Hillary Clinton, according to the latest polls, has rocketed to a seven to nine point lead after the Democratic Convention. #Donald Trump is mired in a storm of his own making, a fight with a Muslim gentleman whose son died in battle. So why, as Jeff Greenfield reports in Politico, are Democrats deeply worried?
The reason that the people behind Clinton are concerned derives from how the 2016 campaign has transpired already. By every rule of politics, Trump should not be the Republican nominee. Clinton should be facing a more conventional Republican candidate, either an establishment favorite such as Jeb Bush or a firebrand tea party conservative such as Ted Cruz. With all of the gaffes, erratic behavior, and his record of dodgy business practices and shifting political views, Trump should be back in his penthouse brooding about what might have been.
The worry that keeps Democratic operatives is that Trump has awakened a sleepy giant, hordes of disaffected, working-class white voters who find themselves motivated to go to the polls for the first time in over a decade. They did not come out for Romney or McCain. They might just come out for Trump, who speaks to their anger. These new voters do not care about Trump’s unsavory behavior, any more than a previous generation of the electorate cared that Bill Clinton was a shameless philanderer and possibly a serial rapist.
One of the problems, from Team Hillary’s perspective, is that voters, suffering under a sluggish economy and scared that the world is spinning out of control because of ISIS terrorism, want change, any change, so long as it is different than what is happening now. Barack Obama ran on hope and change in 2008. Trump is running, as the late Hunter S. Thompson might have said, on fear and loathing and change.
#Hillary Clinton has been reduced to saying that things are going swimmingly and that all that needs doing is a little bit of tweaking. Many voters want someone to upend the table and start breaking the crockery. Clinton cannot run that way since by definition she is an architect of the wrong track that two-thirds of Americans believe the country is on. It may be that nothing Trump can do will change that equation. #Election 2016