I admit I wanted Trump to thump Hilly tonight. I wanted him to call her out on lying to the FBI, to Congress, to the American People. I wanted him to hit her on the corruption infecting the Clinton Foundation. I wanted him to nail her on her campaign paying professional agitators to disrupt Trump rallies.

Now, he did all that but not the way I wanted him to. No roundhouse punches, no swinging for the fences, instead Trump played to win. Which made for dull television but, I think, may have locked it up for him.

I wrote a couple of days ago that if Trump could go for the father/grandfather thing, look sane and competent, he’d pull the votes he needed. That was the route he took tonight.

Hilly was in there fighting. But she wandered off her own points. Extolled the Clinton Foundation, rambled on while both the very good moderator, Chris Wallace and Trump tried to get a word in edgewise. Tried to own the minutes like she was the challenger rather than the gal with the big poll numbers.

Trump leaned back. He made his points but he managed to project a sense of self-assurance I had not seen before.

I think he won on points but, unlike the first and second debates, he seemed easy in himself. Some of the annoying swagger was gone. He let Hilly run on about her set pieces without letting her get under his skin. If anything he was a bit too mellow, a bit too measured. He was running up points but he was not fist pumping every time he scored one.

Hillary certainly scored sufficient points that the MSM will be able to tout the debate as a Hilly win. But, if she had scored no points at all, the MSM would score it exactly the same way.

For Trump tonight was largely about showing the undecided voters that they have nothing to fear in a Trump Presidency. I think he did that. Draining the hysteria was job #1, scoring points, which he did well, was a distant second.

Hillary now retreats to her bunker – although she now has some event scheduled between now and the end of the month – and Trump keeps his show on the road.

The other thing which happened tonight is that Chris Wallace ensured that he would be struck off the party lists of all sorts of establishment types. He brought up Wikileaks, he brought up the Veritas videos, he asked about Hilly giving a quarter of a million dollar speech. He asked Trump some tough questions too, but it was refreshing to see a degree of even-handedness. And it put Wikileaks and Veritas and Hilly’s speeches into play.

Trump had a great night, Hilly had an OK night, but the final three weeks are going to be more about her corruption than Trump’s buffoonery. Which means that, net, Hilly got killed.

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16 thoughts on “Presidential

  1. dddddancetotheradio says:

    When Hillary said she wanted to spend her Presidency fighting for women and children I thought to myself that she could do that in private life.
    The Presidency is to defend America and all that it stands for.

  2. Terry Rudden says:

    Jay says: “Hilly got killed.” Phew.

    My own impression was that both started pretty strong; then as they attempted to get under each other’s skin, Clinton’s obviously thorough briefing and rehearsal paid off, and Trump was forced back the kind of nonsense that lost him the first two debates, finishing off with a couple of extremely bad lines that will ensure that will dominate social media until the election, and ensuring that the majority of wavering voters will moved to Clinton. I didn’t think it was a strategic choice, just ego and poor anger control.

    No surprise there: it’s what most thoughtful observers expected, including, I suspect, yourself: Trump’s supporters have been carefully preparing for his slipshod performance by mocking the notion that a Presidential candidate should actually, God forbid, PREPARE for a debate. Trump was being Trump, that’s all.

    My own conclusion was that Trump won absolutely NO support as a result of that performance: I suspect we’ll see that hypothesis validated in the polls over the next few days.

    However, I couldn’t really be positive Hillary had won until I checked in with the pundit who predicted, among other things, that Trump was merely a stalking horse for Ted Cruz, that Hillary’s campaign was going to be “killed” by Benghazi , that Hillary’s campaign was going to be “killed” by her imminent arrest, that Hillary was dying of cancer/Parkinsons/a concussion/alien parasites, and so on. In other words, I needed to know that you had proclaimed Trump the winner before I could confirm Hillary’s victory. Thanks!

  3. bonnibrai says: I tend to agree witn Jay’s take on the debate..Should be an interesting three weeks.

    • Terry Rudden says:

      Bonnibrai, have you reviewed any of the several critiques of the USC LA Times polling methodology? Here’s one with both a summary of the argument, and links to more rigorous critiques.

      Trump is about to lose, and the Republicans have already lost. I think its time for his diehard supporters start preparing for a more graceful exit strategy than “We’ll Stamp Our Widdle Feet And Scream FIX!”

      • bonnibrai says: This is supposed to be the gold standard. Did you notice Hillary going all stompy feet with the Russians rigging the election by hacking into the Dem. servers and exposing all the bad acting going on? Priceless!

      • Terry Rudden says:

        ” This is supposed to be the gold standard.” Uh…it is? I’ve actually never heard of this poll, and I am reasonably familiar with research and polling methodologies. Their website looks as though the late nineties threw up on it, and that badly recorded low-fi ‘interview’ between two of their own personnel makes “The Rebel” look like the BBC. But please, by all means, DO expand on your suggestion that this is a “Gold Standard”. I’m all ears.

      • John Cross says:

        Yeah, I tend to agree with Terry. The poll itself is not a really bad poll (538 gives it an A-, but it has only a 76% success rate ) but Gold Standard, no way especially since this survey was only based on a little over 700 responses.

        I thought the debate was interesting. I thought Trump was doing well for the first half, but then came the “rigged” question and I have to say WTF?!?!?! He knew this question was coming – everyone knew it was coming – so he could have at least thought about it. A response like “If I see massive voter fraud of course I will not accept it” and then say nothing more would have been in character. But his response guaranteed that it would be the main story out of the debate and drown out anything else sensible that was said. I suspect it will stay a story for the next couple of news cycles.

        He needed to win over certain demographics last night and his performance did nothing in that regard.

  4. bonnibrai says: The fact that you never heard of this poll does not surprise me.BTW If you’re so sure that she’s going to win why does it bother you to hear any discension at all? Actually, Terry if do your own research you’ll probably remember it better.

    • Terry Rudden says:

      Oh, so THEY say they’re they’re the gold standard. Oh, well. That settles it. LOL.
      Seriously, read John’s critique.

      “BTW If you’re so sure that she’s going to win why does it bother you to hear any discension at all?”

      It doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, it fascinates me.

  5. bonnibrai says:

    Oh well! There you go. Yep, Actually it does settle it.These are provable statistics, what does it matter who brings them forward?…….. “The Rebel”? “read John’s critique”?. I’m afraid you’ve lost me there! Anyhow this is turning into the Monty Python argument skit. Keep well .

    • Terry Rudden says:

      “I’m afraid you’ve lost me there!”

      No problem. The nice thing is, we have a testable assumption on the table. You and Jay suggest that Trump won the debates and riding toward victory. I disagree, on the basis of the preponderance of polling data. And we don’t have to wait too long to find out who’s right.

  6. Jay Currie says:

    The LA Times poll as well as the ibd poll use different methodologies from a number of other polls. Which means, at root, that they see the electorate in a different way. So, where the WSJ/ABC poll overweights Democrats by a significant fraction (to reflect their model of assumed turnout) these polls use a different fraction.

    The models the polls are based on attempt to predict turnout in various voting subgroups. Part of what goes into that prediction is what happened in the last General election and, often, in earlier elections. It is obviously not an exact science and different polling firms will come up with different results. People who talk about polling talk about the tendency of polls to “herd”, that is tend towards a consensus position. If most of the models see the electorate in a similar way such herding is to be expected. However, polls can also “clump” where there are differing models. Which is what I think you are seeing here.

    To give an example: propose one model assumes that black turnout in this election will be roughly the same as it was in 2012 and 2008. That model will produce an outcome very different from a model which assumes a drop in black turnout from 2008/2012. Now, if you think Hilly is just as appealing to black voters as Obama was you will go with the high black voter turnout model. But one might be forgiven for thinking that, perhaps, Hilly is not quite so attractive and that black turnout will be lower.

    Of course, it gets even stranger when you take into account the weird effects of the Electoral College.

    So now we see if the collective efforts of the mainstream media will be enough to sherpa Hilly into the Whitehouse. The elite view seems to be that Trump is such an awful, vulgar, bully that he deserves to, and will, lose in a landslide. And the vast majority of MSM polling confirms exactly that outcome. So if Hilly wins it may be a disaster but it certainly won’t be a surprise.

    For Trump to win he had to seem plausible, sane and solid. I think he managed that quite handily. This morning’s MSM reaction was hyperbole about Trump being unwilling to categorically accept the results of the election in advance. To which two words: Al Gore.

    There was never any chance that MSM would concede that Trump had a good night. But if Trump has a chance of winning it will be because MSM has lost its exclusive purchase over American politics. From Wikileaks to Veritas to Benghazi to Hilly’s Wall Street debts, stories which would have died a decade ago are getting out into the public sphere despite MSM’s best efforts to contain them.

    Now, will those stories and Hilly’s pretty much universally acknowledged dishonesty be enough to sink her? I don’t know. What I do know is that any model which takes a base assumption that 2016 is like 2012 is almost certainly wrong.

    • John Cross says:

      Not following your Al Gore comparison – apples and oranges. And my point still stands – if he had had a better answer the media might be talking about his better performance. Instead he gives an answer that anyone could have predicted the media would focus on. He shot himself in the foot there.

      In regards to polling you are correct, 2016 will not be like 2012. The people who do this for a living are all quite aware of this. How they factor in that Hispanics are now leaning Dem as opposed to Rep or that college educated people are now leaning Dem depends on each different poll. Best results seem to come from an aggregate like the 538 model.

      • Jay Currie says:

        John, I agree that Trump could have phrased his response better. However, the gist of the response – that he would keep his options open – was unexceptionable. Like Gore, Trump needs to see the results and actually decide whether or not he has a case for challenging such vote fraud as may occur. If the 538 aggregate is roughly correct there would be no point in challenging because he will have lost bigly and marginal cheating won’t matter.

        I am going to do a post on the differing political landscape of 2016 vs 2012 shortly. Of course the pros recognize that there have been changes, but differing understandings of how those changes play out is likely what is causing the polling to “clump”.

    • Terry Rudden says:

      Yes, I understand you’re going to stay on message until Trump’s defeat; and I understand that in order to that you have to stick with the strange, demon haunted universe you’re pretending to believe in. It all reminds me a bit of those wonderful medieval cosmologists who managed to create working orreries based on a geocentric solar system surrounded by spheres. It can certainly be done: but it requires some astonishing assumptions about planetary and celestial motion.

      • Jay Currie says:

        Terry, the assumptions are not so terribly astonishing. Consider, for example, the rather plausible idea that, in absolute numbers, fewer black voters will vote this election than did in 2008 or 2012.

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