Saturday, July 30, 2016

100 Days

One of the most encouraging things I looked at in the NY Times this morning was the interactive "Who Will Be President?" feature, part of their numbers-oriented Upshot section. It says that based on current polling, as of yesterday, Hillary Clinton has about a 69% chance of winning the presidency. With Donald Trump continuing to double down on his crazy statements and his traitorous flirting with Putin, I have to believe that Clinton's odds will improve over the next 100 days. There will be debates (that will certainly be bizarre) and probably more surprises from Russian hackers, but I'm hopeful that Hillary's team is ready for all of this and that the Dems' convention bounce will exceed the one Trump got from the RNC. I think the DNC did a masterful job of making the case for optimism about the country and for the qualifications of Mrs. Clinton.

Of course there are always ways to look on the dark side. I also read an essay in The Atlantic summarizing the typical Trump supporter's view of "what is really going on" and why they believe he will win. It seems to hinge on voter turnout and male support. Supporters believe there are many people, especially men, who normally wouldn't even vote but who secretly support Trump and who will turn out in droves to vote for him. They believe this latent "surge" of disgruntled people is invisible in polls. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe these closet Trump supporters are embarrassed and lie to pollsters but will choose him in the privacy of the voting booth? Some of these Trumpsters even believe that many black and Latino males will go for Trump because they would feel emasculated by a woman president -- the machismo vote?

This reminds me of similar ideas in 2008 and 2012 about President Obama. It was called the Bradley Effect. It posed the idea of what you might call "embarrassed racists," people who would tell pollsters they supported Obama but who would actually refuse to vote for a black man for president. Subsequent analysis found that this did not occur -- the polls were pretty reliable. But could it be different with secret Trump supporters? I hope not.

In any case, I am excited that Hillary Clinton is the nominee and I plan to do whatever I can to support her against the very real threat of Trumpism. I can see more donations and some New Hampshire front doors in my future -- at least in the next 100 days. 

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