In a sign that Election 2016 is a real political race, the CNN/ORC Poll showed Donald Trump has edged out Hillary Clinton 45 percent to 43 percent. Third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein poll 7 percent and 2 percent respectively. The two candidates have reached parity as far as support from their own parties is concerned, with Clinton being supported by 92 percent of Democrats and Trump by 90 percent of Republicans.

Trump had lagged behind in that area up until this point. Finally, an enthusiasm gap has opened between the two candidates, with 55 percent of Clinton voters less than enthusiastic and 56 percent of Trump supporters reporting enthusiasm for voting for their candidate.

The reason for this reversal of fortune is not hard to understand. Trump has found a way to keep control, for the most part, of his worst impulses.

He has even, at times, behaved in a presidential fashion. On the other hand, Clinton has been beset by scandals concerning her email server and the pay for play operation she conducted in the State Department. Combined with renewed concerns about the state of her health, the news has served as an anchor on her candidacy.

The CNN/ ORC Poll shows that one thing one can say about the current election is that no one knows what is going to happen next.

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Donald Trump Democratic Party

A year ago, Trump’s candidacy was considered a joke. A month ago, Clinton was being puffed up by her post-convention bounce and a series of missteps by Trump and many in the pundit class had suggested that the election was all but over.

What the truism is now coming from the media is that the debates will now determine the election. In past debates, Hillary Clinton has tended to be robotic while Donald Trump has been erratic and sometimes alarming.

Team Hillary will try to get under Trump’s skin and get him to misbehave in public again. All Trump has to be is to keep a rein on his dangerous impulses and, if he can manage it, have a “there you do again” moment of the sort that cemented Ronald Reagan’s win over Jimmy Carter in 1980. Then Election 2016 will be historic in that the presumptive first woman president will be denied that honor and Donald Trump, a mercurial real estate tycoon and reality show star, will be the 45th president of the United States.

 

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