At the end of Wednesday night’s debate, Donald Trump’s face was drained of color and his shoulders slumped. He looked relieved and exhausted but didn’t smile as his family joined him on stage.
His body language suggested he realized that his last, best chance was slipping away.
Trump had done well, delivering his best prepared and most substantive performance, but it wasn’t nearly good enough to reshape the race. He came into Las Vegas trailing big time, and surely leaves the same way.
He didn’t hurt himself with loyal core supporters, but that won’t bring him victory. Having trouble topping 40 percent, he needed to win over undecided voters and those not firmly committed to others.
But he missed an opportunity to offer them anything significantly new or different that would win their trust. If you weren’t for him before last night, you probably still aren’t.
Absent an unforeseeable black swan event that tips the table in his favor, Hillary Clinton is headed to the White House.