Overnight the gap has closed to just over 1 percent which is so inside the percentage error that either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump could be in the lead with just 7 days to go for the big vote.
That is a closing of 6 points in 48 hours. So what has Trump done to stand up again and fight on from being on his knees in sleaze?
Don’t thank the FBI, James Comey and Anthony Weiner for socking it to Hillary at this moment in time… that action in itself of investigating her emails with a new batch is open to an ‘investigation’ because it is so ill-timed that the average American sees it as hugely inappropriate and hostile. More importantly, it violates the Hatch Act which says the FBI is forbidden from taking any steps that could impact on an election.
In this case, the FBI has gone beyond steps, more like a thunderous bison stampede to embarrass the former first lady and current contender for the White House.
But, to be fair, the FBI announcement has not really affected the public mind adversely and is not the cause of the support for Trump.
That spike comes from the sudden coming together of Republican frontliners. Having found they haven’t got a viable alternative, the throng that had gotten off from the ‘bus’ after the videotape of Trump’s locker room yuck was released have decided that since Hillary herself seems to be no more ‘squeaky clean’, why not just go for broke?
Two tacky people, one of them is ours, same difference.
This return of the Republican guard combined with the fading of the anti-women crassness in the public mind and Trump’s incessant badgering of Hillary as a corrupt woman without morality who should be locked up are all factors coming into play.
In themselves, neither one of these elements has hurt her dramatically. Even together they would not have and she would have kept her 5 to 7 point lead except that her own campaign has sort of flagged and the wind, as they say, has gone out of its sails.
Going on the defensive in the final days of the run-up was bad advice. She is beginning to look like a loser even if she does win. There is nothing 'gung-ho' about the campaign that should have stayed clear from everything being thrown at her and not started offering explanations.
This is where it is turning sour for her.
There is still time. Hillary has to reinvent herself and use the media aggressively. She is still ahead in all the key states and to maintain that lead the masscom monster has to paint her as commanding, decisive and confident.
The more she dithers the shriller she sounds. Somewhere the Democrats seem to have run out of steam at a crucial moment. Why? No one knows but the Weiner connection has placed her on the backfoot. If you have a link, however tenuous, to a man who is under the cosh for sexting underage girls you can hardly come off righteous about a plus 60 ‘dirty old man’(Trump’s age when the video was taken) being ugly sexist.
Point difference: 1 percent as of Tuesday morning.
States that seem too close to call: Florida
Biggest doubt: If Hillary wins, will her 100-day honeymoon be ruined by the fallout from the second FBI probe leading to a disastrous start?
First Published On : Nov 1, 2016 13:40 IST