With a comfortable lead, Clinton begins laying plans for her White House agenda.
Headline, Washington Post, August 20, 2016
Less than a month later, her lead has shriveled, and is under a point in the Real Clear Politics average of polls.
The site has it Hillary 44.9, Trump 44 in a head-to-head race and Hillary 41, Trump 40.3 in a four-way with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein.
Political forecaster Stuart Rothenberg is considered a god Inside the Beltway
He wrote this on August 9:
Three months from now, with the 2016 presidential election in the rearview mirror, we will look back and agree that the presidential election was over on Aug. 9th.
Of course, it is politically incorrect to say that the die is cast.
Journalistic neutrality allegedly forces us to say that the race isn’t over until November, and most media organizations prefer to hype the presidential contest to generate viewers and readers rather than explain why a photo finish is unlikely.
But a dispassionate examination of the data, combined with a coldblooded look at the candidates, the campaigns and presidential elections, produces only one possible conclusion: Hillary Clinton will defeat Donald Trump in November, and the margin isn’t likely to be as close as Barack Obama’s victory over Mitt Romney.
First, the polling numbers are stunning.
Pre-convention polls showed the race competitive but with Clinton ahead by at least a few points in most cases. Post-convention polls show Clinton leading the race much more comfortably. The NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll puts Clinton’s margin at nine points, while Fox News shows it at 10 and The Washington Post-ABC News survey finds the margin at eight points.The most recent renditions of those polls have Clinton up two, one, and five, respectively.
From Politico on August 12:
GOP insiders: Trump can't win
'Trump is underperforming so comprehensively...it would take video evidence of a smiling Hillary drowning a litter of puppies while terrorists surrounded her with chants of ‘Death to America',’' said an Iowa Republican.These same booger-eating maroons gave him less than a ten percent chance of winning the nomination as late as April!
From Nate Cohn (who replaced Nate Silver at the New York Times) on August 12:
It has been three weeks since Democrats gathered for their convention, and Hillary Clinton still holds a large and consistent lead in national and battleground state polls.
Her national lead over Donald J. Trump of seven to eight percentage points could slip a bit over the next few weeks. But it has been long enough that much of her expected convention “bounce” should have faded. It leaves Mr. Trump in an unenviable position: No modern candidate who has trailed by this much a few weeks after the conventions has gone on to win the presidency.
On that basis, you can expect a wave of articles about how the presidential race is basically “over.”
That’s probably a bit too strong, at least from a historical point of view. The Upshot’s model gives Mrs. Clinton an 88 percent chance of winning. It’s about the same probability of hitting a field goal from the 20-yard line.And there was this wisdom from Nate Cohn: "To squeak out a win, Mr. Trump would need to win over enough white working-class voters, particularly white men without a degree, to compensate for his weakness among well-educated voters and Hispanic Republican-leaners, and especially well-educated women. This is what the polls showed when Mr. Trump was in a close race or even ahead — as was the case in May or in early-to-mid July."
And MSNBC "reported" on August 16:
Does Trump Really Want To Win?
Donald Trump's campaign has millions in the campaign coffers but it's penny pinching on its air and ground games, prompting critics to wonder if the candidate is really in it to win. NBC's Hallie Jackson reports and the MTP Daily panel weighs in.And from that August 20 Washington Post story with that wonderful headline:
Hillary Clinton’s increasingly confident campaign has begun crafting a detailed agenda for her possible presidency, with plans to focus on measures aimed at creating jobs, boosting infrastructure spending and enacting immigration reform if current polling holds and she is easily elected to the White House in November.
In recent weeks, as her leads over GOP nominee Donald Trump have expanded, Clinton has started ramping up for a presidency defined by marquee legislation she has promised to seek immediately. The pace and scale of the planning reflect growing expectations among Democrats that she will win and take office in January alongside a new Democratic majority in the Senate.
While careful not to sound as if she is measuring the draperies quite yet, Clinton now describes what she calls improved odds for passage of an overhaul of immigration laws — the first legislative priority she outlined in detail last year — and what could be a bipartisan effort to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges, airports, rail system and ports.
She also could be immediately confronted with a choice about a Supreme Court vacancy that could set the tone for her relationship with Congress, and she plans to immediately champion new measures on campaign-finance reform and ending legal immunity for gun manufacturers.
Her campaign’s to-do list includes assembling a Cabinet that has women in roughly equal numbers to men and that otherwise reflects American diversity, and lobbying has intensified for those and scores of other jobs that Clinton would fill in her administration.Left off her to-do list, which offices to sell to the highest bidders, what foreign policy to reverse to please million-dollar donors to the Clinton Foundation, and what furniture to take when she departs the White House in 2025.
It ain't over. But Uncle Momentum moved in with Donald Trump two weeks ago.
We shall see.
My new book, "Trump the Press," is a fun read that details how the experts missed the rise of Trump.
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