Despite a big lead in most polls Clinton must keep pushing till Nov. 8th
As long as the “Dewey Wins” headline exists in newspaper archives, it is best not to prematurely declare that any candidate has won the presidency. What we can say, with no fear of contradiction, is that at this late juncture it doesn’t look good for Donald Trump.
Nate Silver’s reliable fivethirtyeight.com blog, which relies on empirical data from multiple polls, on Thursday gave Hillary Clinton nearly an 87 percent chance of winning. He even has her winning Arizona this point: rock-ribbed red Republican Arizona.
The headline on its home page said it all: “Clinton probably finished off Trump last night.”
But with Florida about to set a record for the total number of voters, there is plenty at stake in this election beyond the state’s 29 electoral college votes. Start with a U.S. Senate race, where Marco Rubio is trying to hold off Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy.
Rubio has maintained a lead that hovers around 7 points for the last few weeks, and although Murphy appears to be chopping into that margin, it might be a bridge too far this late in the game.
Murphy had a solid debate earlier this week against Rubio, but the incumbent took away one of Murphy’s key talking points – Rubio’s reluctance to commit to serving a full six-year term if re-elected to the Senate.
During the debate, Rubio pledged, twice, that he will stay for the entirety of his term. That would preclude him running for president in 2020, so we’ll see if circumstance change and Rubio finds the Oval Office lure too much to resist. For now, though, saying he will stay is a big score for him and Republicans.
It’s a rare bit of good news these days for the GOP, which now seems likely to lose control of the Senate. Democrats need to pick up four seats to take charge and polls indicate they could flip as many as six sitting Republican senators out of office.
Court-ordered redistricting in Florida has made for some close U.S. House races. Democrats likely will pick up a couple of seats in the state, starting with the newly-drawn 13th congressional district. That’s where Republican David Jolly appears to have an uphill climb against Democrat and former governor Charlie Crist.
Overall, though, Democrats are likely to fall at least 25 seats short of taking control of the House. That sounds like a lot, but hey Republicans currently have 60 more House members, so Nov. 8 looks like a solid night for Democrats on that front, too.
Of course, it looked good for Thomas Dewey, too, in his race for the presidency against Harry Truman. That’s why it is best to wait until the votes are counted, if only to see whether Trump files some sort of legal hissy fit to contest the results.
So we will wait, just to be safe, even though the numbers show that is only prolonging the inevitable.