It’s an intervention in absentia. Trump’s not there, but when you’ve got a VP shortlister on this show, of all shows, urging Trump to cease and desist immediately, you’d better believe it’s going to get back to him. It’d be like Pravda publishing an open letter to the Soviet premier begging him to change course on something. When a political mistake has reached the point where your own house organs are inveighing against it, it’s objectively a major mistake. Newt:
“You can’t tweet at 3:00 in the morning. Period. There’s no excuse. Ever. Not if you’re gonna be president of the United States. So he’s really gotta decide… If he’s gotta be himself, then he may well not win. If he’s willing to grow into the role of president, than he may win.”
This wasn’t even the worst moment for Trump on Fox News yesterday. A new Fox poll conducted entirely after the debate has the race Clinton 43, Trump 40, with Hillary up two points since mid-September. Head to head it’s Clinton by five over Trump, 49/44, which matters if you suspect that some of Gary Johnson’s and Jill Stein’s supporters will decide in the end to choose between the two major-party nominees. Two weeks ago Trump led the head-to-head race 46/45. The debate might not have hurt him much but it clearly helped her:
Clinton leads among women (+20 points), non-whites (+66), and voters under age 45 (+8). She gained with each of those groups since the debate. Compared to two weeks ago, her advantage among women increased by 7 points, by 15 points among non-whites, and 8 among voters under age 45 (the candidates were tied in mid-September)…
59 percent feel the real estate mogul lacks the temperament to serve effectively as president. By comparison, 67 percent say Clinton has the right temperament — a notable improvement from 59 percent before the debate.
Trump actually trails Clinton now on … honesty, with 35 percent saying she’s honest and trustworthy versus 31 percent who say so of him. The good news for Trump fans, though, is that the gap between them on whether people would feel “comfortable” with them as president isn’t that large. You would think it’d be yuuuuge given the large difference between them on whether each has the right temperament to serve, but nope:
One good debate next Sunday from Trump could make that metric a dead heat. This result, on the other hand, is surprising to me. Americans hate the status quo in Washington, and yet…
That could be amplifying Trump’s temperament problem. A political newbie who seemed to have a presidential temperament might be a safe bet for voters despite the fact that they’re skittish about candidates with no government experience. When you have no experience, though, and behave erratically? That bet’s not so safe.
One other note from the crosstabs. Two weeks ago, Fox saw a pretty red electorate turning out in November. Two weeks later, not so much:
Hillary led by three points among registered voters in the previous poll, but when they switched to those who are likeliest to vote, Fox saw Trump ahead by one. In the new poll she actually gains when you move from registereds to likelies, though. Hillary leads by four among the former and by five among the latter. Did some anti-Hillary voters on the left like what the saw on Monday night enough to decide to turn out for her this year after all?
By the way, when Fox’s pollsters asked people who won the debate, Clinton came out on top by a 61/21 margin. That 40-point spread is, I believe, the largest gap of any scientific debate poll taken this week. Imagine Hannity’s face when he saw the data. Exit quotation from Ben Carson: “He won the majority of the online polls.”