If you were a high-level Democrat, I imagine you spent much of last week laughing and high-fiving as the GOP stumbled through the plagiarism in Melania Trump’s speech, its high-handed silencing of dissent in a floor vote about the convention rules, and the boos for Ted Cruz when he refused to endorse Donald Trump — among other lowlights. And then, you went to Philadelphia determined to pull a Leon Lett:
Here is a sampling of the headlines from the Democratic National Convention (so far!):
- On their convention’s eve, Democrats bedeviled anew by email
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign at end of DNC 2016
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz booed by home crowd at DNC
- Bernie Sanders supporters chant ‘lock her up’ in Philadelphia protest against Clinton
- California delegates boo speakers (including Nancy Pelosi) at convention breakfast
- Sanders delegates looking to nominate alternative to Tim Kaine
This was all before lunch on Monday. And I may have missed a few things.
Leaving Cleveland after the end of the Republican National Convention, one refrain I heard was that all the Democrats had to do was play nice and play it safe, and Hillary Clinton would be able to pull away from the unpredictable Trump.
Worse for the Democrats, voters apparently didn’t think Cleveland went so badly. Trump has gotten a real bounce, leading in four straight national polls and re-taking the national lead by a small margin. Most important for Trump, the post-convention bounce has put him in the mid- and upper-40s, after he had been stuck for a long time in the low-40s and even upper-30s. The one thing he had to do in Cleveland was make people think they could afford to roll the dice with him, as opposed to going with the known entity in Clinton, and it appears voters think he did that. In the only national, four-way poll taken since the end of Cleveland, CNN-ORC showed Trump leading by 5 points — a 10-point swing in just over a week.
In maybe the most stunning sign of reversal, FiveThirtyEight.com now shows Trump having a 57.5 percent chance of winning the election — up from 20.9 percent just two weeks ago.
Of course, the Democrats have a few days to change the story line coming out of Philadelphia — just as Trump managed to sideline the talk about plagiarism and booing. But, to use another football example (and apologies for going north of the border for this one), here’s how this election has been going lately: