The final countdown to tomorrow’s election has become a cacophony, with just about everyone joining in the craziness.
Ann Coulter, the conservative provocateur, writes: “My Final Argument for Trump: Humiliate the Media!”
Susan Sarandon, the Bernie supporter who once flirted with backing Trump, denounced the DNC as “completely corrupt” and told CNN she’s supporting Jill Stein.
Mike Huckabee tweeted that “Trump may be a car wreck, but at least his car is pointed in right direction. Hillary is a drunk-driver going the wrong way on the freeway.” Ringing endorsement, huh?
Actress Ali Wentworth, the wife of George Stephanopoulos, told the Hollywood Reporter that “if Trump wins, we’ll start looking at real estate in Sydney, Australia. No crime, no guns.” No word on whether George has signed off.
Former White House chief of staff John Sununu said at a Trump rally: "Bill was referring to Hillary when he said, 'I did not have sex with that woman.'"
Some conservatives tweeted a Wikileaks disclosure following this Drudge headline: “WIKI WICCAN: PODESTA PRACTICES OCCULT MAGIC.”
Turns out John Podesta was invited to a dinner last year with performance artist Marina Abramovic, who sometimes does weird occult stuff, but she says it was a “normal dinner” with “no blood, no anything else,” and Podesta wasn’t there, only his brother Tony. So no Satanic rituals for Clinton’s campaign chief.
Meanwhile, as the candidates race to their final rallies and the pundits stand at their color-coded maps, you can sense the relief that this polarizing campaign is finally coming to a close.
I don’t fault all the prognosticators who are looking at red and blue states, early voting, turnout operations, demographic groups, past trends and a plethora of polls to figure out who has the best path to 270. They’re smart people, and this is what they do. This is the pregame chatter on Cubs vs. Indians, and they’re expected to pick winners and losers.
But sometimes it can seem a bit comical. On Friday, CNN put up a “breaking news” barrier that Clinton had dropped below 270 electoral votes. Meaning that CNN’s analysts were projecting she no longer had a lock on the election.
Brian Williams appeared to scold MSNBC and Bloomberg anchor Mark Halperin on the air, saying: “ I think you’ve gone out of your way find the path, argue for the path, forge the path for him in an argumentative way with your co-host to the nomination. Tonight, I thought you were interestingly optimistic. Where are you getting the path of positivity you laid out on your broadcast tonight?”
Halperin responded that he wasn’t being optimistic, he was looking at the data.
But Politico says there’s a “theory” bouncing around on Clinton that “if she takes Nevada, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia -- all states where she seems to have a lead, or is building one through early voting -- Donald Trump can win Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado and New Hampshire and still lose.”
Assuming he wins Wisconsin.
And then there are the bettors: “Traders on the website are now paying 68 cents for a ‘Clinton win’ share that would pay $1 if Clinton is elected. Just last week the same share on PredictIt cost 81 cents,” says USA Today.
I’m not sure who’s going to win—and that’s a very different situation than 10 days ago, when we were awash in reports on who was in the running to be Clinton’s interior secretary.
The momentum seems to have broken Trump’s way. In a whole slew of states, including New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada and Florida, Trump has gone from trailing to significantly ahead or virtually tied, at least according to some polls. And that makes me think that if undecided voters haven’t broken for Hillary by now, they’re not going to—not if this is a change election.
At the same time, Trump is in a position where he has to win every one of a half-dozen or so contested states plus grab a state that Mitt Romney lost. And he has to do this with less money and far less of a ground game than the Clinton operation. So he has less margin for error.
A conventional wisdom has emerged that Trump drops when the news is about him, and Clinton drops when the news is about her. But there’s been a split-screen focus on both of them in recent days.
It’s a funny thing about elections. After all the ads and the attacks, the conventions and the debates, there is still one day where voters have to be motivated enough—perhaps with a nudge from volunteers—to turn out to vote for a candidate. (Yes, that’s been diluted by weeks of early voting, but Nov. 8 will still decide the election.) And that’s where such random factors as bad weather and even a Philadelphia transit strike can be factors.
Starting Wednesday morning, we’ll be up to our eyeballs in exploring why Trump or Clinton won (or lost), the outlook for the new administration, the media’s role in the race, and why the campaign often seemed longer on insults than issues. But right now, it’s a heckuva horse race.