October 14, 2016

Everyone who visits this site knows that The Great White Shank’s political chops are flawless. One of the reasons – outside of some honest, ingrained political acumen culled from decades of deep dives into various political campaigns and countless books on politics – is connections with folks “in the know”. It might seem hard to believe – and my brother Dave (the only real politico in the family) would probably testify to this – but, while politics on the federal and state levels is played all over the place and in fifty states, it’s actually a pretty small universe. Everyone either knows everyone or knows someone who knows someone who knows everyone. In politics, the usual six degrees of separation is really only three. And while I don’t travel in Arizona politics much, I know folks who do, and the folks they know are, as they say, truly “in the know”. So you can take with a grain of salt what I’m saying or you can ignore it at your risk.

One final caveat: anyone who has ever immersed themselves in politics will tell you that the only thing you really know is where things stand right now. We’re a little over three weeks away from election day, and in politics – and especially with this election – that’s a lifetime away. That being said, here is what seems to me to be the lay of the land twenty-four days out:

1. Forget about the polls and what the pollsters are saying. The fact is, no one really knows what’s going on out there. The pollsters are having a very hard time figuring out who exactly is truly undecided. My guy seems to think the number of undecided at this point is only about 6%. The folks with Clinton aren’t going to vote for Trump, and the Trump folks aren’t going to vote for Clinton. Under any circumstances. The electorate is so polarized right now it would take a truly unexpected and cataclysmic event to change folks minds. And the WikiLeaks releases designed to shame Clinton and the “groping girls” designed to shame Trump don’t count as cataclysmic.

2. If my guy had to hazard a guess, he’s thinking Trump is up ~ 6 points nationwide. There’s no way Hillary is up – if she were the Democrats wouldn’t be pushing the woman issue so hard. The Dems know they can’t get their voters to the polls for Hillary – his view is that no nominee in modern history has ever had so little enthusiasm for a candidate – so the only alternative is to scorch-earth Trump. The problem is (and the Democrats know this) Trump has been so protective of his brand over the years that, while he’s never been a choir boy by any stretch of the imagination, he’s also never been as reckless as the Dems would have you believe.

3. The pollsters are freaking out about the undeclared Trump voter. Keep in mind that Trump voters have already been assaulted at Trump rallies, they won’t put stickers on their cars or signs on their lawns due to the fears of vandalism, and they won’t tell pollsters who they’re truly supporting. They’re afraid of ridicule by their friends and family members, and afraid of reprisal in their employment. My guy says he’s never seen anything like it, he truly fears for what might happen were Trump to win. The pollsters know this, they know folks are telling them one thing and planning on another in the sanctity of the voting booth, they just don’t know how widespread it is.

4. It sounds strange to me, but my guy says the numbers really haven’t moved for about 2-3 months. Even the debates haven’t changed anything. Folks are tuning in, for sure, but it’s mostly for entertainment purposes. Like he says, the pot of undecided voters is far smaller than the pollsters would have you believe.

5. My guy says there is one state out there absolutely no one is even talking about as far as being a battleground state is concerned, and that Trump is going to carry it handily. He says if folks really knew what that state was all hell would break loose because it would change the electoral map so radically. He says the Clinton folks know and the Trump folks know, but no one is willing to go public. I tried to pry it out of him but he wouldn’t budge.

6. My guy says Trump can expect somewhere around 15-20 percent of the African-American vote, and perhaps 37-40% of the Hispanic vote. Again, a lot could change between now and November 8, but if it doesn’t, “that, my friend, is the election.”

7. My guy says he wouldn’t be surprised if Hillary pulls out of the final debate, using the supposed Trump “sex scandals” as an excuse. It would be a risky move on her part, but, as he says, “her campaign is really running out the clock because that’s the best strategy for her at this time. The less folks see of her the better, and her campaign knows that.” My guy also says Hillary’s health problems are worse than anyone knows. I told him I thought the whole thing was a alt-right crock of you-know-what, but he was adamant. I checked – her campaign only has one campaign event – one! – scheduled for her between now and election day. “Who is their right mind would do such a thing?”, says my guy. I didn’t have a good answer for that.

8. My guy says Trump is releasing his tax returns sometime next week, says the whole hub-bub over it was Trump’s idea not to play by anyone’s rules but his own. “And wait ’til you see how he does it – it will be truly remarkable.”

9. The Clinton campaign’s biggest concern right now? Weather. If any of the battleground states get bad weather on November 8 that’s going to be a problem. They know Trump supporters will crawl over broken glass to vote for him, her campaign knows she needs perfect weather conditions to get her voters out.

10. I asked my guy for a prediction. “I don’t do predictions”, say he. They’re very dangerous, there’s still too much time between now and November 8.” I ask him to tell me this: will it be close? He just smiled.

Like I say, take it for what it is.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 21:59 | Comments Off on State Of The Race
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