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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Make no mistake, Donald Trump’s Eleventh Hour poll surge is real

With now less than a week to go until Election Day and early voting periods beginning to wrap-up in some states, the chattering class that is the major news media has reached hyper speed in speculating on what will happen next Tuesday.

Still dominating the conversation this week is the surprising revelation from last Friday that FBI Director James Comey has reopened the investigation into Crooked Hillary Clinton’s private email operation. Engulfed in the scandal is Hillary’s “Body Woman” Huma Abedin, adding yet another exciting puzzle piece to a picture that’s Trump signstarting to emerge yet remains incomplete and a little fuzzy.

In short, no one can say for sure how recent events will affect the outcome.

Pundit Dick Morris writes in Newsmax, “So what about between now and Election Day? None of this new evidence can be processed in the remaining week, so don't expect clear results. But the fact of the investigations and the public announcement FBI Director James Comey has already made are likely to sink Hillary's candidacy.

“It puts her email and Foundation scandals squarely on top of the public agenda in the critical final days before the election.”

I agree with Morris’s point but I also think it’s wishful thinking to assume the FBI news alone will quash the hopes of Crooked Hillary and the Democrats. Morris was one of several prominent commentators in 2012 that was sure the election’s late deciding voters would go against the incumbent Obama, but the little matter of Superstorm Sandy (and the positive pro-Obama coverage that went with it) ruined everyone’s predictions.

Thankfully there are no natural disasters in the forecast in the coming days. At least the weather seems to be cooperating this year.

Then there’s the matter of early voting to consider (where the Democrats are apparently going all-out in states like North Carolina) and there’s also Clinton’s supposedly superior ground game and organization to contend with.

And then there’s voter fraud. I have a feeling it’s going to be months until anything is definitively exposed. By that time, it will be too late.

As for Hillary, there’s no reason for her to be completely depressed, even with the dour FBI news.

David M. Drucker of the Washington Examiner wrote, “Clinton's path to 270 Electoral College votes, the threshold required for victory, remains easier than Trump's. And, some weekend surveys suggested that while Clinton lost some of her lead due to the news about the FBI, she hadn't suffered a mortal wound.

“She leads or is in a statistical tie with the Republican in most swing states, and has been stockpiling votes at a healthier clip than Trump in early and absentee voting. Clinton can afford to lose a few battlegrounds given her advantage in the Electoral College broadly.”

Such is the state of American politics today where the Democrats dominate the most heavily populated states because of their dependence on the usually reliable inner city minority voters to give them their majorities. Whether that’s due to the demographic make-up or the tendency of city dwellers to favor big government federal programs and the liberal social agenda, no one can say for sure.

And as a side note, I find it strange that Democrats can get away with placing such emphasis on targeting African-Americans as a group to vote early as demonstrated by this Politico story. What if the Republicans trotted out a white politician in a nearly all-white suburb and he or she said “You white people better get to the polls.” The press would be all over him or her as a racist – and the GOP, too. It’s just another example of a racial double-standard that Democrats exploit.

At any rate, there’s no way Republicans are going to compete for states like California or New York in the foreseeable future, so the Democrats already start out way ahead in the Electoral College.

And as Morris indicated above, it’s hard to say how one event – like the FBI investigation – is going to affect the election.

It’s funny how there always seems to be an assumption following a critical attention-grabbing media event that the race will swing one way or another because of it. For example, when the now infamous audio tape of Trump and Billy Bush engaging in “locker room talk” emerged, people on both sides freaked out.

#NeverTrump and the media instantly declared the race over and predicted Donald Trump would soon disappear from the political earth because women voters would abandon Trump in droves.

It didn’t happen. Yes, Trump took a dip in the polls after the tape was released but it was mostly due to what the media portrayed as a poor performance in the first presidential debate – not necessarily because of the audio tape itself. Following the first debate Trump also made a number of mistakes in becoming too engrossed in the distraction that was Alicia Machado.

In the intervening time, Mike Pence blew the obnoxious and constantly interrupting Tim Kaine out of the water in the one and only vice presidential debate four weeks ago. Then came the audio tape. Then Trump performed well in the second presidential debate, the town-hall style forum where he clearly presented himself as more capable on policy than he had in the first go-round.

The polls started to steady at that point. By the time the third and final debate took place two weeks ago, the momentum had already begun to shift towards Trump despite the emergence of a number of “groping” victims.

Now, with the FBI reopening of the Clinton email investigation, the media is hyping it as another potential game changer. The news could and likely will make some difference in the race but most people had made up their minds by the time the FBI story broke last Friday. I myself cast an absentee ballot before the FBI letter was even revealed and no doubt millions of Americans have now already voted before Election Day.

After five months of virtually non-stop campaigning for both candidates as the party nominees, these types of events are no longer “game changers;” they’re more like individual ingredients that are added to the soup. Some will add a little stronger “flavor” to the overall mix than the others, but in essence all the ingredients come together to form the meal.

We’ll have to see in the coming days if any more “ingredients” are added, or whether the soup will just simmer in its own juices up until Election Day. For now, Donald Trump appears to be gaining in the polls for a variety of reasons. The surge is real.

Pew poll shows most Hillary supporters don’t respect Trump voters

It’s safe to say people who are inclined to support Hillary Clinton probably don’t care much for those who favor Donald Trump in terms of mingling socially. In other words, I doubt a collection of liberal women (like those on The View) are going to be issuing party invites to Carly Fiorina and the Trump children anytime soon.

But up until now, we didn’t necessarily realize that Hillary-backers have even greater contempt for Trump voters. They don’t respect us either.

Louis Nelson of Politico reports, “Almost 60 percent of registered voters who support Hillary Clinton say they have a ‘hard time’ respecting someone who backs Donald Trump for president, a Pew survey released Tuesday shows, while just 40 percent of Trump supporters said the same of Clinton’s backers.

“Overall, 58 percent of Clinton-supporting respondents to the Pew survey said they ‘have a hard time respecting someone who supports Donald Trump for president,’ while 40 percent said they have ‘no trouble’ in such a situation. But that percentage climbs among college-educated Clinton backers, 66 percent of whom said they struggle to respect Trump supporters. Among white women who back Clinton, 68 percent said they struggle to respect those who favor the former secretary of state’s opponent.”

What, the highly educated snobby elites don’t respect the masses? Say it isn’t so!

This dismissive attitude towards Trump’s voters is mostly due to the holier-than-thou condescending nature of the ruling class and the politically correct cultural elite who believe deeply that if someone disagrees with them on moral issues like abortion and same-sex marriage that they’re automatically a bigot or backwards intellectually.

Hillary Clinton herself said half of Trump’s voters are from the “basket of deplorables,” remember?

In one sense, who could blame Hillary’s supporters for their lack of respect? The media has gone out of its way since the beginning to depict Trump’s voters as a bunch of hot-tempered race-hating backwoods bumpkins with an excessive craving for guns and violence. Likewise, the news people have tried to turn Donald Trump -- a well-respected successful businessman and entertainer -- into a serial woman-abusing cad and potential felon.

Therefore, how could the gentile enlightened folks that love Hillary possibly respect someone who would vote for such a man? It almost makes them less of a person to look favorably on a Trump voter.

As if there wasn’t already a big enough divide in this country, there’s no room for Hillary’s supporters to judge Trump’s voters based on a political opinion. Trump’s coalition is made up of many types – dedicated Trump fans, #NeverHillary people, some establishment Republicans and constitutionalists like Mark Levin who’ve announced they’ll vote for Trump because Hillary would destroy the Constitution.

There’re even people like Paul Ryan, who announced on Tuesday that he voted early for the “party nominee”.

Judging individuals by the whole is the textbook definition of biased and prejudiced. If Hillary’s supporters can’t respect Trump’s voters and their own personal reasons for choosing the Republican candidate instead of theirs, perhaps they should take a good look in the mirror to see who the real judgmental hypocrites are.

Trump defies conventional and consultant wisdom, campaigns all over the map

I switched on Fox News this past Sunday evening and noticed Donald Trump was holding a rally in Greeley, Colorado, a prosperous high-plains mid-sized city in the rapidly growing region of northern Colorado. Some would say Greeley’s a Denver suburb but the attitude of the people there shares little in common with the snobby liberal elite in the state capitol and nearby college town of Boulder.

These Coloradans have an independent spirit that isn’t found in liberal enclaves. These are the “deplorables” Hillary Clinton was talking about in her September speech.

One might wonder why Trump is bothering to spend time in a blue-ish state like Colorado this close to the election. I myself thought it a little odd. But it turns out that Trump is going to be visiting a lot of places like Greeley in the coming days.

Rebecca Berg and Alexis Simendinger of Real Clear Politics report, “Buoyed by recent polling but still facing a perilously narrow path to victory, Donald Trump will broaden his gaze in the final week of the presidential campaign, expanding from the central battleground states to others currently favoring Hillary Clinton.

“The strategy, his campaign says, seizes on shrinking polling margins in states like Michigan, New Mexico and Colorado, and comes on the heels of fresh questions about Clinton’s private email server and news that Obamacare premiums are poised to rise dramatically in many states next year.”

In their article, Berg and Simendinger are quick to point out that Hillary and her surrogates will be blanketing the traditional battleground states in last minute efforts to turnout the vote. Meanwhile, according to the reporters, Trump only has himself, Mike Pence and the Republican Party’s ground game to rely on to cover the vast U.S. map.

I’m not going to discount the power of the Democrat power brokers to stir up enthusiasm among the party’s constituencies, but I also can’t help but think the entire election is going to turn on the question of how anxious Americans are to see real change happen.

Real change is not the fake kind peddled by Obama in 2008. Obama had women fainting at his rallies back then simply by presenting himself as a messiah-like character that could halt the rise of the oceans and heal the partisan divides. None of that came true, of course, and this blatant falsity led to the Tea Party’s birth in 2010 and eventually to Donald Trump’s nomination this year.

So much of the Democrats’ success hinges on pushing their minority voters to the polls with an assortment of promises of more federal goodies and fearmongering about the things they claim Trump will do. It will work with many but how much longer will people continue to support a party that’s enjoyed near blanket support for decades yet hasn’t delivered on making peoples’ lives better?

There’s already some evidence that black turnout is down this year in places like Florida and North Carolina. If this is true across the board, states like Michigan and Pennsylvania become all the more getable for Trump.

It also remains to be seen whether Trump’s outreach to black voters the past few months will pay dividends with a higher percentage of votes. Democrats know that if African-Americans don’t choose them by near unanimous margins that the party’s prospects go downhill quickly. Crooked Hillary inspires no one. Trump may turn off many black voters but it also seems logical to surmise that his economic message and specific pitch to the black community will result in some additional support this year.

I don’t fault Trump for ignoring the pundits and trying to expand his map. If the Republican candidate ends up winning next Tuesday I’m guessing it will be by more than a smidgen in the popular vote and he’ll likely have a comfortable margin in the Electoral College that will include a surprise win or two.

If not, the electoral prospects for any Republican from here on out are bleak indeed.

Trump goes all-in on making Obamacare repeal the centerpiece of his campaign

Finally today, Donald Trump has taken a lot of criticism from various sources for failing to make repealing Obamacare a major part of his issue pitch. While it’s true that Trump has focused more on issues like immigration, national security and law and order throughout most of his campaign, it’s not like he’s been ignoring Obamacare.

And on Tuesday, Trump made an announcement that will put Obamacare in the front and center of his message for the final days of the campaign.

Peter Sullivan and Ben Kamisar of The Hill report, “Donald Trump on Tuesday vowed to call a ‘special session’ of Congress to repeal ObamaCare if he wins the White House.

“If he’s elected, Trump said, Republicans ‘will be able to immediately repeal and replace ObamaCare.’

“’It’s one of the most important reasons why we must win on Nov. 8,’ he said during a speech in Pennsylvania, a crucial battleground state.”

Democrats have argued throughout the campaign that Trump isn’t “fit” to serve as president but his calling for special congressional action to deal with Obamacare immediately amply demonstrates that he’s ready to assume the role even before he’s inaugurated.

Repealing Obamacare is especially urgent since the law will force so many to pay its exorbitant costs starting next year. There’s no more time to play around with this issue and Trump is showing the kind of decisiveness and leadership he would exhibit as president.

It would be a refreshing departure from the hot air, excuses and finger-pointing that has paralyzed Washington the past eight years. Donald Trump represents change…and I think the voters are realizing it.

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