On Sunday, the day our nation honored the fallen on September 11th, 2001 and 2012, the political class was inundated with a plethora of polls on the 2016 presidential race. All Americans were also subjected to the collapse of candidate Hillary Clinton as she left the 9-11 memorial service early due to what her campaign is now saying is a bout of the pneumonia. While Clinton’s health has been a long simmering issue, the Sunday polls do not take into account the collapse of Clinton as she was being led into her travel van for a quick getaway. More, no doubt, will be coming on this matter as the campaign races to the finish line.
The Clinton collapse comes at a very inopportune time for the Clinton campaign. September was scheduled to be a very tough month for the former Secretary of State. On September 13th, 15,000 new hidden emails are scheduled for release as a result of a federal court order. Julian Assange and Wikileaks plans to release the first portal of thousands of bits of information about Clinton sometime in the next several weeks. Judicial Watch continues to pry new information out of the federal government relative to Clinton as result of its dogged efforts in the federal court. Finally, Clinton and Trump will face off on September 26th or thereabouts in their first televised debate. So, adding the health issue on top of this, it is safe to say that September is a make or break month for the Clinton campaign.
But, for now, the Sunday polls are the issue and they present a mix story for both Clinton and Trump. (My rule of thumb: if the polls are all over the place, the election is close.) This election is close. Nate Silver at the 538 blog site claims the polls show Trump’s momentum has been impeded. Sunday’s polls tell nothing like this.
The ABC poll shows Clinton +5 but the Los Angeles Times poll show a dead heat with Trump picking up a point on Sunday (perhaps an early sign of the reaction to Clinton’s health issue).
The Sunday polls were very interesting as it relates to specific states. While a Detroit TV station poll has Clinton +5 in Michigan, it fairly notes Trump has cut Clinton’s lead in half over the last several weeks in this state. NBC finds a dead heat in the state of Nevada; interesting since Obama carried Nevada in 2008 and 2015. Arizona finds a close race with Trump +2; interesting since last week the pundits were ballyhooing a poll that had Trump behind in the Grand Canyon state. New Hampshire shows Clinton with a bare +1 lead. Georgia, in bad news for Trump, shows he’s leading this red state by only 2. Yet, clearly Trump continues to move closer to Clinton.
The big finding in the CBS poll was Clinton +7 in the Buckeye state. This is bad news, really bad news for Trump. Yet, just 4 days ago, the Q Poll had Trump up by +4 in Ohio. Rather than argue for a momentum shift, I suggest we wait for several more polls in Ohio, because I think we will find the results settle back in to a dead heat situation.
If you like to place a wager on horses or presidential elections, I think it’s too early. Again, Clinton has a slight advantage, but Trump has momentum. If September is a make or break month for Clinton, early October might be the time to place that wager.
Yet, this is the weirdest election of “all time”! As the insightful Dr. Hunter Thompson was said, “when the going gets weird, the weird go professional!” The punditry have lost their sway in this election. It seems everyone has gone professional.
More to come…Fletcher