It’s Already Happening! Yes, Trump Is Closing In On The Polls, But Here’s Why That’s Meaningless!


[Salon] “As you read this, pollsters are preparing to release surveys conducted over the past weekend and its immediate aftermath, when Hillary Clinton made her accurate but perhaps poorly phrased comment about Donald Trump’s “deplorable” fans, then nearly passed out at a 9/11 memorial service in New York before revealing she had been trying to “power through” a case of walking pneumonia. This allowed the media to start reporting on rumors about her health, which had previously been the province of the right-wing fever swamps from which Trump has drawn much of his support and campaign staff.


In other words, the news of the moment will likely result in some polls at both the national and swing-state level that do not look so good for Clinton. Hey look, it is already happening!


These polls will lead partisans to add to an already-vibrant chorus of grumbling about Clinton’s inability to already demolish Trump and political writers who will tell you that the carrot-colored real-estate mogul has “momentum.” Hey look, that too is already happening.



This would all be a lot more frightening if the narrowing polls had not been totally predictable, independent of any caterwauling from the media about health scares and Kinsley gaffes.  For we have now come to the Great Tightening, that point of every recent presidential election cycle when the candidates see their numbers in national and swing-state polls inch closer to each other. Predictably, this is being followed by the Great Freak-Out, when supporters of the leading candidate set their hair on fire and run through the public square screaming for water.



But this weekend’s stumbles by Clinton are also why articles that claim Trump has “momentum” tell us nothing more than that the writer had a quota to fill for the day. Momentum is an overrated concept in national elections at the presidential level, especially this late in the game.



In 2012, for example, Mitt Romney was supposed to have momentum after he performed much more strongly in his first debate against President Obama than most people expected. During this year’s primaries, Bernie Sanders was said to have momentum when he won the Michigan primary, and again when he won Wisconsin a few weeks later.”


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