Don’t kid yourself — Trump can win

Paul D. Wilson

Paul D. Wilson

As the election nears, I tend to pay attention to three polling sources I’m partial to. I like Real Clear Politics, FiveThirtyEight and Reuters. For the first time they agree this race is tightening. On August 26th, Reuters called it Clinton 295, Trump 171.

Last week, that looked more like Clinton 242, Trump 243.

There are 10-12 states that can still be swing states, two of which split the Electoral College vote instead of the common winner-take-all. Seven, in particular, are having unexplained shifts, but think we can determine the genesis with relative certainty.

In the past few days, Florida has had an 11 point swing towards Trump. Pennsylvania, the state I personally think will play the biggest role, has had a 5 point swing. Nevada comes in at 5, South Carolina, 5, Colorado 8 and Iowa 11.

All slowly shifting towards Trump, the unelectable candidate.

Personal opinion only, I see two factors coming in to play. First, the true effect of Johnson’s numbers on the polls, how they are accounted for and how it helps or harms.

Second, Trump polls completely different in on-line opposed to live phone calls. It first looked like an anomaly but too many polls now agree, people seem to lie about whether or not they support Trump during a phone interview.

On the flip side, Clinton polls 5 points stronger in phone polls over on line polls.

While not a science, pollsters seem to agree if an issue is controversial, let’s say, whether or not you’d vote for Trump, the truth is far more likely to appear in online questioning. A second thought into the psychology of this may be the anonymity offered in online polling far more closely resembles the voting booth.

You’re more likely to make your true feelings known in privacy.

Since our elections are decided on the Electoral College and not popular vote, making just a few states the deciding factor, perhaps it would make sense to more heavily weigh the results of online polls in those states.

There’s still more than enough time for the polls to fluctuate. And, let’s not forget the first presidential debate next week and could change it all.

I call the first debate advantage – Trump.

Why? He will benefit from lowest expectations. What people will expect most in their non-expectation is that he will be the same Trump he has been and get pulled into a clash of personalities and one liner insults. But since his most recent staff shake up, he’s seen the light and has been a more controlled orator. If he handles himself that way in the first debate and goes high if she goes low, it’s his to lose.

You’re seeing a slow change that could be sustained and have to balance all factors on all sides. There are those how claim they are going to vote for Clinton because it’s the hip, trendy thing to say. They may not show up. You have the Clinton devotees who may have been swayed in the past weeks over health concerns.

But the biggest factor, how many people have lied about being a Trump fan that will walk into that booth and pull the lever for Trump, walking out never admitting they did?

Long story short, I’ve never seen a mathematical path to a Trump victory. I think that path is getting clearer with each day.

The debates will seal that deal, either way.

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