Posted: 3:05 pm Tuesday, September 27th, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
With one of their three joint debates now in the books, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have six weeks to make their case to voters before Election Day, on November 8.
Here’s another Tuesday snapshot of the race for President:
1. The debates could dominate the next three weeks – I wrote last week about how swiftly the news cycle moves, and we have seen that in the seven days, when we went from terrorism as the dominant issue to police shootings and now the debates. The Vice Presidential running mates meet next Tuesday in Virginia, Trump and Clinton have their second debate in St. Louis on Sunday, October 9, and then the debates wrap up on October 19 in Las Vegas. While certain issues may rise and fall during that time, much of the coverage of the campaign will be driven by the debates – for better or for worse. Judging from the New York tabloids, Trump may need to step things up in St. Louis.
2. Big City Disbelief on Trump – I still think the biggest thing I have noticed over the last year and a half about Donald Trump is how many people in both parties simply refused to believe Trump could win, whether it was the GOP nomination, or now the general election. And that also includes many members of the news media. For many, the disconnect involves those who live in the Washington, D.C. to Boston region, who don’t really come into contact with that many likely Trump voters. Certainly, Trump can win in November. That isn’t a sentiment you will get in the big cities or their immediate suburbs that often. But go further out, and you will hear that loud and clear. This is one of the few Trump neighborhood signs I have seen inside the D.C. Beltway.
3. Some in the GOP very bullish on Trump – While there are many Republicans who remain worried that Trump will bring the GOP more heartburn than celebration in November, others believe their party’s nominee has the advantage in these last six weeks of the race. “The intensity in this race for Trump is so much different,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), who argues that Republican excitement about Trump far outweighs any ground game advantage for Democrats and Hillary Clinton, as lawmakers like Perdue think Trump’s best argument is to make the case that Clinton is the status quo, and that he is for change. Trump hits Florida, Iowa, Wisconsin and New Hampshire in coming days. Hillary Clinton will visit New Hampshire, Iowa and Florida this week.
4. Democrats wonder whether Clinton might lose – A month ago, Hillary Clinton was cruising along with a big cushion in the polls nationally, and solid leads in key swing states. That has almost entirely evaporated, as the race now is much closer, something a lot of people might not have predicted in August. One of the big reasons that the Clinton lead has shrunk is that Republicans are rallying behind Donald Trump – “falling back” to the party as my father calls it. Earlier this year, it was Democrats who were more united – now the GOP is rivaling those numbers, as that is good news for Trump – and for those Republicans who were scared to death of him.
Trump consolidating Rs has been a big factor in recent tightening of polls. https://t.co/2gtoUq8AlA
— (((David Lauter))) (@DavidLauter) September 27, 2016
5. GOP prospects still okay in Congress – Democrats had been hoping that not only would they beat Donald Trump like a drum in November, but that it would bring with it a big swell of GOP defeats in the U.S. House and Senate. Again – that was a month ago – but now with a tight race for President in a number of states, the polls seem to be improving for the GOP, especially in the Senate. Certainly the GOP should maintain control of the House (if they don’t, then it’s a huge election defeat across the board), while the Senate could be nip and tuck on Election Day.
Six weeks to go.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.