It almost invariably happens that a presidential candidate gets a “bounce” in the polls following his/her party’s convention. It even happened after the Republican grotesquerie in Cleveland: Donald Trump actually surged to a small lead over Hillary Clinton in most of the polls. Now that the Democrats’ show is over, we can make a preliminary assessment of the net effect of the two conventions, and it looks good for Clinton. Since the post-RNC polls made a lot of my friends—and even me—more than a little nervous, I thought I would do us all a favor and pass on these latest poll results. If you consider only the polls conducted entirely after the end of the Democratic convention, the arithmetic shows an average lead of 6.5% for Hillary.
I’m going to hazard a prediction with a caveat. The prediction is that Hillary will continue to lead in the polls through November, and will win the election by a solid margin, comparable to or better than Obama’s 2008 victory. That expectation is based on two assumptions:
1) In a two-person race, Trump’s unfitness for the presidency will become increasingly manifest, especially as he continues to dig himself into holes, e.g., the Khan controversy (Trump just can’t help himself), and as the media subject Trump’s antics to ever more serious scrutiny.
2) Clinton will slaughter the laughably ignorant Trump in the presidential debates. The Clinton-Trump clash will be more revealing than the circus-like Republican primary debates, which Trump dominated with his bluster. Alternatively, Trump may refuse to debate, but that would also make him look bad.
The caveat involves a possible October surprise—a major terrorist attack, which would help Trump. Since both ISIS and Al Qaeda surely understand that a Trump victory would be a boon for them, confirming all their propaganda about the West’s war on Muslims, there is every reason to suspect that they will be trying to do their worst.