Sunday, October 30, 2016

Nine or Ten Days To Go - Non Comey Election Commentary

Okay, so now that we have looked briefly at the Comey scenario (which while typing it here it became apparent that it should have it's own post) let's look at the current election race overall.

First, the race is tightening and may be closer than anyone things.  In what seems to be a denial of anything logical, Donald Trump seems to be almost neck and neck with Hillary Clinton nationally and may be closing in on several state polls.  Some of this may be the typical near election day shoring up, some of it is from Republicans deciding to go back to Trump either out of some misguided sense of forgiveness or not wanting to lose elections (if in office).  This comes after several weeks of the GOP nominee dealing with the fallout from a leaked Access Hollywood tape where Trump appears to boast about committing forms of sexual assault from claiming to just start kissing women (Trump, in his own words, "doesn't even wait" to implying that because he's a star he can grab women "by the pussy").  In that time 12 women have reported being sexually assaulted by Donald Trump (with some claiming he grabbed them just like he boasts in the leaked tape) and others claiming sexual harassment.  Add to it a third debate performance that started off almost adult but ended up with the Donald of the first debate and self inflicted wounds that range from being booed at the Al Smith Charity Dinner and his repeated claim that Hillary Clinton should be in jail and doubt over whether he'll accept the election results if he loses, and you have an idea where things would go in any other cycle.  Still, there's still enough anger out there that leads people to still support Donald Trump in the first place (some of it justified due to suffering the tail end of the recession and people struggling to survive but a lot of it coming from people who were already hateful having anoutlet that now says it's okay to openly fly their racism in the open).  These factors did take a hit for him with a number of Republicans claiming to disavow Trump (while still not revoking their endorsement).  However some of the same Republicans who claimed his comments were a bridge too far have backtracked and are now claiming they'll vote for Trump

It's in this frame that the race seems to be tightening, though a case could be made that this is kind of normal just before an election.  But there is one question the media doesn't seem to want to ask that almost everyone has probably asked - How the hell did this race get anywhere near this close?

This was a comment the Clinton campaign got basically pilloried for when they asked why the former Secretary of State wasn't leading by 50 or more points a couple months back.  However, it's a question many Democrats and Independents have asked when they take a look at Trump and examine his words and what he's proposed.  In a normal election cycle Trump likely wouldn't have made it out of the primaries.  His opponents in the Republican Party race would've focused on his bankruptcies and hammered on them until he was forced out or found a way to get him out. 

However, as I said from the first post on primary race post onwards this is not a normal election cycle.  The fact that a party that often criticized the current President for his relative lack of experience rallied around a man with no experience proves that out.  Also, the GOP candidate has weathered things that would've killed anyone else's chances of being President.  While he whines about a "rigged media" now, he benefited from an overexposure int he media who appeased him and gave him softball questions all the way until he started banning too many prominent media sources from his rallies and started openly attacking the press at rallies this past summer (and you know every time Trump moans about the media being rough on him Bernie Sanders has to be laughing his ass off given what he went through). 

Because of this what seemed to be increasingly unlikely is a little ore likely.  Just a week ago it seemed unlikely for Trump to win the election in November (according to 538, Clinton still has an average 5 point lead when all the polls are taken into account).  Now the race is getting closer and it may be a little more likely that there's a chance.

I do want to say that's not a sure chance.  The election isn't a sure thing for either side right now in part due to dislike for the candidates, but also due to the fact unusual nature of this election cycle.

As we enter the last week (with a couple days extra) it still appears that Hillary Clinton will likely win the Presidential election.  Does that mean people who support Clinton or just choose her to vote against Trump should assume that's a sure thing?  On the contrary, neither side should take things are certain in this race.  Given that Trumps former co-writer of the Art of the Deal Tony Schwartz pointing out that Trump;s comments about Hillary are really about the Presidential nominee himself.

Thus, when the Donald claims the election is rigged, those who oppose him should assume that the GOP has some plan to steal the election whether its via Crosscheck or by simple voter intimidation at polling places.  In addition, voting machine problems may actually occur but while Trump has led followerrs to believe it'll wipe out their vote in favor of the "nasty woman" he calls "Crooked Hillary," the instances in the past has usually changed Democratic votes to Republican so liberals should be on guard for that while voting.  Also, while early voting has favored Democrats according to polls, one can't assume that it's a given that Trump will lose.  Republicans usually tend to make it to the polls on Election Day so if you know people who haven't voted yet (or live in a place where early voting isn't an option) those wanting an option that isn't Drumpf should try to ensure their friends and allies make it to the polls and vote. 

As I said earlier it still appears somewhat unlikely that Donald Trump will win the election on November 8, 2016.  However, given that this election race has been unusual in almost any rubric one should take nothing for granted and those who are eligible to vote should make it out there and cast their vote - in some cases doing so then going back to being a thorn in the side of their choice later that night or the next day just to keep them honest. Being overly confident about a chance for victory and thinking things won't change can lead to people not voting and - in the worse case scenario - Trump's victory. 

If you're a person who sees grave danger in that outcome you know what you have to do.  Now get out there and do your part.

No comments: