Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Monday, September 26, 2016

Don't Panic, Vote

Yes, we are once again on a pendulum swing towards a tied race.

Marshall's conclusion is worth repeating here:

An additional thing to consider is that in recent cycles the out-party usually drives an advantage from the first debate but generally isn't able to hold that advantage through election day. In this case, Trump is the out-party. But there are so many wildcards going into this debate, I'd be slightly less confident that history is any guide. It is worth remembering that Mitt Romney moved into a tiny lead after the first presidential debate in 2012 and held that until the last week of October. The PollTracker Average had Obama moving back into a minuscule lead on October 25th. On election day he was .7 percentage points ahead of Romney. In the event, he significantly outperformed that average, beating Romney by a 3.9 percentage point margin.

The critical thing is that last sentence.  In 2012, Obama was basically neck and neck with Romney yet he won comfortably.  In large part, that was because Obama got his voters to the polls.  Clinton has basically taken over Obama's old GOTV machinery.  So, if 2012 is a guide, she very well could outperform her polls.  Or not.  She could have a Martha Coakley problem, where she simply can't get over the hump as a somewhat colorless female politician, even with an electorate that might agree with her on the issues.

Tonight?  Who knows?  Her best option is to sell her vision for what she would like to do as president and let Trump lie and bluster.  Attack him only on the issues, not his personality. Make a substantive case for her to be president, and if that doesn't work, you have two more debates to sew the land with salt.

No comments: