Reports of Trump's demise are wishful thinking
The state of the presidential race after Donald Trump has proved the pundits wrong again is that Yogi Berra was right again: "It ain't over till it's over."
The Hill reports that Charlie Cook, publisher of the Cook Political Report, who called the presidential race for Clinton three weeks ago, tweeting, "This race is OVER," has now changed his tune to admit that Mr. Trump has a "fairly small" chance.
So yes, like everyone else, we've revised our assessment.
Cook based his earlier "over" call on a Fox News poll that, according The Hill's account at the time, "shows support for the Republican nominee cratering." Cook's latest thinking:
He said the GOP nominee needs a half-dozen or so things to go exactly right for him to win, whereas Hillary Clinton only needs one or two things to fall her way.
Cook also thinks that if polls are within the margins of error in battleground states, then Clinton should still be considered the favorite because her team has invested in a superior get-out-the-vote operation.
"If this race got to within a point or so and I don't think it is," Cook said, "one candidate having a very sophisticated voter identification and get out the vote operation and the other having only a skeleton crew would very likely make the difference."
Cook attributes Trump's closing the gap to "the combination of Republicans coming home and the FBI announcement."
The Hill references the FiveThirtyEight Election Forecast, which is moving toward Trump but also remains in the "lean Hillary" column:
At midday Saturday, FiveThirtyEight's forecast model gives Trump a 35.4 percent chance of winning the election. On Oct. 17, the same model gave him an 11.9 percent chance.
And Real Clear Politics (RCP) recaps the latest YouGov survey, which notes first that the "dubious theory" of a hidden Trump vote is "unknowable" until election day. The writers go on to discuss whom the undecided holdouts would vote for:
The answer is that Clinton continues to receive more of this vote than Trump, which somewhat offsets Trump's lead among Independents and – coupled with Democrats' advantage in party identification and Clinton's stronger support within her own party – indicates that Trump's lead among Independents is probably not large enough to give him a victory on Nov. 8.
While all three of these forecasters still lean Hillary, that is not the end of the story.
Trump's perseverance under a media onslaught that would have melted any other candidate months ago is a testament to his ability to serve in the most demanding job in the world. Mr. Trump's fortitude under fire, along with his winning message on the issues, leaves him and his legions of supporters in a race to the wire:
- The Saturday IBD/TIPP tracking poll, which has the best track record over the past three presidential election cycles, has the four-way race in a 44-44 tie.
- The Rasmussen poll also shows a tie as of Friday, with Trump "holding on to his 10-point lead among those who've already made up their minds how they will vote."
- The remaining seven component polls in the RCP average show Clinton with leads ranging from one to four points.
- The L.A. Times poll, not included on the RCP average, shows a five-point Trump lead, which opened up since the FBI's Clinton announcement ten days ago.
- The Drudge headline on Saturday announced that Trump is tied in Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Pennsylvania
In light of these polls, President Obama's angry tirade in Fayetteville, N.C. and his absurd defense of Obamacare are indicators of the president's desperation to shore up the coronation campaign for Hillary, and Hillary's awkward appearances with F-bombing celebrities are no better.
Referring to Mrs. Clinton's attempts to draw crowds through joint appearances with Jay-Z and others, Mr. Trump remarked at a rally on Saturday, "I didn't have to bring J-Lo or Jay-Z – the only way she gets anybody. I am here all by myself. I am here all by myself … just me, no guitar, no piano, no nothing."
Despite the overflow crowds wherever Trump goes, the media cartel likes to harp on the fact that Republicans are not united behind their candidate. However, Investor's Business Daily (IBD) contends, "This is almost an entirely media-created fiction."
IBD makes the case that pushing the NeverTrump narrative is yet another ploy to discourage would-be Trump voters.
Referencing continuing media reports that various Republicans are denouncing Mr. Trump, IBD cites its own polling, which "shows that 88% of Republicans say they support Trump," which is "identical to the share of Republicans who said they backed Mitt Romney at roughly the same point" (emphasis in original).
The mainstream media, however, keep pushing the Trump-is-having-trouble-with-Republicans story line mainly as a way to convince voters that he is doomed.
In other words, it's not actual reporting, but more like wishful thinking.
Another version of Yogi's legendary aphorism is that "you're not out until you're out."