies.

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  34. Rafer Janders says:

    Donald Trump has, for the most part, avoided slipping back into the pattern that we became familiar with from the start of this campaign where he ends up saying something outrageous that take over the news cycle and ends up derailing whatever message the campaign may have for a particular day

    Um, no, he hasn’t. He keeps saying outrageous things — the problem is that his habit of saying outrageous things has become normalized and so no longer news, and thus the news cycle is no longer devoted to it. The media has defined deviancy down. Man Bites Dog = news. Man Bites Dog for Hundredth Time = now news, even though, when you think about it, the second example is much crazier than the first.

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  35. michael reynolds says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Hillary can give up Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Nevada, Iowa and part of Maine and still win.

    Trump needs to take all of those states, plus one other. If he loses Florida, he’s cooked. If he loses Ohio, he’s cooked.

    If this was poker you’d want Hillary’s hand.

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  36. anjin-san says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I got on an interactive electoral collage map last night and ran the very worst plausible scenario I could think of for Hillary.

    She still won.

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  37. anjin-san says:

    @Jen:

    He’s a blowhard. People that are really dangerous don’t talk, they do. That’s not to say that the dangerous ones are not out there, but this crypto-traitor is just a wuss talking tough from a nice safe perch.

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  38. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Agreed. At this point I’ve come to the conclusion that the presidential race is over. Clinton will win. The toss up is whether or not we retake the Senate. I’ve stopped even considering presidential race polling, 1) because it’s always a national snapshot without electoral jurisdiction breakouts and 2) because it has nothing really new to tell me.

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  39. Rafer Janders says:

    @MBunge:

    by, you know, accusing about 20% of the country of being irredeemably evil or something.

    That seems low, frankly….

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  40. Thor thormussen says:

    He’s a blowhard. People that are really dangerous don’t talk, they do. That’s not to say that the dangerous ones are not out there, but this crypto-traitor is just a wuss talking tough from a nice safe perch.

    last week seth meyers said: “Trump complains that Obama isn’t as strong a leader as Vladimir Putin. That’s obviously correct. Because if Obama was as strong a leader as Putin, Trump would be dead now.'”

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  41. C. Clavin says:

    @HarvardLaw92:
    @anjin-san:
    @michael reynolds:
    My head says you’re all correct, along with Nate Silver and Sam Wang.
    But I talk to people in bars, and I see lawn signs in my neighborhood where I’ve never seen them before, and I worry.
    Trump is talking in bumper stickers and no one is pushing back. NO ONE.
    Look…he’s even made it acceptable for Jenos to admit he is a racist and a homophobe, after all these years. Who knows how many closeted bigots come out when that behavior is normalized?
    Clinton is doing what Democrats always do…nuance themselves to the losers bin.
    We need more of what Obama did today:
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/obama-clinton-trump-no-equivalence
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obama-trump-putin_us_57d84156e4b0fbd4b7bbd943
    http://www.vox.com/2016/9/13/12904824/obama-donald-trump-media
    Lots more.

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  42. C. Clavin says:

    Then there is this.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgM1PDV3dFI

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  43. C. Clavin says:

    Obama:

    “So the bottom line is, is that we can not afford suddenly to treat this like a reality show. We can’t afford to act as if there’s some equivalence here. To be president, you have to do your homework and you have to know what you’re talking about and you’ve got to apply steady judgment even when things don’t go your way and you’ve got to make the tough calls even when they’re not popular. Even when they take years to pay off and you have to handle criticism without taking it personally, just brushing it off. And then go ahead and get the job done. And that’s something I learned.”

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  44. Mister Bluster says:

    Putin-Trump-Pense
    A Russian Troika we should rightously oppose!

    NKVD Troika
    These commissions were employed as an instrument of extrajudicial punishment introduced to supplement the Soviet legal system with a means for quick execution or imprisonment
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NKVD_troika

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  45. Sleeping Dog says:

    Perhaps the palpable fear that I live with that Hilary will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory is shared

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/mckaycoppins/republicans-privately-panic-at-terrifying-prospect-of-trump

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  46. Davebo says:

    @gVOR08:

    Is it time for one of Doug’s state of the economy posts?

    I doubt it. It’s pretty hard to spin this as “ok but not as good as expected”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. Senyordave says:

    I’d love to see Hillary to give a press conference and call out Trump for being a bigot. She can lay out the evidence over 40 years, starting with his father’s company being investigated and ultimately being part of a consent decree agreeing not discriminate against blacks in their rentals (Donald was running the company at that point). Make this the cornerstone of your campaign. Do we want a racist as our president? At least then the media will almost have t address the issue.
    I think Obama might be heading down this path of calling out Trump for what he is.

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  48. Tyrell says:

    A new movie sequel just announced: “Deplorable Me”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. Mister Bluster says:

    @Tyrell:..A new movie sequel just announced: “Deplorable Me”.

    Who’s playing you?

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  50. Tyrell says:

    Good, very good.

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  51. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve been wondering if there will ever be something that starts to turn Trump’s supporters against him. It’s hard to think of anything, because his hardcore supporters have a lot in common with Marion Barry’s back in the day: they rally round him because it makes the people they really hate so mad. But if there is anything that breaks through, I think it may be the fact that Trump is really and truly a miser. The Washington Post has been doing journeyman’s work investigating Trump’s “charitable contributions” and they are uniformly shams, suspicious or just ridiculous. Sham: soliciting a $150K Trump Foundation donation from a corporation, turning around and donating that to a Police charity, and that charity naming Trump donor of the year and hosting a big event celebrating him – at the Mar a Lago resort that Trump owns. Suspicious: they were able to get in touch with six large donors to the Trump foundation. All six refused to comment in any way at all. How many corporations make large charitable donations and then refuse to discuss them? And the ridiculous: he used the Trump foundation (which by the way, he has not donated any of his own money to in 8 years) to buy a $20K life size oil painting of himself at a charity auction.

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  52. Tyrell says:

    @MarkedMan: Deplorable !

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  53. barbintheboonies says:

    How did it get so bad in this country? I know we were never all together on issues, but we learned to take the good with the bad. We are so divided now as a country I fear we may never get together. We look for the Dem or Rep label before we can say we are for or against something. It is shameful how grown men and women are behaving and what about our kids they are watching. Are we just going to get worse until there is nothing left to fight for. I am embarrassed and ashamed of all this bad behavior. This is what happens to a society fueled by greed. We lost our media to the giggling morons repeating the same old crap daily. Insult for insult nothing progressing The rich keep piling the money up while feeding us more sh4t. They can spend hours talking without saying anything. I cannot listen to more than 5 minutes anymore.

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  54. rachel says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    @MBunge:

    by, you know, accusing about 20% of the country of being irredeemably evil or something.

    That seems low, frankly….

    …by roughly 7%

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  55. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan: I’m curious about the four donations they found that didn’t go to the organizations to which they were marked. Given the Bondi donation, it makes one wonder if those were also political donations that were intentionally “buried” in the Foundation’s donation records so they wouldn’t be found. Not frequent enough to establish a pattern, just an “oops, mistake!” if it was ever caught. Maybe, maybe not.

    I’m honestly surprised that the litany of small businessmen/contractors that he bullied into taking pennies on the dollar for work performed hasn’t had a bigger impact with his supporters. Many of them are the white, working class, no-college but built up a successful business-types that make up Trump’s base. If any of Trump’s supporters worked on a “billionaire’s” project and then got stiffed on the payment, I doubt they’d be so sanguine about that behavior.

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  56. C. Clavin says:

    @Jen:

    I’m honestly surprised that the litany of small businessmen/contractors that he bullied into taking pennies on the dollar for work performed hasn’t had a bigger impact with his supporters.

    It’s because they don’t believe it. YOu’re talking about people…Jenos, Gaurneri, JKB, bill…for whom facts have no meaning. They are invested in their emotions, only. They hate Clinton for rreasons that are counterfactual, and Trump gives them a chubby when he overtly slams minorities and women and handicapped people, because they want to but don’t have the balls.

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  57. Grumpy Realist says:

    @barbintheboonies: I got to see this in real time. One of my friends was a radio news reporter–one of the real ones, wearing out shoe leather, muckraking. And he left UPI because they started cutting back on everything, including salaries.

    It’s just so much easier and cheaper to run a talking heads show.

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  58. Matt says:

    @C. Clavin: I live deep in the heart of Texas and my job involves driving around various neighborhoods for hours at a time every day. The few places I saw that had trump signs have since removed them while leaving up the other Republican signs including “keep Texas red”. There is only one house left that I’ve found with trump signs and it’s owned by an older white couple. They also have I kid you not +10 signs covering the full range of what you saw at the convention including “trump the bitch” among other derogatory terms relating to females and “dimocRATS”. Granted there aren’t exactly many Hillary signs around either.

    The fact is that Trump has managed to lose some of the Republicans down here. The ones still in the tank for Trump are loud and proud though.

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  59. MBunge says:

    In the futile quest to demonstrate that we Hillary-haters are motivated by something other than sexism, let me present Reason #2,897,156 for why I dread another Clinton Administration.

    We all know who Josh Marshall is from Talking Points Memo, right? He hasn’t posted a single comment on his site with his opinion on the Hillary health thing. There have been a few news articles but not one single editorial comment on any of it. I noticed it on Monday and thought it was kind of odd, especially since he’d posted several things about the “deplorables” business, so he obviously hasn’t been sick or offline because of something else. I even went and checked his Twitter on Monday afternoon, and there was nothing about it there.

    Does that make any sense? No defense of Hillary? Nothing about it demonstrating how tough she is? No attack on the media? Not even something like “This doesn’t prove the right wing nuts were correct about Hillary’s health?” Zip. Zero. Nada.

    Now he’s posted a comment on Trump’s health, except it actually has nothing to do with Trump’s health. It’s just mocking Trump for supposedly having hair restoration surgery back in the day and brings up the allegation that he raped one of his previous wives.

    I don’t have a problem with mocking Trump. I don’t have a problem with bringing up the rape allegation. It should be bizarre in an age when “rape culture” is openly discussed that it hasn’t been brought up. But the reason why Trump isn’t asked about it is not due to media bias in favor of Trump. It’s because the media are not such huge hypocrites that they’re going to ask Trump about the rape claim against him when none of them have the stones to ask Hillary about the rape allegation against her husband. And for God’s sake, no one say “Hillary didn’t rape anyone! Why should she be asked about Bill doing it?”

    How in the world can you say nothing about Hillary’s health when it’s been the #1 story for several days, then bring up Trump’s health as a flimsy pretext to regurgitate claims about stuff that happened decades ago? Josh Marshall claims to be a journalist. He claims to be a relatively fair-minded commentator. And he is willfully whoring out his integrity for the glory of Hillary Clinton.

    And just be clear because I know some people will try to miss the point, I AM NOT SAYING JOSH MARSHALL HAS TO ATTACK HILLARY. I’m not saying he has to admit there’s anything wrong with her health or criticize the campaign for its secrecy. He could be vigorously defending her and I wouldn’t care. But to say nothing? And to bring up Trump’s health only to attack him for reasons that have nothing to do with his health?

    We can’t have a discussion under those terms. We can’t have a debate. We can’t have an argument. All we can do is scream at each other, for the next four years and the rest of our lives.

    Mike

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  60. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen:

    I’m honestly surprised that the litany of small businessmen/contractors that he bullied into taking pennies on the dollar for work performed hasn’t had a bigger impact with his supporters.

    I realized long ago that I am pretty out of sync with what generates public outrage and so am often surprised by what finally clicks. Given all of Palin’s obvious and glaring failings, why was it her “All of them” response that finally clicked with everyone? To my ears it was just more of the same. Why did “Gore said he invented the internet” work so well? It was trivial to show that he didn’t say that, but it just wouldn’t die. On the other side, why didn’t anything stick to Reagan? Caving in to terrorists and running from Lebanon, arms for hostages, becoming so confused in an interview he started describing work he had done in film as actual experiences he had. But once the public had decided he was the firm steady hand nothing could shake it.

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  61. MarkedMan says:

    @MBunge:

    He hasn’t posted a single comment on his site with his opinion on the Hillary health thing.

    The site has had several articles about her near-fainting last week. In fact, that’s where I first read about it. Or are you just pointing out that he hasn’t personally written about it in his blog? (I can’t check because it’s scrolled off the feed and I don’t see an obvious way to check farther back)

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  62. Jen says:

    Well, the good news is, Newsweek has become the first major news organization to do an in-depth story on an issue I’ve been wondering about since Trump won his first primary.

    There is no logical way to distance himself from his business dealings many of which are counter to US goals and, as the Newsweek piece points out, potentially counter to our national security. This is even if he turns over the organization to his kids (and, let’s remember the standard that has been established: a couple of weeks ago, everyone came unglued over the prospect of Chelsea Clinton remaining on the board of their charity foundation because “too many potential conflicts.”)

    Trump needs to explain this, and fast. Without lying, preferably (but I won’t be holding my breath).

    Also, he’s weaseled out of discussing/disclosing his medical records on the Dr. Oz show. Quelle surprise.

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  63. Jen says:

    @MBunge: You are dreading another Clinton administration because one blogger hasn’t posted editorial musings about Clinton’s health? Because it hasn’t been mentioned elsewhere, or is Mr. Marshall somehow singularly important?

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  64. MarkedMan says:

    Just wanted to make it clear that I’m just asking the question in the above comment. I find Josh Marshall’s site to have devolved into an overly partisan mess with some real journalism occasionally folded into the mix. I have to admit that about a year ago I removed the shortcut to his site from my browser and swore I wouldn’t go back because I was tired of number of headlines that were “Some neanderthal Republican State Representative in Baumfaulk, MS has said this incredibly stupid thing”.

    Much to my chargrin I find myself typing the link in manually (thank god for autocomplete) a few times a day, because my other news media (NY Times, The Atlantic, various blogs) doesn’t do an adequate job of asking hard questions about Trump’s charities, his associations with the alt right, etc. (Perhaps with the astounding exception of the Washington Post and the charitable donations story. Astounding because I gave up on the Post years ago due to their attitude of ‘if we never call out a lie in an article but merely let a Democrat and a Republican present “both sides” people might get frustrated but not enough to cancel their subscription.)

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  65. SKI says:

    @MBunge:
    As you note, TPM has covered, pretty extensively, HRC’s health issues. Josh himself routinely doesn’t weigh in on every issue on TPM, particularly when others have covered it. And, and this is probably more relevant, he did cover it in his twitter stream – which he has recently stated he finds himself using more and more instead of doing a formal editorial post.

    Here is a 13-tweet stream from Sunday

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  66. rachel says:

    @Jen: There are two things I wonder :

    1 Whether Trump may live to regret volunteering to put himself under the microscope of a presidential campaign.

    2 Why anybody would pay him to let them put his name on their building. What possible value could it add?

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  67. An Interested Party says:

    @SKI: So, in other words, MBunge has to invent fanciful reasons to dread another Clinton Administration…the poor, unfortunate soul…

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  68. Pch101 says:

    “I’m not gonna vote for Candidate X because a blogger on a different website doesn’t say what I want him to say” has got to be one of the dumbest arguments that I’ve seen in awhile.

    Bunge is either serving his troll overlords in St. Petersburg or else has got to be one of the more delusional posters on the internet (and that’s saying something.) Neurotic would be a kind way to describe his attempts at logic.

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  69. C. Clavin says:

    @MBunge:

    his opinion on the Hillary health thing

    He’s supposed to have an opinion on Clinton’s pneumonia?
    I’m sure he wishes her well.
    I don’t buy that because others are obsessed with a non-story…everyone should be.

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  70. Pch101 says:

    I want to go on record to say that I am strongly opposed to pneumonia. If anyone offers it to you, then just say no.

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  71. CSK says:

    @Jen:

    Ah, but Jen, any Trumpkin will tell you that all those zillions of small contractors whom Trump refused to compensate just didn’t do their jobs properly, that’s all. Trump didn’t stiff them; he quite properly declined to pay for inadequate goods or services.

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  72. Thor thormussen says:

    OT: Colin Powell Called Benghazi ‘Stupid Witch Hunt’ In Email To Condi Rice

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  73. wr says:

    @MBunge: ” And for God’s sake, no one say “Hillary didn’t rape anyone! Why should she be asked about Bill doing it?””

    Right. Because that would immediately point out what a nonsensical thing you’re saying here. And what fun is it playing concern troll if what you say actually has to make sense?

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  74. Thor thormussen says:

    powell also criticised HRC, so expect multiple Front Page posts from Doug about that.

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  75. MarkedMan says:

    For all those that are convinced that Clinton is so morally bankrupt she would take any political advantage note that she had in her possession for years two emails from Powell that would have done a lot to help her in Benghazi and email-gate, respectively. It appears she didn’t release them because Powell asked her not too.

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  76. Andrew says:

    Trump gets away with everything that would implode any national campaign, because, well, he is not Hilary. And Hilary gets hit on everything that Trump does not and everything else, because, well, she IS Hilary.

    Trump can make fun of the handicapped, support prejudice and racism, not give out tax returns, or an accurate medical report, get down on his knees regarding Putin, steal money from charities, scam his clientele or customers, and say things that would cause global problems if actually elected…but, he is not Hilary. So, this is all accepted as okay.

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  77. Kylopod says:

    @Andrew:

    Trump gets away with everything that would implode any national campaign

    Oh, please. The fact is that Trump is losing, and losing badly, to an unpopular nominee running for her party’s third term. That is not “getting away with” the things he’s done. It is suffering the consequences of the things he’s done.

    I agree that there are things about him that don’t get enough attention, that there’s too much false equivalence in the media, and that in a sane world the race wouldn’t even be competitive and that he’d be facing a Goldwater-level blowout or worse. But the simple fact is that he’s not a Teflon candidate; his poll numbers clearly indicate that many of the things he’s said and done have seriously damaged his candidacy.

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  78. michael reynolds says:

    @Kylopod:

    The problem isn’t Trump per se, he’s a nasty carnival con man willing to play fascist strongman to feed his absurd ego.

    It’s the voters. They worry me. How astonishingly stupid do you have to be to support this pig? How much of a racist? How much of a woman-hater? It is disturbing that 40% of the American population gives so little of a shit about this country.

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  79. Andrew says:

    @Kylopod: @michael reynolds:

    While he may not exactly be getting away with all he says or does. The fact remains, whether it is the media’s fault or Trumps, does anyone remember how much Howard Dean got demolished after he got too excited at a taped event?

    Just 12 years ago simply doing what Dean did was enough to lose his race. But, then again, there is a stark contrast between what the Democratic Party and the Republican Party can get away with. Expectations and all that.

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  80. Jen says:

    @Kylopod:

    The fact is that Trump is losing, and losing badly,

    He’s leading by 5 points in Ohio. To me, he’s not losing anywhere near badly enough.

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  81. Kylopod says:

    @Andrew: First of all, let’s not confuse intra-party fights with general elections. I was referring to the latter when I talked about him not getting away with stuff.

    Second, even his rise in the primaries needs to be put into context. I’m always hearing people say, “The more outrageous he got, the more popular he became.” That’s actually a myth. If you look at his poll numbers during primary season, they were mostly steady–neither rising nor falling. Basically, the moment he entered the race in mid-2015 he immediately attracted a large fan base that proved remarkably loyal to him no matter what he said or did, and in an unusually crowded field, none of his rivals could match it even though it never constituted more than a minority of the party’s voters. There were just two points when his support rose significantly: in December 2015, when it quickly moved from about one-fourth of the party to about one-third, and in the late primaries when a lot of Republican voters just sort of threw up their hands and accepted him, probably at least in part to avoid the mess of a brokered convention. In the end, he won just under 45% of the total GOP electorate–the lowest ever for a Republican in the entire modern era of primary-centered nomination contests (which began in the 1970s).

    I don’t say any of this to let the GOP off the hook. I think the party establishment bears a lot of responsibility for Trump’s rise even if they didn’t want it to occur, and he is in many ways just a very raw embodiment of tendencies they’ve been cultivating in their voters for decades. I’m just trying to push back against the idea that he’s got some kind of magical electoral prowess simply because of his unexpected rise in the primaries. All we can say is that he should be losing more, but he is, at least for the moment, losing.

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  82. Andrew says:

    @Kylopod:

    I am not arguing poll numbers, where Trump was or is, I am not arguing his “magical” prowess. Basically, I am just complaining that we need to really start holding ALL candidates feet to the fire.

    I have people I work with who like Trump. Who say he is entertaining and speaks his mind. The normal chestnut. Even they think he needs to temper his approach, and by the end of that same sentence still want him to “Tell it like it is.” And do not want to be “bored” by politicians anymore. But, I am not discussing this lack of reality in these reality tv-esque desires.

    I am more tired of the horse-race, and the lack of an even playing field in regards to what one candidate or party can get away with. The President of the United States, is one roll. One job, one key placement in government. Nor Trump OR Hilary should be held differently in any regard. You do not get a participation trophy, you do not get special treatment just because you think yourself special or if your name is in large letters on someone else’s building. Or if you have worked in government for the majority of your adult life.

    One job, two persons. Same expectations.

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  83. grumpy realist says:

    @Andrew: The number of Americans who seem to confuse the role of POTUS with that of an entertainer is depressing.

    It’s going to be even more depressing if Trump gets elected POTUS and due to his flying off the handle about something/doing something stupid/whatever we get another stock market crash.

    But Hillary and Benghazi, of course.

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  84. Mikey says:

    @grumpy realist:

    It’s going to be even more depressing if Trump gets elected POTUS and due to his flying off the handle about something/doing something stupid/whatever we get another stock market crash.

    Or a war.

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  85. KM says:

    @MBunge :

    It’s because the media are not such huge hypocrites that they’re going to ask Trump about the rape claim against him when none of them have the stones to ask Hillary about the rape allegation against her husband. And for God’s sake, no one say “Hillary didn’t rape anyone! Why should she be asked about Bill doing it?”

    Why not? it’s a perfectly legitimate logical question. In all seriousness, why isn’t Melania getting grilled about the rape accusations against Trump? If your logic is spouses should have to answer for their significant other’s indiscretions in an election cycle, then where’s her grilling or is it no one has the stones to not be a hypocrite? And for God’s sake, no one say “She’s not the candidate, Trump is!! Why should she be asked about him doing it?”

    Fair’s fair, man. We await that interview.

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  86. Andrew says:

    @KM:

    Apples and Oranges, mang.

    Or should I say Clinton and Orange.

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  87. Tyrell says:

    Has anyone else been noticing the almost insane obsession that some of the ” news” networks have with these polls ? And they pore over the electoral maps without ceasing. Folks, something is wrong. I wonder if they are using a method to try to influence people’s opinions and preferences with this mind numbing barrage. I feel like I am sitting in a car dealer office.
    There is some news out there. And it is not things like how Trump holds and moves his arms during a speech.
    How about this: “Iran threatens US Navy”.

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  88. MarkedMan says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to say the MSM has not been reporting on Trump’s statements. Although I don’t watch the nightly news, the cable news networks or the talking heads shows I often see they are credited when Trump is reported to have said something atrocious. But the MSM is holding Trump to a lesser standard in another way: investigatory journalism. There are probably a couple hundred reporters looking into the email scandal, and similar numbers for the Clinton Foundation, Benghazi and so forth. But I can only think of two serious investigations into Trump and both are from investigations at only one media outlet: the ongoing Washington Post look into Trump’s charitable donations, and the more recent Newsweek piece on his conflicts of interest if he were to become president. Even in the NY Times, one of the best papers in the world, they tend to focus on immediate reaction to what he said, or autobiographical stuff.

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