We woke up this morning to this crazy CNN/ORC poll that showed two key swing states – Colorado and Pennsylvania – were a virtual tie. Donald Trump is up by one point in Colorado and Hillary Clinton is up by one point in Pennsylvania. Late this morning, however, Monmouth put out a new poll showing that, nationwide, Clinton is up +4, which is 1.9 points higher than the RealClearPolitics polling average (Clinton +2.1).
This all comes out ahead of tonight’s debate, which will feature Trump and Clinton on stage together for the first time as opponents. Speculation, as well as polling, is running rampant as people try to figure out what in the hell is going on Here’s how the race stands right now:
Hillary Clinton lamented last week that she didn’t know why she wasn’t 50 points ahead, although this is largely due to the fact that Clinton has no self-awareness whatsoever. What should really be worrying the Democratic Party right now is that Donald Trump is within the margin of error within almost every recent poll. In some polls, like the CNN/ORC one mentioned above, Trump is even leading in some places.
The Democratic Party is moving all operations out of Ohio now. Colorado and Pennsylvania are toss-ups. Other states will move into that category as well. Team Hillary should be in full-blown panic mode. And, I suspect tonight she will be more aggressive than people think.
Team Trump, meanwhile, has been calm and focused leading up to this debate. He has (largely) stayed on message, and has been coached to make decisions based on polling. If the polling improves, do what the polls indicate works. If it does not improve, adjust. Those adjustment periods seem to be when Trump does his tweeting. Trump could very well end up more subdued than he has in the past.
Then again, Hillary may stay calm and not attack Trump directly, and Trump may lose his damn mind on a question. But, the polling has to be making all sides nervous, if not crazy… er, crazier. Tonight might be the turning point where Hillary starts to fall below him regularly in the polls. Who knows?
The race is tight. Uncomfortably tight. But, there is a lot of room to wiggle free. I wonder which candidate will do it, though.