You know who we haven’t talked about in a while? Donald Trump. Trump last appeared in a FiveThirtyEight headline on Oct. 2! That cannot stand. So for this week’s 2016 election Slack chat, we’re talking Trump. As always, the transcript below has been lightly edited.
micah (Micah Cohen, politics editor): So what’s going on with Donald Trump? He fell in national polls after the second Republican debate, but that fall was brief and small, and he’s still in the high 20s.
He has now led in the polls since the first week of July, and we’ve had several rounds of “this is the end of Trump” stories that proved off. We’ve been pretty skeptical of Trump’s chances to win the Republican nomination, but has his durability changed in your view?
hjenten (Harry Enten, senior politics writer): Trump is ahead and was ahead. He has never trailed nationally outside of that IBD/TIPP poll.
But here’s an important thing to keep in mind about Trump: We’ve been skeptical of Trump because even as he has led, he still hasn’t shown the ability to cobble together enough GOP voters to win after candidates start dropping out. In two of the three national polls out in the last week, it’s Ben Carson, not Trump, who led in first and second choice combined.