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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Democrats divide on Day One of the DNC in Philadelphia

I suppose it was only fitting after last week’s Republican Convention went so hard against Hillary Clinton, but the first day of the Democrat Convention in Philadelphia was just as much of a kick Donald Trump affair.

There really isn’t much middle ground for the parties this year… not that there ever is.

Seeing as the Democrats’ opening act was mostly dominated by the discord caused by the public revelation of Bernie Sanderstheir party chairman and staff’s overt bias in favor of the establishment candidate, it was hard to tell in advance whether the evening speaking card would be able to ignore all the turmoil and focus on Trump.

They had no problems, at least from what I could see. After all, they’re Democrats.

Led off by First Lady Michelle Obama (in the primetime hour), the Democrat audience screamed with delight at every reference to Hillary Clinton and reacted with horror to the mention of Donald Trump. Predictable, yes, but can anyone really be “With Her” in such a way?

For his part, Trump had no problems firing back. Jonathan Easley of The Hill reports, “Donald Trump hit back at the Democrats who savaged him at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday night — with the exception of Michelle Obama.

“Trump took to Twitter to mock Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who called his campaign a ‘late-night Trump infomercial’ and ‘the ­­­­­­Great Trump Hot Air Machine.’”

Trump referred to Warren as Pocahontas and said he felt “sad” to watch Bernie Sanders abandon his revolution. Sparing criticism of Michelle Obama was a little curious, since there was plenty there to attack.

Lady Obama is a very good speaker as she’s demonstrated time and again and I’m sure the Democrats are thinking she’ll run for president someday, just like Crooked Hillary. Democrats love dynasties.

But it was in describing her family’s coming to Washington that Michelle was particularly hypocritical, particularly in reference to her daughters. AWR Hawkins of Breitbart reports, “[Michelle] recalled her daughters ‘setting off for their first day at their new school,’ adding, ‘I will never forget that winter morning as I watched our girls–just seven and ten years old–pile into those black SUVs with all those big men with guns.’”

Guns are okay when they’re protecting liberal politicians and their families, even in escorting the First Children off to their elite private school while the rest of Washington D.C.’s poor children are forced to attend schools chosen for them by the ruling class and set off through crime ridden neighborhoods to get there.

Man, the Obamas sure gave up a lot to live in the White House, didn’t they?

Just as Hillary Clinton will selflessly give up her time to serve (screw) America if she’s elected president.

Later in the evening Bernie Sanders urged Democrats to unite behind Hillary. Showing no sign of a Ted Cruz-like hesitation to back his own nominee, Sanders spoke glowingly of Hillary’s “progressive” values and suggested this year’s Democrat platform was the most liberal ever.

I believe it. Thanks for teeing it up for us, Bernie.

If the Democrats can truly get over their obvious problems, they’ll make for formidable foes in the election this year. It’s a good thing Donald Trump and Mike Pence aren’t the least bit hesitant about hitting back. It should be an interesting next few months.

An honest question for the remaining remnants of #NeverTrump

Is Hillary Clinton throwing the election to Donald Trump?

Of course not, and everyone knows it. But the assertion is no less ridiculous than certain members of #NeverTrump claiming at various times in the past that Trump was a secret plant working on behalf of the Clintons and his boorish behavior was therefore intended to make people hate him so much that they could actually stomach the thought of voting for Crooked Hillary instead.

But looking more closely, Hillary Clinton’s decision yesterday to bring disgraced and hopelessly corrupt Democrat National Party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz into her campaign after Schultz’s official resignation takes effect on Friday raises a lot of eyebrows – and a lot of questions about Hillary’s true desire to win, too.

Anna Giaritelli of the Washington Examiner reports, “Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton scooped up outgoing Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz Sunday afternoon as the honorary chair of her campaign's 50-state program.

“In a sort of thank you letter, Clinton said the Miami congresswoman will serve as a surrogate for her national campaign, helping the team in Florida and other key states.”

It should be noted Obama was very complimentary of Wasserman Schultz as well, praising the chairwoman’s work towards his re-election effort in 2012 and in unifying Democrats during her tenure at the helm of the party.

Well, they’re not very unified now, are they? And she’s the reason, in addition to Hillary being an awful candidate and utterly unlikable.

In rescuing Wasserman Schultz from the political unemployment line (though she still would have her day job as a Florida congresswoman), Hillary is basically admitting she’s willing to overlook Schultz’s obvious guilt in trying to fix this year’s primary campaign and at the same time is poking her fingers squarely in the eyes of anyone who might be upset at the notion.

I’ll wholeheartedly admit I’m biased, but anyone who can look at all of this along with the myriad of other scandals Crooked Hillary is involved with and still support her – or not support Trump – is truly not paying attention… or has their own agenda. It’s hard to tell the difference at this stage.

Which brings me back to the first point of addressing the “Trump is throwing the election” theories advanced by Erick Erickson and other #NeverTrumpers. True, Donald Trump has been friends with the Clintons for years and has contributed to her campaigns and other causes. But this fact alone hardly puts Trump into Clinton’s corner as a clandestine spy.

Hillary, on the other hand, appears to be careless to the point of negligence in handling her own campaign public relations, giving the impression she has other motives for some of the things she does. First there’s her callous “I didn’t do anything everyone else before me hasn’t done” reaction to the FBI’s decision not to charge her with criminal conduct in mishandling her emails.

Then another email scandal crops up, this time involving her good buddy Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Hillary proceeds to hire the perpetrator of the whole affair, infuriating the nearly half of the party that voted for Bernie Sanders.

I ask again: is Hillary trying to lose?

For their part, some members of #NeverTrump no longer seem so assured Hillary will beat Trump in November. Erickson wrote in The Resurgent on Monday, “The people supporting Hillary Clinton are mostly supporting her because she is not Trump. But Trump now has a loyal, highly expert group of foot soldiers who are not anti-Clinton, but very pro-Trump. In a 50-50 nation, these loyal foot soldiers may be enough to put Trump over the edge.

“They have just leaked damning emails about Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. The weekend of the start of the Democratic National Convention, the Russian hackers via Wikileaks have turned the Democratic convention upside down. The DNC Chair is out. The Sanders supporters are now on the verge of street violence in Philadelphia that did not happen in Cleveland.”

Erickson predicts the same people behind this past weekend’s Wikileaks dump will do something similar in October (with Hillary’s own secret emails from her hacked server), closer to the election. Erick also preaches we should be concerned that a foreign power is purposely attempting to influence our elections.

I agree with Erickson that Trump will win in November (his post was titled ‘I Now Believe Donald Trump Is On Track to Win the Presidency’) and that we should be concerned that the Russians are spilling the beans (if it is indeed true the Russians are behind it) on a major political party in America.

But we also must not lose sight of the fact that even the Democrats aren’t denying the truth as revealed by the leaked emails. For a party where its most beloved living figure once tried to evade prosecution by questioning the meaning of “is,” that’s saying a lot. Democrats have proven over and over again they’ll lie about just about anything.

They can’t get away with it now, however. Although Democrats are for sure not purposely throwing the election to Donald Trump, they certainly look like they are capitulating through their own actions and denials.

Buyers beware – you get what you pay for. A vote for Hillary Clinton, or not for Donald Trump, guarantees at least four more years of this depravity.

Post-convention, Trump rides a significant polling wave

The public’s continuing disgust with the Democrats was somewhat confirmed by several new polls released after the conclusion of last week’s Republican convention showing Donald Trump with a lead. In case you don’t believe the surge is real, Trump is now on top in the latest Real Clear Politics average, drawing clear by .2 percent.

Anna Giaritelli of the Washington Examiner reports on a particularly unique aspect of one of the polls, “A new Morning Consult poll found registered voters are flocking to Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. The GOP nominee breezed past Clinton to win the head-to-head match-up for the first time in the poll's history.

“The Republican nominee received 44 percent of voters' support, a 5-point jump from the 39 percent he took two weeks earlier. It's his highest rating yet and indicates his message at last week's GOP convention appealed to undecided voters.”

Hillary dropped a point to 40 percent in the Morning Consult survey. Most of Trump’s improvement came from undecided voters jumping over to his side, yet another positive development for the Republican nominee.

Meanwhile, Trump has a 3-point advantage over Hillary in the latest CNN/ORC poll, which showed him enjoying a six-point convention bounce.

Taken together, it appears Trump’s “bounce” is in the five to six point range and his lead is now three to four points overall. In Trump-ian lingo, that’s “Yyyuuuugeee.”

Interestingly enough, the CNN poll shows Trump’s lead growing to five when a four-candidate field is surveyed, 44 to Clinton’s 39 with Libertarian Gary Johnson polling at nine and the Green Party’s Jill Stein at three.

Keep in mind these polls were taken before the depth of the latest Democrat email scandal had time to sink in and the Democrat National Convention is also taking place this week, which normally would be a factor in Clinton’s favor.

Here’s what I think will happen with the post-Democrat convention polls. Because of the furor over the DNC emails, Hillary’s bump will be marginalized to maybe a one or no-point improvement. The vast majority of Sanders supporters still won’t vote for Trump but will either shift into the “undecided” category or even commit to Jill Stein.

A token few Sanders people will go to Trump but I’m guessing they won’t bolt in large enough numbers to provide him a post Democrat convention “bump.”

In effect, Hillary will lose any benefit she would normally receive from her party nominating convention, a factor that could be significant in November’s election. One element in her favor is the notoriously short attention span of most American voters – or at least the ones inclined to vote for her in the first place – so time, events and the fall presidential debates will be the real balance-tippers.

Lastly on this issue, when it comes to Hillary, there’s bound to be a cumulative fatigue factor with American voters. With the combination of Trump’s relentless hammering of her as “Crooked Hillary” along with her own self-generated scandals, at some point voter antipathy could reach critical mass and people will start abandoning her in droves.

I believe the technical term in politics is “landslide.” If things keep going the way they are, what once was considered unimaginable – a Trump landslide – suddenly enters the realm of possibility.

Even political analyst Nate Silver is saying Trump has a good chance to win

Speaking of polling, and something that’s “Yyyuuuugeee,” Donald Trump has just taken the lead with a very influential political forecasting outfit, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight group.

Caroline Kelly of Politico reports, “Political analyst Nate Silver’s latest forecast has Republican nominee Donald Trump with a 15 percentage point-greater chance of beating presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton if the election were held today, according to FiveThirtyEight.

“Silver's ‘now-cast,’ updated with fresh surveys on Monday, shows Trump's current likelihood of winning at 57.5 percent, compared with Clinton’s 42.5 percent. In the 11 battleground states, Colorado, Virginia and Michigan would go to Clinton, while Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Iowa would go to Trump.”

According to Silver’s latest model, Trump would eek out a plurality in the popular vote as well and finish with 285 Electoral Votes.

It’s hard to get too excited – or too depressed – about forecasting models this far out from the November election, but Silver’s operation has historically been accurate and also typically slanted towards Democrats (in my opinion). There have been errors, however.

For example, Silver badly underestimated Trump’s chances of winning the Republican nomination and also didn’t do particularly well in predicting the outcome of certain senate races during the 2014 elections either. That’s not necessarily his fault – his forecast models are very poll dependent, and when the polls are wrong, he’s wrong.

With so many variables going into the fall election it’s very difficult if not impossible for even the most experienced of opinion samplers to predict who is going to show up at the polls. I personally feel the Democrats will be severely depressed this year because Hillary Clinton doesn’t inspire anyone and Donald Trump’s unfavorable ratings will continue to improve, if slowly and only slightly.

And, as Erickson pointed out above, Trump’s foot-soldiers are very motivated to work for him. The positive enthusiasm is on Trump’s side right now and will likely carryover to November.

If that’s the case, Silver’s model has a very good chance of being right this time.

Trump dishes on former VP contenders’ “baggage”

Finally today, Donald Trump has never been one to mince words and he’s surely not sparing any implied jabs at the folks he was considering for his VP choice prior to naming Mike Pence eleven days ago.

Gabby Morrongiello of the Washington Examiner writes, “Indiana Gov. Mike Pence may have been chosen to be Donald Trump's running mate because he had the fewest skeletons in his closet, the Republican presidential nominee suggested on Monday…

“Trump also said he'd ‘like to write a book’ about the other men and women he'd considered for the bottom of the Republican presidential ticket and what their vetting paperwork revealed.”

In his own inimitable way, The Donald essentially insulted a few of the people who spoke on his behalf last week while profusely complimenting running mate Mike Pence on his clean record.

Of course Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich come to mind when Trump mentions page after page of vetting dirt…but there really isn’t much of a surprise with either one of them in terms of the potential volume of problems they would generate.

We don’t know for sure who was on Trump’s full VP list, but I’m guessing there were many pages of good gossip with others as well, especially Bob Corker and John Kasich.

For now, conservatives and Republicans have Donald Trump and Mike Pence. It’s an interesting combination of fire and ice that will continue to evolve through November as well as serve as a contrast to Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.

For the first time in years, voters really have candidates which offer true distinction. Let’s just hope people make the right choice.

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