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With Nine Weeks To Go, Clinton’s Post-Convention Bounce Seems To Have Disappeared

Trump Clinton

With Labor Day behind us, we’re entering what has traditionally been the final stretch of the election season, which has been going on at least since March 23rd, 2015 when Texas Senator Ted Cruz became the first major candidate to announce he was entering the race, although in reality it began long before then and has seemed at times like it was never going to end. In the past, Labor Day marked a significant point in the election cycle since it was traditionally when most candidates would begin campaigning aggressively in anticipation of an election that now stands just two months away. In some of the more recent cycles, that Labor Day starting whistle was more obvious due to the fact that the party conventions had been moved, for some inexplicable reason, to the end of August and away from the mid-summer time frame when they had been held for decades before. This year, both parties returned to the old format and held their primaries at the end of July so we’ve been subjected to the General Election campaign for the past month or so. The Labor Day Weekend is still fairly significant, though, since its the occasion for parades and other gatherings that several of the candidates and their surrogates appeared at over the weekend, and because it means that we’re now just weeks away from the start of the Presidential debates, early voting in many important swing states, and what will likely be the time period during which voters will start to make up their minds. In other words, every day from now until November 8th is crucial for both campaigns, and how they spend it will go a long way to determining how the election goes.

As for the past week, in many ways it felt like a continuation of the previous week. Donald Trump, for example, started out with a trip to Mexico City to meet the President of Mexico during which he again sounded like he was prepared to moderate his position on immigration reform to some degree. Only hours later in a speech in Arizona, though, Trump was back to his old self and his immigration proposal, including the wall that Mexico will supposedly pay for, the proposal to vastly expand the number of people subject to deportation, and the announcement that only illegal immigrants who left the United States and applied for immigration at their local U.S. Embassy or Consulate would ever be eligible for an opportunity to obtain legal status. Additionally, Trump’s campaign was forced to deal with surrogates who drew controversy to the campaign, including an African-American Pastor who tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton in black face and a top Latino supporter who warned that electing Hillary Clinton would mean ‘a taco truck on every corner.’ For the most part, though, Trump once again managed to avoid the kind of over the top demagoguery that has gotten him in trouble in the past. Hillary Clinton’s campaign, meanwhile, found itself dealing yet again with another batch of emails, this time related to the relationship between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department while Clinton was President and the release last Friday of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s notes regarding its investigation of her use of a private email server while serving as Secretary of State. On the good side of the ledger, it was reported that Clinton had raised  $143 million for her campaign and the Democratic National Committee in just the month of August. No doubt, this will go a long way toward helping fund the fall ground campaign.

In the polls, the numbers have continued to tighten, although the averages continue to show Hillary Clinton in the lead.

Nationally, the news this morning is dominated by the release of new polling from CNN and ORC International that shows Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton among likely voters by two points, 45% to 43%, in a four-way race that includes Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, who gets 7% in the new poll, and Green Party nominee Jill Stein, who gets 2%. In a head to head match Trump’s lead drops to one point, 49%  to 48% in a two-person race. While both results are within the margin of error, the results are potentially significant in that they show that Clinton has largely lost the large post-convention lead that she had over Trump in the wake of the party conventions and because it’s the first poll outside of one of the tracking polls to show Trump leading in quite some time. At the same time, the new NBC News/Survey Monkey poll continues to show Clinton in the lead with a six point lead (48% to 42%) in a head to head match up and a four point lead in a four-way race that puts Clinton at 41%, Trump at 37%, Gary Johnson at 12%, and Jill Stein at 4%. Finally, in a third poll conducted on behalf of Franklin Pierce University and the Boston Herald, Clinton lead in a four-way race 44% to 41%, with Johnson at 8% and Stein at 3%.  In the RealClearPolitics average, which does not include the Franklin Pierce/Boston Herald poll, Clinton continues to lead in a head to head match Trump with an average of 46.2% to Trump’s 42.9%, giving her a 3.3 point advantage. Clinton also still leads the pack in a four-way race with 41.4% to Trump’s 39.0%, giving her a 2.4 point advantage, with Gary Johnson now averaging 8.1% and Stein averaging 3.0%. Obviously, this is a lower margin than what we saw last week or two weeks ago and reflects the overall tightening in the race itself that suggests that Clinton’s post-convention bounce lasted roughly a month, at least at the national level.

You can see evidence for that tightening in the RealClearPolitics chart for a two way race:

RCP Two Way chart 9616

And, to some degree, the four way race:

RCP Four Way Chart 9616

On the state level, there’s been tightening in several battleground states that has had an impact on Electoral College projections. Specifically, we’ve seen tightening polls in Wisconsin, Virginia, and Pennsylvania that have caused each of these states to fall from the “Leans Democratic” category and back into being listed as a Toss-Up thanks to the closeness of margin between Clinton and Trump. Clinton continues to lead in all three of these states, as she does in most of the Toss Up states, albeit her margin has shrunk in much the same manner as it has shrunk nationally. The exception to that rule can be found in Arizona, Georgia, and Iowa, where Donald Trump regained narrow leads in the polling over Clinton, although those leads are razor thin in most cases. Understandably, this has lead to changes in the RealClearPolitics Electoral Map, which now shows Hillary Clinton with 229 Electoral Votes to 154 for Donald Trump and 11 states plus Maine’s First Congressional District making up the 155 Electoral Votes that are considered Toss-Ups. Without toss-ups, though, Clinton has a comfortable lead with 340 Electoral Votes to 198 for Donald Trump. In other words, Clinton still has a comfortable lead in the Electoral College, which is where the election will be decided, but there are signs in the state polls of the same tightening that we saw nationally starting last week. Whether this is an anomaly or the beginning of a trend is something only time will tell but with the aggressive campaigning just beginning and the first debate still some three weeks away, it seems as though we’re in a time in the race where the polls are going to be pulling closer together.

In other projections, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight projection models show Clinton as the favorite in each of the models that site uses. The polls-only forecast projects a 68.5% likelihood of a Clinton victory and a 31.4% chance of a Republican victory, for example, while the ‘Polls-Plus’ forecast gives Clinton a 66.7% chance of winning versus 33.3% for Donald Trump and the “Now-cast,” which purports to project would happen if the election were held today, showing a 66.9% chance of a Clinton victory and a 33.0% chance of a Trump victory. These all represent increases in Trump’s favor thanks largely to the tightening in the polls and the fact that a handful of traditionally red states have, at least for the moment, slipped back into his column. There have been no significant updates to either Sam Wang’s or Larry Sabato’s Electoral Projections over the past week.

As we sit here just nine weeks out from Election Day, what seems clear is that the race has tightened significantly, and it’s possible we’ll see further tightening between now and at least the end of the month prior to the first debate. While this may surprise many people given the identity of the Republican nominee and the expectation that Hillary Clinton would be able to make quick work of him, what we’re seeing instead is an election that isn’t entirely dissimilar from the type of election we’ve seen since at least the 2000 election. In each of those elections, there have been fluctuations in the national polls that at least gave the appearance that either candidate could win the election. In reality, it was generally the case in each of those races, one candidate or the other maintained at least some advantage in the Electoral College that ultimately became impossible to overcome. This was especially true for President Obama in 2008 and 2012 and, at least for now, seems to be true for Secretary Clinton. This is still her race to win or lose, and I’d still say that Clinton remains the favorite to win. That’s not going to change unless Donald Trump makes bigger inroads at the state level than he has so far.

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 Leads

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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. Hal_10000 says:

    Earlier today, was discussing the non-zero possibility that Trump wins the popular vote but loses the electoral college. It would be a complete meltdown of biblical proportions. Clinton needs to finish this.

    I am very curious, though, about how polls translate to election today. Trump has been going on pure celebrity, with very few field offices and no get-out-the-vote efforts. His supporters are claiming the polls are biased because a “shy Trumpista” phenomenon. But it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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  2. Jc says:

    Why is it even this close? Do we have that many ignorant people in this country? Sad….

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  3. Modulo Myself says:

    The 18-34 demo in the CNN poll is N/A and the 35-49 has a sample error of 8.5. Sounds like they are basically unable to poll people under 40 or so.

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  4. Scott says:

    It will be interesting how, after a quiet August, Clinton hits the campaign trail. Was it all Trump, all the time, that raised his numbers a bit? Or was the drip-drip of negativity against Clinton that suppressed hers?

    We will see whether a pile of cash helps. And whether a popular president (and his surrogates) hitting the roads and airwaves have a positive impact.

    BTW, Trump’s August fundraising still hasn’t been released. Must be mediocre, otherwise he would be bragging. One thing predictable about Trump is that when things are in his favor he can’t shut up. And awfully silent when thing are not so hot.

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  5. Other polls have shown better response rates among younger voters so it’s possible CNN has an outlier here. I didn’t add this in the post, but I will say that the CNN poll ws conducted at least in part over and leading up to Labor Day Weekend That may have impacted who they were able to reach on the phone. And, yes, before anyone asks, all of the media polls do include cell phones now.

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  6. grumpy realist says:

    And how much of this has been caused by the horse-race articles pushed by the media? I get the sneaky feeling that the NYTimes would be absolutely delighted if Donald Trump were to win provided that they could keep pushing the horse race up to the day of election.

    If America is so stupid as to elect Donald Trump as president, then it deserves everything that will happen to it.

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  7. DrDaveT says:

    I think it’s important not to forget that Trump’s negatives have a half life. Memory of just what an idiot he is decays over time when he is only in situations of his own devising.

    I have high hopes and some confidence that the head-to-head debates will damage him considerably in the polls. Even the primary debates hurt him, and the Klown Kar was much better suited to his act than Hillary will be.

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  8. Pch101 says:

    Comparing the latest CNN/ORC poll with the poll from one month earlier:

    September 4-way: Clinton 43, Trump 45, Johnson 7, Stein 2
    August 4-way: Clinton 45, Trump 37, Johnson 9, Stein 5

    September 2-way: Clinton 48, Trump 49
    August 2-way: Clinton 52, Trump 43

    In the four-way, Clinton loses 2, Trump gains 8 and the third-parties lose 5, while the none-of-these fell by 1. (4% vs 3%.)

    In the two-way, Clinton loses 4, Trump gains 6 and the neither camp declines by 2% (5% vs. 3%.)

    It would appear that the supposed third-party voters are starting to break toward the major parties and that Trump has reaped the lion share of that benefit, while Clinton has (at least for now) lost some of her lukewarm supporters.

    Clinton is going to need to drive minority and female turnout while doing her best to make Trump look incompetent and untrustworthy in the eyes of independent men.

    One thing that Clinton supporters should recognize is that there is a percentage of the electorate that does not particularly care for Trump but is also not so inflamed by him that it can be expected to either avoid voting for him or else will vote for Clinton by default. In the eyes of this group, Trump may not be optimal but he is not some aberration who must be stopped at all costs.

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  9. MBunge says:

    It’s terrible that Clinton may need a ground game to beat Trump but good that she’s got one. And I wouldn’t count on the debates to be decisive in Clinton’s favor. Trump might do a substantively poorer job but nothing in the Presidential debates is going to be tougher on him than that primary clash hosted by Fox News where not only were Rubio and Cruz hammering him but the Fox moderators had a whole series of gotcha questions with video for Trump.

    Mike

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  10. Jen says:

    @Modulo Myself: That is an enormous gap in age group to completely leave out. Are we reading this correctly–zero respondents from age 18-34? Zero?

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  11. Tyrell says:

    @Hal_10000: People are nervous, tense, worried. There is pessimism in the air. A gloom of malaise drifts through everywhere. Europe is in upheaval; Germany is in crisis. The middle east is a puzzle; once stable Turkey is no longer so reliable or stable. People are worried about the economy: low growth, flat wages, dead end jobs, and retail closures every week. Meanwhile government and private
    debt continues to pile up. Few people have money saved for emergencies. “Crisis” is in the air. Major companies are pulling out of the government heath care: rates are set to soar. Many financial experts are concerned. Can the government cover failing banks ?
    Look at this: possible Putin assassination attempt !

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  12. PJ says:

    @Jen:

    That is an enormous gap in age group to completely leave out. Are we reading this correctly–zero respondents from age 18-34? Zero?

    I’m assuming that there were some, but the margin of error was huge, given that the margin of error for 35-49 was a whopping 8.5 points.

    Seems to me that it was a crap poll but that CNN wants a horse-race.

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  13. Jen says:

    @PJ: It’s a hot mess of a poll. There’s also a +/- 7.00 MOE from the Northeast Region and the West (which likely lean Clinton) and the same MOE for Rural.

    This is sounding a bit like it might be an outlier to me–but, I guess it’s all possible. I refuse to be an “unskewer” so I will take this poll under advisement, even though it sounds an awful lot like they had trouble reaching people and just ran with whatever.

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  14. anjin-san says:

    @grumpy realist:

    And how much of this has been caused by the horse-race articles pushed by the media?

    Robert Reich was pushing “OMG it’s tied! How did this happen??” on Facebook today. I am generally a fan of his, but I have to wonder what his agenda is. Clickbait? Pending to Bern Bots? It’s pretty fracking annoying, he knows better.

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  15. michael reynolds says:

    @Tyrell:

    Yep, there is malaise in the land. Some of it is rational, some is not, but there’s no point arguing people’s emotions. People feel what they feel.

    Yes, we are going through some very big societal changes, some obvious, some not.

    – Men, and especially white men are feeling the ground shift beneath them as they lose both privilege and specific identifiable purpose.

    – We’ve come to imagine that the years 1946 to 1990 or so were the norm, rather than understanding that it was a unique moment in time. We built expectations on that anomalous era, and now those expectations are no longer valid.

    – Society is secularizing, the role of religion is diminishing. If you take the historical view these things go in cycles with religious revivals followed by relatively secular periods. But basically religion is no longer ‘cool,’ and most Americans have no idea how to replace faith.

    – We are in the era of IQ. Success is increasingly dependent on education which in turn rests on intelligence. We endlessly call for more education, but people are not inherently smarter.

    – The internet has warped time and space to a degree that not even TV accomplished. It has diminished the importance of geography as friendships and affinity groups now exist in cyber space rather than in a neighborhood.

    – There is no longer an economic advantage in having children. This has been increasingly the case since we moved away from the farm, but the birth control pill, later augmented by the fear of AIDS and increased use of condoms, more choices for women, more childcare responsibility for men, all made child-rearing less of a default position.

    – Our attitudes toward sexuality have been dramatically transformed.

    I could go on, but I’ll spare everyone an even longer rant. Suffice to say that rapid change is fraying our social cohesion. And because of a malicious, politically-motivated media, and because of polarization, and because of a lack of affinity groups like the Masons or Elks, and because of private schools eliminating the commonality of public education, and a dozen other factors including widespread cynicism, we are terribly unprepared to cope.

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  16. DrDaveT says:

    @MBunge:

    nothing in the Presidential debates is going to be tougher on him than that primary clash hosted by Fox News where not only were Rubio and Cruz hammering him but the Fox moderators had a whole series of gotcha questions with video for Trump.

    I disagree. The Fox debates had a tacit rule that nobody was going to point out that ALL of the Republican tax ‘plans’ were nonsense intended to transfer wealth to the wealthy, or that ALL of the immigration plans were impractical at best and holocausts at worst, or that ALL of their ‘solutions’ to the Middle East required unicorn tears. The only argument was about which Klown should preside.

    There are quite a few good arguments against Trump and his proposals that Cruz/Jeb!/Marco/Christie/etc. couldn’t use because their own proposals and personal failings fall well within the blast zone of those particular attacks.

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  17. MBunge says:

    @Jen:

    The polls are a whole look like Hillary with a 4 point lead, which results in outliers where she’s up by 7 or 8 and Trump is tied or just barely ahead. A four point lead two months before the election is pretty good. I think Nate Silver has said that if it stays that way through the end of September, Trump would need a truly historic effort to overcome that lead and win.

    Mike

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  18. MBunge says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Hillary could carve him up on policy but my point is that if Trump didn’t meltdown in that situation, no one should harbor any fantasies that he will in the Presidential debates.

    Mike

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  19. Steve Verdon says:

    Predict Wise still has Clinton with a 75% chance of winning. She dipped into the high 60s at the end of last week, but she appears to have gone back up.

    Of course that means there is still a chance of Trump winning. Also, prediction markets, like other markets, can get it wrong, especially if there is a fat tail…and, no pun intended, Trump could be a fat tailed event.

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  20. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:

    Well, except he did melt down. Repeatedly. He was baited into shouting matches, babbled incoherently, and paused only to reassure us that he had big hands and a big dick.

    You’re allowing the bar to be lowered to subterranean level. Trump’s entire campaign is one big meltdown. Can you imagine Reagan or McCain or W., or Romney bragging on national TV about their penis? George H.W. Bush would saw off his arm before he’d stoop that low.

    But hey, it’s all normal in crazytown. A future president of the United States ridiculing handicapped people, calling for Putin to interfere in a US election, trashing the parents of a dead American soldier, talking about a debate moderator’s menstrual flow?

    If Hillary had ever said a tenth of those things she’d be gone. But it’s okay if you’re a Republican. Particularly okay if you’re a Republican pig. Which is what Trump is: a pig.

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  21. Dazedandconfused says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I suspect there is some thought given to providing a desirable result to whatever customer is paying for a poll, perhaps quite a bit. However, I would also expect the pollsters to taper any patronizing back during the last month or so. They need their last month or so polls to be in the ballpark with the result to preserve their professional reputation, and those last ones are the only ones that “count”, so to speak.

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  22. stonetools says:

    Hillary, after spending August fundraising, will be returning to full time campaigning and so will her surrogates ( including Warren, Biden, and the Obamas). With that, the TV buys, and what;’s likely to be a commanding debate performance, I expect the lead to increase again.
    I suspect we are pretty much done with the Foundation/Email stuff, too, so that’s likely to have less and less of a drag on her favorability ratings.

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  23. Gustopher says:

    @Jc:

    Why is it even this close? Do we have that many ignorant people in this country? Sad….

    If you look at the first graph, every time Trump gets even with Clinton, he suddenly plummets, as if some of his supporters are happy to support him, so long as he isn’t winning.

    Or, I might be thinking too many people are like my father. Lifelong Republican, and will vote Republican even this year, so long as there is no chance his vote with actually put Trump over the top. He wants to be able to say “Hey, I didn’t vote for her”, while still enjoying the benefits of anyone but Donald Trump in the White House.

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  24. Michael says:

    Oh, the race is tightening! Meanwhile, Texas, TEXAS, is now in toss-up status. STFU.

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  25. Modulo Myself says:

    I don’t think the media even knows how to cover the Republican Party now….the DNC email hacks was basically Watergate and the interest was only in what the emails said rather than the obvious fact that the GOP was in theory the party that benefited. It’s like the Plumbers were not caught and they just gave the info in 1972 to the Post and nobody cared. And the GOP is basically indifferent to the illegality of it. They think it’s great. Bring more…maybe someone can hack a webcam on Hillary’s laptop and the right can get private photos of her and parade them everywhere, mocking her looks.

    The DNC emails were not surprising, and they were a story. But what was also a story was the lack of remorse or concern by the GOP. There was nobody who cared. Not a soul. I mean, if the RNC had been hacked it would have been an entirely different reaction by mainstream liberals.

    I think we are the point where actual criminality–Trump bribing some Florida hack–is harder to deal with openly than the endless succession of stories about the Clinton Foundation. The reason why is that the Clintons are actually sketchy in their own way but the media goes after them because the alternative is to confront the fact that 40% of the country is gone and not coming back to the table. The media is terrified because these people are revealing their true colors and there’s no absolutely no real plan on how to deal with it in a bland neutral way.

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  26. Modulo Myself says:

    Seriously–the last year has been an endless fit of conservatives wondering about the commitments of progressives to the free speech of people they don’t like. These people are such d–shit that there was not a single second’s hesitation when it came to violating the privacy of hack DNC operatives. Not a second’s worth.

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  27. EdinNJ says:

    It’s hard to take seriously a poll that sampled D-29, R-32, I-40. In 2012, exit polling showed D-38, R-32, I-29. Add that to the previously stated issues with younger voter sampling.

    I think Clinton has a significant lead. Pollsters seem to be making the assumption that turnout will be more like a midterm, perhaps assuming the candidates are both unlikable, and no Obama at the top to drive minority turnout. I think this a poor assumption, since Hillary will be firing up the Obama ground machine, while Trump has no real organization.

    I think it is far more likely there are silent Clinton supporters, such as spouses and younger voters living at home, than there are this supposed silent, embarrassed Trump supporters. If anything, and I’m not a fan of anecdotal evidence, but Trump supporters are anything but shy.

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  28. bill says:

    she’s been hidden from most of us so she couldn’t do anymore damage to her brand. heck, when’s the last time “real” reporters got to ask her “real” questions? they tried to make her appear accessible the other day and she went into another coughing spasm- so they’re right to hide her until the debates. maybe she’ll get some sympathy for being ill or something?
    say what you want about trump but he does talk nearly daily to reporters- and it’s usually pretty entertaining.

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  29. Scott says:

    @EdinNJ: Huffington Post Pollster has 35.6D, 30.5I, and 28.6R, somewhat different. However, on the other hand, to use these number in the context of polling is dangerous. This was the foundation of the Unskewed Polls argument. The only real answer is not look at one poll but many over time. The methodological idiocryncracies get evened out.

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  30. An Interested Party says:

    say what you want about trump but he does talk nearly daily to reporters- and it’s usually pretty entertaining.

    Yes, of course, except for those he’s banned from covering his events

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  31. Tyrell says:

    @michael reynolds: When I was a child WW II was still very much a presence. We were in an age of history around us. Everyone had a role. My parents talked a lot about Eisenhower, Churchill, McArthur, Marshall: leaders of unshakeble optimism. Older people told of Civil War veterans they knew. Our leaders inspired and seemed unshakeable: Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Humphrey. There was the threat of nuclear war with Russia and China. Then leaders of this country were shot down in the streets. Things changed. Vietnam came along and everyone wondered why the US couldn’t win. The world stopped to watch Armstrong step on the moon and the space program got so good at moon missions that people stopped paying any attention. Then we saw the unbelievable : the Berlin Wall came down and the USSR broke up. Todays children do not know what a wired remote is and have not been in a phone booth. We are in a technological revolution that is moving much faster than the industrial revolution. Yet it is said by economists that todays young people will be the first to experience a lower standard of living.
    Look at this: CNN Politics- “Obama gets arrow and sling treatment” Pretty shabby treatment for the president on his last tour: sad. And: “President and Putin in stare down”.

    Thanks for your thoughtful and lengthy reply of my comments most of which are probably inane.

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  32. grumpy realist says:

    @Gustopher: yeah, that’s what happened in the UK and now they’re all suddenly staring at Brexit and saying “hey wait a minute, I didn’t intend for THAT to happen….”

    Oh what the hell. Burn the whole damn thing down. It’s really a pity that the average American is so greedy and so pig-ignorant that we’re going to have to run The Collapse of Kansas, redux, over the entire USA before the majority of voters discover that cutting taxes and giving all the money away to the rich and connected isn’t a good way to run a country. I suspect we’ll have to dwindle into 3rd-worlder-dom and lose most of our science and technology base to places like China before we learn how really really stupid we have been.

    So what. It’s time to leave this planet.

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  33. michael reynolds says:

    @Tyrell:

    I’m actually trying in my own small way to reinvigorate interest in history in schools. My latest book is an alternate history of WW2 in which the Supreme Court has made women subject to the draft and military service. Which is a hook to make WW2 seem fresher and more relevant to modern kids. (I have to say, it’s not exactly leaping off the shelves, I do much better when I stick to something contemporary and dystopian.)

    It’s a bit of a labor of love for me, whether or not it sells. (And in fairness I was very well-compensated, so I’m not playing Mother Theresa here.) When I go to schools I talk about history being the backstory of the human race, how you don’t know what’s going on unless you understand some of what went on. And I also point out that history is just an amazing trove of cool story. Not sure how much of it sticks.

    I hate the way history is taught. Fwck dates, fwck linear progressions, fwck bowdlerization and hagiography and most of all fwck those 50-pounds-of-boredom history textbooks designed to satisfy politicians and parents. It’s story. It needs to be told like a story. It’s not geometry. History is people in intense circumstances. People. What we writers refer to as “characters.”

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  34. EdinNJ says:

    @Scott:

    I am not focusing on one poll, but the media relying on one poll to further a horse race narrative, which is what the CNN poll provides for. You are wrong to compare what I said to the UnskewedPolls guy. That guy took Rasmussen’s biased assumption about voter makeup and applied it to every other poll. I only pointed out that the sampling in the CNN poll does the same thing Rasmussen was doing in ’12, making assumptions about the electorate. I pointed out actual exit data from ’12 that shows that if CNN’s numbers are correct, there has been a historic shift in party ID over 4 years. Show me evidence of that happening.

    Polls are useful in tracking voting trends even if the sampling is off. But the problem is CNN switched from a general electorate sample to a likely voter sample and then promoted it as a shift towards Trump, not a switch is sampling.

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  35. Todd says:

    @Jc:

    Why is it even this close? Do we have that many ignorant people in this country? Sad….

    Yes, and many of them are all the Democrats who insisted that Clinton’s “honest and trustworthy” problems wouldn’t matter. (and yes, I know some of this is attributable to “unfair” media coverage)

    Don’t get me wrong, I think she’ll still win.

    But really, both sides have to be kicking themselves. If Joe Biden was the Democratic nominee against Trump, there most likely wouldn’t even be a question at this point about who would win in November. And on the flip side, if the Republicans had nominated one of the sane options (Bush, Rubio or Kasich) they would very likely be favored to take the White House back right now.

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  36. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds: I basically never had to learn dates for history class — dates were what separated the A from the A-, and I was content with the A-.

    One of the things I remember most clearly was in the 6th grade, where we our history class had to walk from our room, down the stairs, outside and across the football field to reenact the trail of tears — the teacher would yell “You’re not crying hard enough!” and “You, lie down, you died of fever!” and “Cry harder, Scott is dead, right there, on the ground!” By the time we got to the end zone, more than half the class was dead.

    The teacher than explained that the end zone had very little water and that no white people wanted it and we were to mill about there. And then after a few minutes he found oil and made us march most of the way to the parking lot, having a few more die along the way.

    I have no idea whether it was the best history class or the worst.

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  37. rachel says:

    @Gustopher: At least it sounds like it was memorable.

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  38. Jen says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    He then held a $3K per person fundraiser for Bondi, donating the space at Mar-a-Lago (which he charged his own campaign $140K to use…).

    It’s unreal to me that someone this dirty and corrupt isn’t being called out more on his nonsense.

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  39. Kylopod says:

    @Todd:

    If Joe Biden was the Democratic nominee against Trump, there most likely wouldn’t even be a question at this point about who would win in November.

    We really don’t know that. Let me say that I like Joe Biden, and he’s certainly well-qualified to be president. But he’s also verbose, not especially telegenic, and he has a habit of putting his foot in his mouth. The right (with some help from late-night comedians) have had some success in painting him as a buffoon. And that’s not even getting into the fact that he’s 73 years old.

    He is, of course, much more popular than Hillary Clinton is right now. But Hillary Clinton was very popular in 2013 and 2014. These things are not set in stone. As we learned in the past few years, getting into the spotlight can be a very powerful way of highlighting a pol’s weaknesses.

    I also have to question why you’d single out Biden when there are numerous other Democrats who might have run in 2016 but declined (Andrew Cuomo, Deval Patrick, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tim Kaine, Evan Bayh, Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker….), probably at least in part out of fear of the Clinton behemoth. In the end, the only ones who ended up challenging her consisted of two mavericky ex-Republicans who were anything but conventional liberals, an obscure Maryland governor, and Bernie Sanders.

    When you have a candidate who seems vulnerable, it’s always easy to say some other hypothetical candidate who never entered the race would be killin’ it.

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  40. MBunge says:

    @EdinNJ: I am not focusing on one poll, but the media relying on one poll to further a horse race narrative

    But there have been at least two occasions when the appearance of just one or two polls showing Hillary with a big lead set of a flurry of media stories on how the GOP absolutely must abandon Trump to save themselves. And the current “race is tightening” stuff is based on a series of polls that all show the same thing. The available evidence IS that the race is getting closer, with Hillary in the lead but close enough that legitimate outliers will show Trump with a lead.

    And on the subject of turnout, does it make any sense to assume an incredibly unpopular candidate is going to generate the same turnout as an incredibly inspiring one?

    Mike

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  41. MBunge says:

    @Kylopod:

    Wait. I thought the story was that the only reason Hillary Clinton is hugely unpopular is because the GOP and the media have been so mean to her for the last 25 years. One can’t claim that and then claim that any other Democrat who didn’t go through the same process would be just as unpopular.

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  42. Jen says:

    @Kylopod: Exactly.

    The same holds true for Republicans as well. It’s easy to say “well, if it weren’t Trump at the top of the ticket…” but each of the Republican candidates would have been subjected to extensive scrutiny that might not have made them quite the perfect candidates disaffected Republicans like to believe. Cruz–I don’t think I need to add much here, he is loathed by significant portions of his own party, and gives others the creeps. Rubio never really seemed like he really wanted the job and could have either grown into a decent candidate or might have crumbled. Bush (Jeb!) has legacy problems even worse than Clinton’s. Christie was getting hit from the hard right for being a moderate because of his work with the Administration during the aftermath of Sandy. Etc., etc.

    It’s easy to Monday-morning quarterback the candidates, but the bottom line is that there is no perfect candidate. I think no matter who is up there, we’ll all continue to moan, “is this the best we can do?” We’re all waiting for Lincoln, not remembering that he too was hated by a huge portion of the electorate…

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  43. Kylopod says:

    @MBunge:

    One can’t claim that and then claim that any other Democrat who didn’t go through the same process would be just as unpopular.

    I didn’t say any other Democrat would have winded up just as unpopular. What I said was that we don’t know, and the fact that she was actually popular just two short years ago shows that it’s important never to take a hypothetical candidate’s current poll numbers for granted as some permanent condition.

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  44. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @michael reynolds: One thing I’ve done to increase my students’ interest in American history is to offer to add 5 points to the final grade (100-point scale) for any student who can bring in a traceable personal connection to a famous person in American history. It’s not that hard to do and might get some of them to thinking seriously about the past.

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  45. Mikey says:

    @SC_Birdflyte: Neat idea, but what about those who are the children or grandchildren of relatively recent immigrants and have no traceable connections to any American but their parents?

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  46. Pch101 says:

    @SC_Birdflyte:

    My parents came from elsewhere. I would earned a lower grade than the other kids in your class because I chose the wrong parents. (Serves me right, I suppose.)

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  47. Todd says:

    @Kylopod: I agree, alternative scenarios are never easy to define. I picked Biden out of all the other potential Democrats because he’s the one who has experience running as part of a Presidential level campaign. I like Elizabeth Warren, but honestly she’s never been tested. I supported Sanders in the primary because he was the only real alternative to Clinton, but honestly I’m not so sure how he would have stood up in a general election campaign .. and I have serious doubts that he could have been an effective President if elected. I have come to regret supporting him.

    As for Clinton, she was more popular when she was SOS because she wasn’t running for anything. She is not a good politician … and while I again acknowledge the role the media has played, most of her honest and trustworthy problems are of her own making. If she gets elected, I think she’ll likely do a very good job of actually being President. I just continue to believe that her struggle as a candidate should surprise nobody. The Democrats got such a huge gift in Donald Trump. I honestly don’t think she’d be beating any other Republican who is at least a plausible President. Even against Cruz, I imagine it would be a much tighter race.

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  48. Todd says:

    @Jen:

    It’s easy to Monday-morning quarterback the candidates, but the bottom line is that there is no perfect candidate.

    Sure, of course there are no perfect candidates. But it’s hard to even conceive that any of the other potential Republican nominees would have done such a thorough job of defining themselves as temperamentally unfit to even hold the office.

    … and only against a Democrat with Clinton’s unprecedented unpopularity would such a horrible Republican nominee even have a chance of winning. :-/

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  49. Todd says:

    I am voting for Hillary Clinton, and I’ve been trying my best to convince my left-leaning friends to do the same. But it really is disheartening when I am confronted with criticisms of the candidate I plan to vote for, and my only real logical retort is “but Trump …”

    Some things like Benghazi are of course ridiculous. But many of the concerns people have about Clinton relating to ethics and judgement are entirely legitimate … in my opinion. I’m not partisan enough to even try to defend her on those subjects.

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  50. Mikey says:

    @Todd: Honestly…I don’t spend much time defending Clinton any more. I figure anyone who hasn’t, after the past couple months, already come to understand she is by any objective measure the most qualified nominee–by experience, temperament, and, yes, even honesty–simply won’t be swayed by anything I could say.

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  51. MBunge says:

    Latest numbers

    GWU/Battleground – Hillary +2
    Economist/YouGov – Hillary +2

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/

    Mike

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  52. Kylopod says:

    @Todd:

    I picked Biden out of all the other potential Democrats because he’s the one who has experience running as part of a Presidential level campaign.

    In neither of his presidential runs did his campaign go anywhere, and the first time it was killed off by a plagiarism controversy that’s been overblown, but which definitely showed a lapse in his judgment and ethics. I’m sure he picked up a few skills from these failed attempts, but it doesn’t convince me he would be prepared for the rough-and-tumble of a general election, and everything from what I’ve seen of him suggests he would be easy prey for the GOP smear machine. He strikes me as the sort of candidate who walks around with a big “kick me” sign taped to his back–exactly the type of candidate Democrats have repeatedly made the mistake of nominating in the past several decades.

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  53. al-Alameda says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    The 18-34 demo in the CNN poll is N/A and the 35-49 has a sample error of 8.5. Sounds like they are basically unable to poll people under 40 or so.

    I wonder if CNN is using the same flawed methodology that plagued Rasmussen in 2012. In 2012 in particular, Rasmussen showed Romney to be polling much more strongly than nearly every other polling organization.

    If Trump is indeed tied with Hillary it shows you that 25 years of calling her a liar and persistence in pursuing Benghazi and personal email handling have in fact accomplished what Republicans set out to do – severely damage Hillary Clinton, to the point where a grease ball con man like Donald Trump could win this election.

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  54. MBunge says:

    @Kylopod:

    If you think the GOP in six months could make Joe Biden the 2nd most unpopular person to ever run for President, there’s nothing anyone can say or any evidence that could be presented to convince you otherwise.

    I do think it says something hilarious about human nature that you apparently still believe the Clinton way is the best way in politics despite spending the last 8 years seeing Barack Obama succeed in an even tougher environment by doing things almost exactly the opposite of the Clintons.

    Mike

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  55. Zachriel says:

    @SC_Birdflyte: One thing I’ve done to increase my students’ interest in American history is to offer to add 5 points to the final grade (100-point scale) for any student who can bring in a traceable personal connection to a famous person in American history.

    The problem with that is that some people have deep and traceable roots in America, while others are recent immigrants, or, in the case of African Americans, had much of their history eradicated. It would seem to create an unfair advantage or disadvantage for some students.

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  56. the Q says:

    “…….Why is it even this close? Do we have that many ignorant people in this country? Sad….;;”

    Yes, and many are in the Dem Party who picked this deeply flawed warhawk lying plutocrat to lead the party instead of a clearly more likable and electable candidate in Bernie Sanders.

    Hillary chirping that the CGI is above board is like Nixon denying any association with CREEP.

    As to the litany of the troubles Mr. Reynolds outlined above, grow up people. This country has rarely been in a better position despite our troubles.

    Ike gets in to office in 1953. You have the looming Jim Crow south about to blow apart. The Chinese Communists threatening to invade Korea. The middle east blowing up over Suez and Palestine. You have kids starting to do drop drills in 4th grade over nuclear annihilation. The French flailing in Indochina. A sputtering domestic economy. Taiwan under attack. Anyone remember Quimoy and Matsu?

    And, today we are faced with the incredible challenge of slow download speeds of millennials taking pictures for their food?

    Oh, the humanity!!!!

    White people aren’t afraid of whats happening. They are sick of whats happening. They are sick of the Clintons of this world bullshcitting that making $160 million giving speeches to rich people makes them “one of the underserved masses”.

    They are tired of the closed, chummy crony capitalism which allows a so called liberal like Obama to shill for the TPP overseas for some unknown reason (hint somebody has to fork over the $50-60 million for the de rigueur Presidential library I guess).

    I bet none of you can tell me one thing about Michael Froman the USTR and his background on being one of the Dem architects of getting rid of Glass Steagall in the 90s or his $8 million dollar parachute from Citicorp to help tide him over financially while he worked for the gov’t on the TPP shafting working class interests.

    You people have a warped sense of just how much the Dem neolibs have sold out the “white folks.” Just look at the true priorities of the party. It sure hasn’t been on economic fairness and equity. Look at the income distribution Mr. Reynolds, this wasnt’ some pre ordained out of the blue, “geez technology sure is a bitch” result. This robbing of the middle to feed the rich has been completely planned out by the DLC along with the supply side morons of the GOP.

    The fact that so many of you gloss over and gainsay the very real corruption of the Clintons is far more worrisome to me then the latest insanity from the Trump camp.

    The generation of peace and love turned out to be one of the most greedy, selfish generations in history with the obscene wealth accumulation and disparity not seen in almost 100 years.

    I’ve watched it happen. This country faces many obstacles, but please, stop with the over dramatizing of frankly trivial issues. Yes, I realize to some of you TG bathrooms are the equivalent of Selma or Little Rock, but I beg to differ.

    So, the polls show Hillary to be exactly what she has always been, an insecure, paranoid, secretive liar, slipping in the polls to the worst candidate perhaps in U.S. history. Most only know Tricky Dick from the Watergate hearings. But he had been doing that schitt for decades. Same with Hillary. The lying about “C” for classified is right up there with “did not have sex with that woman”. And all of you just completely give her a pass. WTF?

    Get your head out of the sand and quite blaming the people. Its always the leaders fault.

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  57. Kylopod says:

    @MBunge:

    I do think it says something hilarious about human nature that you apparently still believe the Clinton way is the best way in politics

    Um…where did I say that “Clinton is the best way in politics”? Where did I even imply such a thing? Jeez, I don’t believe I’ve ever even opined on that subject, in this thread or any other thread.

    You seem to have a weird habit of attacking strawmen. It’s like you’re in your own little world, in some kind of self-righteous crusade against arguments you find ridiculous, and when people don’t actually advance those arguments, you simply pretend they have.

    Try to engage a little more in what others are saying, and you will be taken more seriously.

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  58. al-Alameda says:

    @the Q:

    Get your head out of the sand and quite blaming the people. Its always the leaders fault.

    “The people” elected the leaders, so yeah, I blame “the people.”
    “The people” elected the majority Republican House (aka ‘leaders’) that has shutdown the federal government twice in the past 5 years, and has stated that they have no problem with a federal default.

    Of course you’re free to blame Boomers and Liberals, and you’re very welcome to Donald Trump, he will give what you want and deserve – a faux tell-it-like-it-is ‘leader.’

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  59. Todd says:

    @the Q:

    The lying about “C” for classified is right up there with “did not have sex with that woman”. And all of you just completely give her a pass. WTF?

    The (C) in a few of the emails stands for Confidential, not classified. It’s interesting that you misinterpret that in the exact same way that Trump did.

    I am obviously not someone who’s thrilled about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. But you know who are (IMO) even worse than Democrats who act like she really is some sort of a great (but misunderstood and unfairly maligned) candidate? The Bernie or Busters (now Jill not Hill) I know who act almost gleeful every time anything that could possibly be interpreted as bad news for Hillary Clinton comes out. It’s almost like some of them want her to lose just so they can jump on the internet to scream “I told you so!!!!”

    Fat lot of good that will do any of us once President Trump starts appointing Alito clones to SCOTUS.

    In some ways, I personally find Stein supporters more repugnant than my right-wing friends who love Trump.

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  60. Ratufa says:

    @Todd:

    I am voting for Hillary Clinton, and I’ve been trying my best to convince my left-leaning friends to do the same.

    If you have problems convincing “left-leaning” friends to vote for Clinton, have them read this:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/inside-the-republican-creation-of-the-north-carolina-voting-bill-dubbed-the-monster-law/2016/09/01/79162398-6adf-11e6-8225-fbb8a6fc65bc_story.html

    (it’;s about North Carolina’s attempts at voter suppression.)

    Then ask them if they’d prefer it if Trump appointed some one like Alito the the vacant SCOTUS seat.

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  61. Matt says:

    @michael reynolds: Well at least it got good reviews??

    History is today from tomorrow’s perspective. I agree that knowing where we’ve been can be helpful to know where we’re going.

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  62. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Zachriel: You make a good point. For the growing number of immigrants’ kids in my classes, my alternative is to dig up and summarize some historical information about the province, city, town, or village where their ancestors came from. Most of them have no trouble doing that.

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  63. wr says:

    @Todd: “The Bernie or Busters (now Jill not Hill) I know who act almost gleeful every time anything that could possibly be interpreted as bad news for Hillary Clinton comes out. ”

    Hey, September Todd — Have you met July Todd? It seems like the two of you would have a lot to talk about.

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  64. Mikey says:

    @SC_Birdflyte:

    For the growing number of immigrants’ kids in my classes, my alternative is to dig up and summarize some historical information about the province, city, town, or village where their ancestors came from. Most of them have no trouble doing that.

    Glad to hear you offer them that alternative. I’d have a great time doing that with the little Sicilian town my grandparents came from. Apparently it goes back nearly 2000 years and was written about by Ptolemy. It was also the source of several prominent American Mafiosi…none of whom were my grandparents, fortunately.

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  65. Todd says:

    @wr:

    Hey, September Todd — Have you met July Todd?

    Your timeline is a little off. More like March, April and possibly into May I was certainly in favor of an alternative to nominating Hillary Clinton; because I believed (and continue to believe) that from the perspective of those who don’t want to see a Republican in the White House, nominating someone who is regarded unfavorably by such a high percentage of the American public was/is a huge risk.

    The difference between me and the Jill not Hill types is that once Clinton was the nominee, I was fully and publicly onboard with her being the obvious choice in November.

    I do still have issues with Democratic partisans for their demands that Sanders drop out before the process was complete. Or the way some of you lost your minds over any and all criticism of Clinton. But the embrace of conspiracy theories about “stolen elections” by some of my Bernie supporting friends after the primaries ended has really caused me to think long and hard about ever publicly supporting a far left progressive candidate again. I really don’t want to be associated at all with anyway who thinks a nut like Jill Stein should be President.

    In short, I was never a hard core Bernie fan … although some of you sure did project every bad feeling you had about them onto me in a quite a few comment threads. I simply had/have what I consider to be legitimate doubts about Hillary Clinton as a candidate.

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