The New York Times just kicked off its new campaign podcast “The Run-Up” with an episode called “The Landslide Odds,” which says Hillary Clinton’s advantage over Donald Trump is better than anyone’s since her husband, Bill Clinton, beat Bob Dole in 1996.
But anyone thinking Hillary Clinton will cruise to a crushing win might want to look back eight more years, to 1988. About this time 28 years ago, Massachusetts Gov. Mike Dukakis had what appeared to be an insurmountable lead over then-Vice President George H. W. Bush. He came out of his Democratic National Convention at the end of July with a 17-point lead.
Looking up stories about the 1988 campaign on the Times’ website can make you wonder if history will repeat itself.
The article notes that a lot of the story lines were similar too. There were rumors of Reagan voters fleeing Bush in droves for Dukakis, for example.
Admittedly, it has been a brutal couple of weeks for Trump in the national polls. Those polls, however, are extremely volatile at this point in a presidential election. There are a lot of national polls, which Nate Silver repeatedly warns people against reading too much into (he prefers state polls). The 2012 August and September polls look like a tour of Elvis’s uppers and downers collection.
Anything can still happen. A lone MSM voice may decide to start talking about the fact that Hillary Clinton was using the State Dept. to run a slush fund. People could start paying attention to her erratic behavior. More people may begin to remember how the entire country felt like it needed to be tick-dipped when Bubba and the Missus left the White House.
There are no sure things in 2016. We have two major party candidates trying to out-awful each other daily and we all keep underestimating the ability of both to continue to do so.
Strap in and let the awful happen, America, there’s nothing we can do to stop it now.