By ignoring this advice, Trump has turned the Khans – who, as parents of a Marine who died in Iraq, are awfully sympathetic witnesses – into mini-celebrities. A one-day story has become a one-week story. This was followed by Trump refusing to endorse Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. John McCain; a dustup over the fire marshal limiting space at a rally in Columbus, Ohio; an assertion by Trump that the election might be rigged; endorsements of Clinton by prominent Republicans; and even reports that Trump (possibly jokingly) went after a crying baby at the Columbus event. There are now rumors that campaign manager Paul Manafort has basically called it a day, and that Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich have been called in to stage something of an intervention with Trump – though those are just rumors, which the campaign denies.
In short, it does feel like the wheels are coming off of the Trump train. I can’t help but remind myself that we’ve been here before, but we’re entering the heart of the campaign, when people are finally tuning in. This time really is different, and Trump doesn’t seem to understand (or care) that if the campaign is about him, he has a very good chance of losing.
The FiveThirtyEight polls-plus model currently gives Clinton a 66 percent chance of winning. That may seem comforting to Trump opponents, until you recognize that models (not Nate Silver’s) gave Britain about a 90 percent chance of remaining in the EU, or gave the Golden State Warriors about a 95 percent chance of winning the NBA championship late in the finals. Things with a 33 percent chance of happening occur all of the time.