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With Three Weeks To Go, Clinton’s Momentum Appears To Be Surging

Trump Clinton

Three weeks from today, Americans will head to the polls to pick the 45th President of the United States, bringing to an end a process that began nearly two years ago when candidates on both sides of the aisle began positioning themselves for a run for President that, in the end, would be unsuccessful for all but two of them. To say that it has been one of the most unique Presidential races in recent memory would be, if anything, an understatement. In addition to the spectacle that has been the Donald Trump campaign, we’ve seen Republicans rally, at least for a time, around a retired neurosurgeon who, while he may seem amiable and well-meaning, obviously had no understanding of important public policy issues while Democrats spent part of their time rallying behind a  75 year old self-described socialist from Vermont whose campaign platform included ideas that would have cost trillions of dollars but lacked any viable way to pay for them. There will be plenty of time after November 8th for political scientists and historians to evaluate what the 2016 campaign meant, and regardless of how it turns out it now seems clear that one of the nation’s two major political parties faces an identify crisis that could take years to resolve. For the meantime, the focus of this race remaining on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and the current trends seem to clearly indicate that this race is turning decisively in Hillary Clinton’s favor.

To a large degree, the campaign news of the week followed the same pattern that we found ourselves in last week, with Trump obsessively responding to the accusations made against him regarding comments about the appearance of a former Miss Universe contestant as well as continuing fallout from the tape of him making lewd comments about women to Access Hollywood’si Billy Bush.  This led Trump to begin attacking Clinton with stories regarding her husband’s past affairs as well as the accusations of sexual assault made against him in the past. Additionally, Trump was forced to deal with accusations of inappropriate conduct on his own part as several women came forward to accuse Trump of inappropriate conduct that essentially amounts to sexual assault dating back to at least the late 1980s. All of this led Republicans to continue to distance themselves from Trump in obvious acts of self-preservation while the Clinton campaign essentially stayed on the sidelines and let Trump bury himself. The week was also highlighted by the second Presidential debate, a rather lackluster affair that seemed at the time to be unlikely to blunt Clinton’s momentum. Indeed, as we’ll see below, it appears that the pattern that saw the race turn in her direction has only become stronger and that we could be close to the point where it’s fair to say that there is no realistic chance that Donald Trump will win this election.

Turning first to the national polls, we’ve seen a number of new polls in the past week showing Clinton seemingly pulling away from Trump rather dramatically, including polls from NBC News, Monmouth, and CBS News that gave Clinton double digit leads in both a head-to-head match with Trump and a four-way race that includes Gary Johnson and Jill Stein as well as other polls that showed her with a solid single-digit leads outside the margin of error. This gave Clinton a significant boost in the RealClearPolitics National Poll Average where she now has a 7.1 point lead over Trump in a two-way race and leads him 48.9% to 41.1%. This is a significant improvement over the 4.6 point lead that she had last week, not to mention the 3.8 point lead she had two weeks ago and the 2.3 point lead she had three weeks ago. In a four-way race, Clinton (45.9%) has a 6.9 point lead over Trump (39.0%). Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, meanwhile, has fallen to an average of  6.5% nationally and the Green Party’s Jill Stein has fallen to 2.4% in what may be a sign that voters who have been telling pollsters that they support one of the third-party candidates are starting to coalesce around the Democratic or Republican nominee as they have in the past. For Clinton, this is a significant surge compared to the 2.6 point average lead she had last week as well as the 1.5 point lead she had three weeks ago and the 1.1 point lead she had a month ago. Once again, Pollster shows similar improvement in both a two-way and a three-way race. Another indication of Clinton’s improvement can be seen in the Favorable/Unfavorable polls. In the RealClearPolitics polling average of that question, Clinton remains in negative territory, with an average of 52.3% of respondents saying they have an unfavorable opinion of her versus 43.2% who say they have a favorable opinion. This is leaves her with an average deficit of -9.1 points. This compares quite favorably to Donald Trump who stands at 60.9% unfavorable and 34.5% favorable and an average deficit of -26.4 points.

The charts make Clinton’s surge even more apparent, especially the two-way chart

RCP Two Way Chart 101816

And you can also see signs of that surge in the four-way chart:

RCP Four Way Chart 101816

The race remains somewhat more volatile at the state level, with Trump continuing to be competitive in states such as Ohio and Florida as well as expanding his lead in states such as a Georgia. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton appears to be advancing in states such as North Carolina, Arizona, and Nevada. As a result, the RCP Electoral Map currently gives Clinton 256 Electoral Votes, with Donald Trump garnering 170 votes, and ten states totaling 112 Electoral Votes listed as toss-up states, meaning that the polls show the candidates with RCP averages inside the margin of error. Without toss-ups, Clinton has 322 Electoral Votes to 216 for Donald Trump. This is a slight improvement for Trump over last week, but given the significant changes in the national polls, it seems as though it would only be a matter of time before we start seeing the same thing at the state level

In the projections, Clinton’s turnaround continues to be reflected there as well. Nate Silver’s polls-only forecast, for example, projects a 87.6% likelihood of a Clinton victory and a  12.4% chance of a Republican victory while the ‘Polls-Plus’ forecast gives Clinton a  84.6% chance of winning versus 15.4% for Donald Trump and the “Now-cast,” which purports to project would happen if the election were held today, showing a 89.4% chance of a Clinton victory and a 10.6% chance of a Trump victory. These are all significant improvements over where Clinton was over the past two weeks. As was the case last week, Clinton fares slightly better in Sam Wang’s forecast and in Larry Sabato’s forecastThe New York Timesmeanwhile, gives Clinton a 91% chance of winning the race while DailyKos gives Clinton a 95% chance of winning. These are also an improvement over Clinton’s position last week.

All of this points to significant momentum in favor of Clinton at this point that, if it lasts, will likely propel her to victory on November 8th. It also seems to confirm that the revelations that have come out about Trump’s personal life over the past two weeks, as well as the manner in which he has reacted to those reports, have had a significantly negative impact on his fortunes and threaten to derail his campaign at the worst possible moment in the weeks before voters actually head to the polls. Before that happens, though, we’ve got one more debate on Wednesday evening. If the past two debates are any indication, though, Clinton is likely to do just fine while Trump will continue to struggle. That being said, it isn’t beyond possibility that the race will tighten one more time before Election Day. If it does, it would be mimicking the pattern we’ve seen in several recent elections. There would have to be significant tightening for Trump to actually catch up to Clinton, not to mention surpass her sufficiently to have a credible chance at 270 Electoral Votes. The odds of that happening seem quite low, though, so right now I’d continue to put my money on a Clinton win on November 8th.

Previous posts:

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

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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:

    Remember those two weeks when Trump mimicked a normal human being and the polls closed to almost a dead heat? A not-crazy Republican would have this thing. Let history that show that with the ball before the goal and no goalie, the GOP promptly kicked the ball 120 yards backward into their own net. And then screamed that the referee was biased.

    Trump seems to be calming down this week and there’s coming out from wikileaks. So it wouldn’t surprise me if the polls tightened between now and Nov 8.

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  2. MarkedMan says:

    As you said, this election is like no other in my lifetime. And I am far, far from complacent about the outcome. All over the world, including in the US, racists and right wing demagogues outperform the polls. There may be several reasons for this but the one that has me most worried is the high degree of support Trump has amongst older white voters – by far the most likely to vote. The Donald may be deliberately (or not, he’s proven over and over again he is incapable of deliberating before he acts) to spread the meme that the election is over. This would depress Hillary’s turn out without having as much of an impact on his own geriatric crowd,

    Remember that in the Brexit vote the No side was several points ahead as the voters entered the booth and ended up losing by several points. To a large extent those most affected by the outcome, the younger Brits, decided to have that second pint rather than make it to the polls. That’s what we have to worry about.

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  3. michael reynolds says:

    It’s not over till it’s over. But that said, the body language coming from the Hillary camp is pretty confident, and don’t forget they have much better polling than the public stuff. The ground game should put this over the top, but people lie to pollsters when they know they are doing wrong.

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  4. dxq says:

    I’m just worried that Putin or a terrorist group will do something terrible in a last-minute bid to help him.

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  5. C. Clavin says:

    Nate Silver’s polls-only forecast, for example, projects a 87.6% likelihood of a Clinton victory and a 12.4% chance of a Republican victory

    As was the case last week, Clinton fares slightly better in Sam Wang’s forecast

    And yet the Cheeto-Jesus is running around telling his not-so-bright supporters that it’s a dead-heat and the only way Clinton can win is if the election is stolen.
    Where is Republican leadership on this? Why aren’t they telling him to cool it with the incendiary, and blatantly false, rhetoric?
    One of the things that makes America Great…and it’s already great; we don’t need Donald friggin’ Trump…is the peaceful transition of power that happens every 4 – 8 years. If anyone had a legitimate beef about an election being stolen it was Al Gore. Yet he conceded the race after the SCOTUS decided it, in a decision that will go into history as nothing less than laughable.
    Republican leadership needs to be standing up now. They need to head this thing off at the pass. To date they have been spineless; endorsing but not supporting. WTF kind of stand is that? Trump has grabbed Republican leadership by the pu$$y.
    If on the morning of November 9th Republican leadership takes that same tack, and refuses to condemn any stolen or rigged election talk, then we will have a full-blown Constitutional crisis on our hands. And it will not be pretty.

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  6. barbintheboonies says:

    I just wish society would stop being sheep. We will never change if we keep following the same lines. Open yourselves. I read a quote today Sheep only need a single flock to belong to. People need two, one to belong to, and another to blame all of societies problems on. I read many more quotes about herd mentality. We are so afraid to be different, we believe lies or we pretend to believe.

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  7. dxq says:

    If on the morning of November 9th Republican leadership takes that same tack, and refuses to condemn any stolen or rigged election talk, then we will have a full-blown Constitutional crisis on our hands.

    I’m not worried about the Deplorables. Racists and sexists tend to be cowards. But in 3 weeks the GOP is going to have to answer the question, “Are you really, like McCain said, just not going to allow Democrats to nominate justices anymore?”

    THAT could be a constitutional crisis.

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  8. Pch101 says:

    There’s a lot of focus on the spread, but I’m personally more concerned about the absolute percentages going to the winner and the third-parties/undecideds.

    And there aren’t a lot of polls that have something close to 50% going to Clinton or a relatively low percentage of the third-party/undecideds. That doesn’t mean that Trump will win, but I remain doubtful that the popular vote win for Clinton will be a landslide.

    The polling is unusual for this election because pollsters are making a point of including candidates who were completely off the radar until late in the game and who have had minimal engagement with the electorate. They aren’t like Nader or Perot who built their own bases over an extended period; including Johnson and Stein in these polls as if they were competitive candidates has been a dubious choice.

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  9. al-Alameda says:

    In the projections, Clinton’s turnaround continues to be reflected there as well. Nate Silver’s polls-only forecast, for example, projects a 87.6% likelihood of a Clinton victory and a 12.4% chance of a Republican victory while the ‘Polls-Plus’ forecast gives Clinton a 84.6% chance of winning versus 15.4% for Donald Trump and the “Now-cast,” which purports to project would happen if the election were held today, showing a 89.4% chance of a Clinton victory and a 10.6% chance of a Trump victory

    I’d like to be all-in on the aforementioned projections, but the fact that a grease ball like Trump has progressed this far, and he probably has a popular vote baseline of 40%-43% locked up, leaves me with an uneasy feeling. I think Hillary will win, but a couple of really bad news days between now and election day could close up the current 7% to 10% gap pretty fast.

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  10. C. Clavin says:

    @dxq:
    The first thing they will do after Clinton wins is to take up Merrick Garland’s nomination.

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  11. grumpy realist says:

    And Mr. Schilling, a Trump wanna-be, has decided he’s going to run against Elizabeth Warren. In Massachusetts.

    This is gonna be good.

    (Gets popcorn)

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  12. SenyorDave says:

    @michael reynolds: But that said, the body language coming from the Hillary camp is pretty confident, and don’t forget they have much better polling than the public stuff.

    Michael’s point about polling is key. It has become very costly to do a truly representative poll, one that takes into account a good demographic/party split, as well as accounting for households without a landline. A typical newspaper poll might cost $10k and is a major expense for most newspapers, especially in smaller states. The Clinton campaign wouldn’t blink at dropping $100k for a poll in NH. The difference in what you get for the money is amazing. This is part of the reason why in 20016 the Obama camp knew it had the election won several weeks out, barring a major October surprise. Their polling was far better than even the major polling firms (and remember the major polling firms that release to the public do national polls that don’t mean anything, state polls are what matter.)

    I work in finance for a market research firm, one of the “gold standard” companies in terms of how we take market surveys. I know these costs, and I think most people would be surprised how expensive surveys are, especially in this day and age. Caller ID is a killer for our business.

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  13. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @dxq: I would be concerned about that too, except that Trump doesn’t have the deal making abilities of a Reagan.

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  14. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Where is Republican leadership on this? Why aren’t they telling him to cool it with the incendiary, and blatantly false, rhetoric?

    Because–as I was noting in the other thread–they don’t give a frick about what happens unless they, personally, will profit or suffer loss. Trump being who he is gives them the best chance to say “but…we’re not like that at all.”

    Well…that and the expectation that Trump isn’t going to care what they tell him to do.

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  15. gVOR08 says:

    @al-Alameda:

    but the fact that a grease ball like Trump has progressed this far, and he probably has a popular vote baseline of 40%-43% locked up, leaves me with an uneasy feeling.

    For this election, yes, for ’20 I’m terrified. It’s really depressing that my best hope is Trump will launch a party to go with his TRUMP political infotainment network and split the R base.

    (And that’s a faint hope. If the spit weasel son in law is only now looking for financing, the network plan doesn’t appear to be very well managed (surprise!).)

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  16. al-Alameda says:

    @grumpy realist:

    And Mr. Schilling, a Trump wanna-be, has decided he’s going to run against Elizabeth Warren. In Massachusetts.

    Curt Schilling has the requisite bankruptcy under his belt too. Even better, he utilized state redevelopment monies to fund his failed business. The Right will love him.

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  17. grumpy realist says:

    Has anyone seen the recent Newsweek article on Trump?

    Ouch, that’s gotta burn.

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  18. dxq says:

    @C. Clavin: I think so too. It’ll be fun watching the RWNJ commenters toe the line and explain why it’s really the best thing to do, all things considered, you know.

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  19. C. Clavin says:

    Obama on the Cheeto-Jesus’ crying about a rigged election:

    “There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even — you could even rig America’s elections…
    You start whining before the game’s even over? If whenever things are going badly for you and you lose you start blaming somebody else, then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job…
    Historically, regardless of party, the person who loses the election congratulates the winner, reaffirms or democracy and we move forward…That’s how democracy survives, because we recognize that there’s something more important than any individual campaign, and that is making sure that the integrity and trust in our institutions sustains itself, because democracy by definition works by consent. Not by force…
    I’d advise Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes,and if he got the most votes, then it would be my expectation of Hillary Clinton to offer a gracious concession speech and pledge to work with him in order to make sure that the American people benefit from an effective government.”

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  20. Moosebreath says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Mr. Schilling was accurately described by one of his managers as follows:

    One day in five, he’s our starting pitcher and he’s a horse. The other four days, he’s a horse’s…

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  21. Pete S says:

    Look, this is not intended to be negative towards Hillary Clinton. I think she would make a perfectly competent president (I am not going to jinx anything by saying will).

    But it is easy to look like you have forward momentum if you are sitting on a perfectly still bus, next to one being driven backwards by a maniacal orange chimp.

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  22. MarkedMan says:

    @grumpy realist: wow. That’s a brutal article. It makes you wonder if Trump has ever actually created anything successfully. Here’s a short excerpt:

    The scam worked, again and again. Trump Hollywood failed, and the real estate mogul blamed Jorge Pérez, the developer who had paid to use his name. Trump International Hotel and Tower Fort Lauderdale fell into foreclosure, and 30 buyers lost $100,000 each. But this was not his fault, Trump said. The same thing happened with the Trump Ocean Resort Baja Mexico, which—though it attracted dozens of buyers who posted $32 million in deposits—never amounted to more than a hole in the ground. Again, Trump denied responsibility. Building after building, failure after failure, hundreds of millions of dollars lost. Each time, the buyers sued, saying they had been tricked into believing that Trump was the developer. And each time, Trump pointed to the fine print of the contracts, told the courts the buyers should have read them more carefully, and walked away. Potentially hundreds of people lost tens of millions of dollars while Trump pocketed huge sums through his licensing fees.

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  23. Moosebreath says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Ack. In looking up the quote, it was not from his manager, but from former Phillies General Manager Ed Wade.

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  24. dxq says:

    @MarkedMan: It’s almost like the GOP is a buncha rubes who fell for an obvious conman. That’s weird, considering their history of Trickle-Down economics, global warming denialism, creationism, 2nd Amendment fears, Muslim hysteria….

    oh wait, it’s not weird at all.

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  25. EddieInCA says:

    I’m making a prediction. Well, several, actually.

    1. Georgia goes Blue. I spend alot of time in Georgia, and the disgust with Trump in and around Atlanta, Athens, Savannah, and Columbus, might overcome his strength in the more rural areas. Film and TV production in Atlanta has created a huge influx of California liberals that is very quickly changing Georgia. Add to that the increased Hispanic population.

    2. Arizona goes Blue. Women, Latinos and Mormons – enough said.

    3. McMullin wins Utah. Mormons. Full stop.

    4. Clinton wins Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and Missouri. Women.

    Clinton might reach 399 ECVs, per my most optimistic scenario. But I don’t see any scenarios yet where she gets less than 330.

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  26. Pete S says:

    @MarkedMan: But if you have no pride or shame, this is a perfect way to separate people from their money while someone else takes the risks. His fans really believe he will run this sort of scam on all the people they don’t like, and for the first time in his life he will share the proceeds with them by lowering their taxes and continuing to pay their social security and medicare. They really don’t see that throughout his whole life they have been his marks. He may be racist and misogynist, but it sure appears that the people he loves to fleece the most look a lot like the people who support him now.

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  27. Jen says:

    @EddieInCA: I don’t see her winning Indiana or Missouri. It might be closer than expected in both places, but fundamentally, I don’t see them switching to Blue this year. I do think everything else you put forth is possible.

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  28. al-Alameda says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Clinton might reach 399 ECVs, per my most optimistic scenario. But I don’t see any scenarios yet where she gets less than 330.

    In my office 538 Pool, I’m not as optimistic as you are:
    Electoral College: I have Clinton 319 to Trump 219
    Popular vote: Clinton 49% to 43% Trump

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  29. Gustopher says:

    I would say that Trump’s momentum is surging backwards — Clinton is just along for the ride. The Republicans could have nominated someone less obviously awful, but they wanted a guy who shouts the things they merely whisper.

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  30. EddieInCA says:

    @Jen:

    Missouri had it’s last poll on 10/11 and Clinton was down 5. I’m guessing that’s down to about 2 or 3 by now, given how Roy Blunt is behaving. Additionally, given that Trump has absolutely zero ground game and no money, the Clinton GOTV machine will probably be good for at least two points. So I see Missouri as very much in play. But I could be delusional.

    As for Indiana – Pence is down 7 points in the last month. Indiana’s last poll had Clinton down 4, even closer than Missouri. Same reasons for Indiana as Missouri, other than the Blunt situation.

    Have you seen this poll? http://midnightsunak.com/2016/10/16/midnight-sun-exclusive-new-poll-shows-trump-clinton-tied-alaska/ Granted, it’s a Democratic Poll, so take it with obvious skepticism, but the last “real” poll of Alaska, before the last debate, and before the Billy Bush tape, only had Trump up by 5. Again, this is ridiculous. There should be no way Alaska is in single digits.

    Also, look at recent Texas Polling.

    This might turn into a wave election yet.

    I think women’s disgust isn’t fully factored into polls numbers yet. But I could be delusional. That’s always a real possibility.

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  31. grumpy realist says:

    @MarkedMan: I’m wondering what Trump’s reaction will be, or whether he’s so far over the insanity horizon that he’ll pretty well ignore it.

    I also wonder if any of his followers will be moved by it at all, or whether the Trumpenproletariat has convinced itself that anything not from Breitbart and Infowars is obviously A Plot By The MSM.

    As I said before, maybe the reason these people aren’t succeeding very well in the world is BECAUSE they’re the sort of idiots who would fall victim to a con-man without doing any due diligence.

    Being adult is no reason to be stupid.

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  32. MarkedMan says:

    @Pete S:

    He may be racist and misogynist, but it sure appears that the people he loves to fleece the most look a lot like the people who support him now.

    You’re right but I think it’s even worse than that. The whole Fox News / Breitbart / Rush etc is built on scamming their audience. Overpriced gold, prepped manuals, supplements that don’t work, and on and on. That’s who advertise on the GOP sites. Having a scared, uninformed, angry audience is kind of the point.

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  33. michael reynolds says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I’m going to be a little less optimistic. I’m saying 351.

    We take all our usual stuff, hold onto Ohio, take North Carolina, Arizona and Florida.

    I think we lose that one Maine vote from Aroostook County, the Stephen King portion of Maine and lose Iowa.

    Clinton: 351
    Trump: 181
    Mormon dude: 6

    Popular vote? Trump doesn’t usually do well with late deciders, and I don’t expect it’ll change when most people will likely be convinced he’s a loser.

    Clinton: 51%
    Trumpy the Pig: 39%
    Weed Dealer: 8%
    Green lady: 2%

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  34. MarkedMan says:

    @michael reynolds: much as I like your scenario I just don’t see a 12 point win in this day and age. And with third parties in the high single digits the best I would hope for is 4%

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  35. Jen says:

    @EddieInCA: I’ll admit my sense on both of those states is not driven by polling, but because I lived in one (and still have friends there) and have done a decent amount of travel through the other (albeit not recently). Missouri in particular has changed over the last couple of decades. The trend there is decidedly conservative, and I can see the Trump “attitude” playing rather well outstate. I am holding out hope for the Governor’s race…I guess we’ll find out in three weeks. I should figure out my EC map predictions soon…

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  36. CSK says:

    Trump himself recently Tweeted that the lack of support he’s getting from the Republican Party establishment means that he’s “unshackled.” Translated, what he’s saying is, “I am now totally free to ramp up the crazy times ten. And I can encourage my lo-fo cult to indulge in any paranoid conspiracies they wish: the election was stolen from me by a monster cabal of globalists headed by Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan! Crooked Hillary is in the pay of ISIS! Many people have told me that there will be blood in the streets if I lose!”

    Trump is not-so-subtly calling for violent revolt. That would be enormously gratifying to his ego.

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  37. grumpy realist says:

    Oooh, Trump has now started banging the drum for term limits on Congresscritters!

    Is anyone going to point out that we already had one SCOTUS decision about this and it didn’t go very well for the term limiting side?!

    I just want to see one reporter ask him about how he plans to do this…..

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  38. DrDaveT says:

    @grumpy realist:
    From that article:

    In other words, if the Republican nominee had done nothing but mow his lawn for the past 35 years, he would be a dramatically wealthier man than he is today. The huge bonus in that scenario: Thousands of people would not have been ridiculed, ripped off or otherwise have suffered from encounters with Donald J. Trump.

    Yup. I’ve been pointing that out for years, but the mysteries of compound interest are beyond the grasp of many.

    (The guy in the article forgot to account for subtracting off enough for a lavish lifestyle each year, but the qualitative result is the same — he’s no wealthier than he would have been just living off the inheritance and investing it sensibly.)

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  39. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: Should the Libertarians and Greens perform at levels roughly 3-500% higher than their usual performance (which I doubt will happen in real life as opposed to polling data world), it would seem to me to indicate the possibility that crazy is going to be more ecumenical than it’s been in recent history. So far this cycle, both “alternate choices” have been more… strident (?) than in the past, and Libertarianism, specifically, is showing us that the having been the governor of NM does not seem to be a viable path to 1600 Penn. Ave., and that the party itself does not offer the wherewithall to lead.

    Even allowing for the race to the bottom quality that each candidate provides the narrative with ample examples of, (reminder: I’m one of the people who back in January of 2015 held that Hillary should keep her leaving office pledge and run for Gramma) having the Green and Libertarian versions of the lunatic fringe expanding their membership without a corresponding drop in the GOP version–particularly in such large voter percentages–is… well… disturbing.

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  40. Neil Hudelson says:

    @grumpy realist:

    To be fair to Trump (I can’t believe I typed that), he said he would call for a Constitutional Amendment, which would preclude a SCOTUS review. So he/someone on his staff has more than a surface level understanding of term limits.

    But, man, how great is it that Congress critters who support Trump might have to handle a term limit discussion among their base?

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  41. EddieInCA says:

    New poll out in Texas shows Trump ahead 41-38.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/18/politics/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-texas-wisconsin-presidential-poll/

    Texas.

    Texas.

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  42. michael reynolds says:

    @MarkedMan:

    My thinking is that the public’s dislike for either major candidate gives some a free pass to vote 3rd Party. They can tell themselves it’s a ‘change’ vote. So, although I know 3rd parties fade in the stretch, I’m making a guess that it’s a bit different this time.

    What I don’t know yet is just how stupid voters are. We’ve generally given them a choice between a bland Republican and a bland Democrat. We’ve never nominated a true cretin before, so we are in new territory. If a candidate comes along who is every bit as ignorant and stupid as the typical voter, will the voter embrace the stupid? Or will the voter do the rational thing?

    I don’t know.

    But I’m betting on optimism, because there is no downside to optimism. If it turns out the American people really are so fwcking dumb they’ll hand 4000 plus nukes to a malicious toddler with ADHD, well, I’ll face that reality if I have to. I’m stuck in the US till my daughter is out of school – 3 years – so the obvious choice of moving to the UK or ANZ or the Algarve doesn’t help short-term.

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  43. CSK says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Trump’s ahead by three points in Texas? That’s a huge loss. Romney was ahead–and won the state–by 16 points in 2012. McCain in 2008 won Texas by 12 points. George W. Bush won by 23 points in 2000 (no surprise there). If Trump is beating Clinton by only 3 points in Texas (within the margin of error), then even they can’t stand him.

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  44. barbintheboonies says:

    This is just so sad I cannot be happy with this. I just wish we had someone else to hope for. Heads they win tails I lose. It sucks

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  45. barbintheboonies says:

    @michael reynolds: I heard Norway was great.

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  46. Matt says:

    @michael reynolds: This is the first year I’ve seen a serious GOTV effort by the Democratic party since I’ve moved here (Texas). I would say Hillary and the Democratic party are taking this election very seriously.

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  47. Mikey says:

    @EddieInCA:

    New poll out in Texas shows Trump ahead 41-38.

    Just because it bears repeating that Clinton is polling within the margin of error in Texas.

    Sure, it doesn’t mean she’ll end up winning that state, and she probably won’t, but it still shows how toxic Trump really is.

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  48. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Kelleyanne Conway:
    “His (Donald Trump’s) five point plan to destroy Islam
    -CNN @9:40 am on Oct 19 2016

    Freudian Slip????

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  49. gVOR08 says:

    @michael reynolds: @barbintheboonies:

    I heard Norway was great.

    Saw an online article this morning claiming that Norway’s Lofoten Islands have great surfing if you can afford a good enough wet suit.

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