Trump and Hilly are in a statistical tie coming out of the Labour Day weekend. Trump is a point or two ahead in some polls, Hill a point or two ahead in others.
This is actually better for Trump than I thought it would be. I thought Trump would be trailing by five points and I was prepare to bet on his winning if he was that close. He’s done better than that.
Part of the reason Trump has pulled even is that he has actually been campaigning. Pretty much every day Trump has an event, a rally a policy announcement. He’s available to the press. Now this exposes him to risks. He may say something which the press or people in general don’t like. But the upside of campaigning every day is that it meets the expectations of what a Presidential candidate actually does.
Hilly has been around in the sense that she has been raising money with the 1%. Lots and lots of money. This is part of Presidential campaigning as well. But the optics of party after private party with really, really rich people are not ideal. Today, Labour Day, she has inaugurated her new plane and is doing two campaign events. The first she’s done for a week or so.
The FBI document dump on Friday is being analyzed and it is becoming pretty clear that Hilly and her people concealed and destroyed evidence, were clueless as to her security and document retention obligations and generally lied their faces off to the FBI. And the FBI hardly covered itself in glory failing to ask even one question about emails going to the Clinton Foundation. The structure of the 303 Summary released by the FBI suggests very strongly that certain areas were not explored by the FBI as the result of an agreement made prior to the interview. Five lawyers, including two who were witnesses or potential witnesses, accompanied Hilly to her FBI interview. And there are more documents which have been shown to Congress and which will eventually become public. Shoes waiting to fall.
There is no reason to believe that Trump is going to pull back from his full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes, campaigning style. He seems to be having a great time on the trail and actually raising serious policy issues. When P Diddy says that black people should “hold their vote” you know Trump is gaining a bit of traction.
Will Hilly wake up? I am not sure she can. Leave aside all the speculation about her health and fitness, her campaign itself is designed around a strategy of staying under cover while Trump implodes. If Hilly breaks cover there is the very real danger that some dreadful member of the press will rudely, lèse-majesté, Hilly with a hardball question about any one of a number of scandals.
However, the nut of Hilly’s problem is that there is a debate at the end of the month. Trump is a performer. He understands television in a way most people will never get. “Answer the question Hillary” may be enough to push Hilly over what looks to be a rather sharp edge. While the moderators will try and run cover for Hilly, the fact is her undercover campaign to the richest Americans, in itself, gives Trump all the ammunition he needs.
On a pure popular vote basis there is a very real chance Trump will win this by five or six points.