Three nights ago, the Cleveland Indians were up 3 games to 1 on the Chicago Cubs and I pretty much counted them out. As a Twins/Nationals/Rockies fan, I really don’t have a dog in the fight. But, I love baseball so I’m still interested and will watch the game tonight.
Yes, the Cubs had two better pitchers scheduled in games #5 & #6 but not so much better it was a slam-dunk they’d win these two must-win games. And, for the 7th game, the Indians have the better pitcher scheduled on the mound. Three nights ago, Vegas oddsmakers gave the Cubs about a 15% chance of winning the World Series. Now, after winning two games in a row (25% chance they would win both games), the oddsmakers have the Cubs at a 45% chance of being the World Champions. It’s game on!!
Three weeks ago, the Billy Bush/Donald Trump tape came out and I begged for Trump to drop out and let us take our chances with Mike Pence. When the tape came out, Nate Silver handicapped Trumps chances at less than 15% (roughly equivalent to the Cubs odds three nights ago). Personally, I thought it was high. I reacted as I did with the Cubs and said “game over.” I almost entitled this thread “To win, you’ve got to stay in the game” (Claude Bristol). NOT!
Five things have happened in the last week which I didn’t expect (could have also entitled this “Skip, what are we gonna do about those numbers? They suck.” from the movie Perfect Storm):
1) The Wikileaks released emails provide a smoking gun on how the Clintons parlayed the Office of the Secretary of State to enrich the Clinton personally to the tune of what could be over $50 million. This is what I think is most significant because it goes beyond being a political fibber (the public seems to expect or at least tolerate political fibbing) who spins everything or says anything to curry favor with the voters. Personal graft and enrichment is beyond acceptable to a very large segment of the voting public.
2) This is what I think should have been the most insignificant. The FBI informed Congress they were re-opening the investigation into Hillary’s use of a private server. Comey said he’d keep Congress informed if he got new information. He got new information. And, he was clear he didn’t know if the information was significant and would report back. Should have been the end of the story.
3) Hillary totally badly muffed her reaction. She should have said, “Director Comey has a job to do and is accountable to both the President and Congress. I’m confident when they get through the new information the conclusion of a few months ago will be confirmed. Director Comey is an honorable public servant.” This response would have given the impression she was truly confident there is “nothing new” and would have matched her words “there is nothing there.” Additionally, it would have reinforced her earlier praise of Director Comey. Instead, the disconnects were palpable. She basically violated the Cardinal Rule of corporate crisis management. Twice. And reinforced she might not be trustworthy, her biggest weakness.
4) The Press went bonkers on the letter which belied how much they are in the tank for Hillary and it reinforced Trump’s message the system is rigged.
5) After watching great points and positions get lost in too many shallow bromides or distracting ramblings, Trump got on message AND presented it concisely and cogently. On Monday, Trump and Pence laid out a powerful case for a Trump Presidency, in particular replacing Obamacare and how his economic plan serves the interests of ALL Americans in ALL walks of life. It was so moving, I almost drove to Canton to vote just in case I got hit by a bus between then and Election Day. Frankly, I think this might in the end be more significant than even #1 above.
Today, Nate Silver updated his handicapping of the President race Trump a 30% chance of winning (assumed Hillary leading in the polls by 4%). He also did an analysis which assumes Hillary is leading by 2%. While he didn’t complete the math, I did and and a 2% Hillary leads changes the odds of Trump winning to slightly above 40%. Nate Silver’s latest analysis can be read here
Personally, I think Silver’s methodology masks a slight hidden disadvantage for Trump. Before the polls started to move last week, 20% of the votes were cast via early voting and Hillary was ahead by roughly 5%. Assuming early votes reflected the national position, Hillary has banked what translates into a 1% advantage. Trump has to move the population past even and make-up this 1% disadvantage.
Well folks, the current realclearpolitics.com race has Trump behind less than 2% and he clearly has the momentum. A few weeks ago, he was down 7%, narrowed it to 5.4%, and it is now under 2%.
Whether he can continue to move the voting public or there is enough people open to being moved, I don’t know. But, it appears Hillary doesn’t have the game to stop the momentum. Her recent acts of desperation, including bringing back Alicia Machado to the forefront, aren’t gonna get the job done.
The Cubs know they have at least 9 innings and maybe more.
Donald Trump is behind and has six more days and nothing more. I hope its enough time and Trump/Pence uses the time well.
There is a chance and its no longer a long-shot.
UPDATE: Cubs win. Trump do the “impossible” too? Well, Hillary seems intent on muffing again.