By Dave Andrusko
What are the absolutely sure signs that the race between Donald Trump and never-enough-abortions Hillary Clinton is tightening? Let me count the ways beginning with what Mark Hemingway calls, “The Washington Post’s Deplorable Dismissal of Hillary’s Email Scandal.”
Mrs. Clinton’s decision to use a private email server and her many, MANY subsequent explanations/justifications is not our issue. I begin with it because the Post’s editorial page, which loathes Trump, has occasionally scribbled something intelligent and even-handed about the scandal. Now that Trump is closing in, the Post is having a closing out sale on fairness.
We’re running side-by-side posts on (a) Trump’s ascending numbers in national and battleground state polls; and (b) an incredible illustration of just how low the “mainstream media” will sink to assure Clinton’s election as our 44th President. Taking the former first….
Even the Post admitted today (however grudgingly) that “Donald Trump is finally seeing signs of life in key swing states.” It’s actually much better than what columnist Philip Bump would have you believe.
For example, as the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly A. Strassel wrote yesterday [The Trump Blitz Begins],
Mrs. Clinton’s slip in the polls is a direct result of the latest flood of scandal. Less noticed is the skillful way that Team Trump is making those hits land. The Republican nominee’s campaign has been doing more right lately, though nothing more so than this. When it comes to the dissection of Mrs. Clinton’s misdeeds, the Trump campaign is firing on 16 cylinders.
Which is showing up in the polls. Let’s quote a less-than-friendly source –POLITICO– which partially acknowledges Trump’s forward movement:
New Quinnipiac University polls out Thursday show close races in the four largest, most consequential swing states on the 2016 map — but also give Hillary Clinton an edge in two of the four, confirming her Electoral College advantage.
Clinton and Donald Trump are running neck-and-neck in Florida, where the race is deadlocked, and Ohio, where Trump leads Clinton by a single percentage point. But Clinton has a 4-point lead in North Carolina, a poll there shows, and a 5-point edge in Pennsylvania.
Well, yes, as long as Clinton is ahead in pivotal states, she does have an “Electoral College advantage.” When they don’t, she won’t.
But “neck and neck” in Florida (47% to 47%) is not the same as “neck and neck” in Ohio where Trump has gone from 4 points down to one point up in ten days. And note, as POLITICO does, “the North Carolina result differs from a Suffolk University poll, also released Thursday, that showed Trump up slightly there.”
Did you get that oh-by-the-way? Trump is up in a must-win state in another poll…by three points.
Let’s dig a little deeper into this. A month ago a Wall Street Journal/NBC survey had Clinton up nine points in a four way race that included the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Green! A few days ago she led by four in a CBS/YouGov poll of North Carolina.
Trump’s favorable rating in the Florida poll was effectively the same as Clinton’s, but that’s noticeable improvement. He’s been a few points behind her for most of the year, often pulling 60 percent or worse unfavorable. Not anymore. The “softening” of late may be helping him just enough to become competitive.
The same PPP survey found that 60% did not find Clinton honest and trustworthy. Trump’s numbers were bad as well but 10 points less so. However nationally, Trump is way ahead (50% say he is honest and trustworthy compared to 35% for Clinton).
Add to this Trump’s lead in national surveys asking who will handle the economy better (56% to 41%) and who is the stronger leader (50% to 42%), and the pieces are beginning to fit together.