Axelrod: Clinton should consider skipping last debate

Former Obama campaign chief David Axelrod suggested on Saturday that Hilllary Clinton skip her last debate on Wednesday with Donald Trump.

Clinton would be playing into Trump's hands by not debating.  Trump could float all sorts of theories for why she declined to debate: she's in ill health, she knows she's losing, she's afraid, etc.

But the Axelrod suggestion is also an indication of a fatal overconfidence in the Clinton campaign:

Trump, the Republican nominee, floated the idea of a drug test during a campaign rally Saturday in New Hampshire, comparing himself and Clinton, the Democratic nominee, to athletes preparing for a big event.

"Athletes, they make them take a drug test, right? I think we should take a drug test prior to the debate," Trump said.

"Why don't we do that? We should take a drug test, prior, because I don't know what's going on with her, but at the beginning of her last debate, she was all pumped up at the beginning, and at the end it was like, 'Oh, take me down,' " Trump said, imitating Clinton.

Clinton and Trump are scheduled to take the stage together for their final debate Oct. 19 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The pair debated last weekend in their first joint appearance since a leaked tape from 2005 showed Trump boasting about trying to sleep with a married woman and groping women without their consent.

How overconfident are Clinton and her supporters getting about a sure fire victory?  The Washington Post has basically said Hillary has already won and now she must decide whether to "expand the map" by going after red states:

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton faces a striking choice in the final three weeks of the campaign: to expand her efforts to states that Democrats haven’t won in a generation, or to stay a current course that, if conditions hold, would deliver her a resounding electoral college victory.

After two tumultuous weeks focused on Donald Trump’s behavior toward women, Clinton is ahead in nearly all of the key battleground states where her campaign has directed the most resources, according to many recent polls. But some once-solidly Republican states — notably Arizona, Georgia and Utah — now also appear to be in play.

Clinton aides said they see advantages to running up the score in the electoral college, where 270 votes wins the White House. Victories in unexpected places could boost that total, handing her more of a mandate come January and decreasing the potency of Trump’s complaints of a “rigged” election.

But victories in core battleground states such as Pennsylvania and New Hampshire would almost assuredly cut off Trump’s path as well. Those states are also home to key down-ballot races that will determine control of the Senate, an important factor in how much support Clinton would have while launching an agenda in January.

Are Utah and Georgia really in play?  Arizona has been trending Democratic the last few election cycles, but Utah is the most Republican state in the union, and Georgia is still a long shot for Clinton at this point. 

But Trump doesn't seem as concerned about running for president as he does piling up excuses for why he is going to lose.  Unless he pivots back to actually campaigning for the office, Utah and Georgia may be only the beginning of a tsunami that wrecks the GOP for a generation.

Former Obama campaign chief David Axelrod suggested on Saturday that Hilllary Clinton skip her last debate on Wednesday with Donald Trump.

Clinton would be playing into Trump's hands by not debating.  Trump could float all sorts of theories for why she declined to debate: she's in ill health, she knows she's losing, she's afraid, etc.

But the Axelrod suggestion is also an indication of a fatal overconfidence in the Clinton campaign:

Trump, the Republican nominee, floated the idea of a drug test during a campaign rally Saturday in New Hampshire, comparing himself and Clinton, the Democratic nominee, to athletes preparing for a big event.

"Athletes, they make them take a drug test, right? I think we should take a drug test prior to the debate," Trump said.

"Why don't we do that? We should take a drug test, prior, because I don't know what's going on with her, but at the beginning of her last debate, she was all pumped up at the beginning, and at the end it was like, 'Oh, take me down,' " Trump said, imitating Clinton.

Clinton and Trump are scheduled to take the stage together for their final debate Oct. 19 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The pair debated last weekend in their first joint appearance since a leaked tape from 2005 showed Trump boasting about trying to sleep with a married woman and groping women without their consent.

How overconfident are Clinton and her supporters getting about a sure fire victory?  The Washington Post has basically said Hillary has already won and now she must decide whether to "expand the map" by going after red states:

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton faces a striking choice in the final three weeks of the campaign: to expand her efforts to states that Democrats haven’t won in a generation, or to stay a current course that, if conditions hold, would deliver her a resounding electoral college victory.

After two tumultuous weeks focused on Donald Trump’s behavior toward women, Clinton is ahead in nearly all of the key battleground states where her campaign has directed the most resources, according to many recent polls. But some once-solidly Republican states — notably Arizona, Georgia and Utah — now also appear to be in play.

Clinton aides said they see advantages to running up the score in the electoral college, where 270 votes wins the White House. Victories in unexpected places could boost that total, handing her more of a mandate come January and decreasing the potency of Trump’s complaints of a “rigged” election.

But victories in core battleground states such as Pennsylvania and New Hampshire would almost assuredly cut off Trump’s path as well. Those states are also home to key down-ballot races that will determine control of the Senate, an important factor in how much support Clinton would have while launching an agenda in January.

Are Utah and Georgia really in play?  Arizona has been trending Democratic the last few election cycles, but Utah is the most Republican state in the union, and Georgia is still a long shot for Clinton at this point. 

But Trump doesn't seem as concerned about running for president as he does piling up excuses for why he is going to lose.  Unless he pivots back to actually campaigning for the office, Utah and Georgia may be only the beginning of a tsunami that wrecks the GOP for a generation.