The presidential race looks like a toss-up [Or Maybe Not]

The term “toss-up” is overused in electoral politics, but I think that’s where the presidential race stands now. Indeed, that’s how FiveThirtyEight, which insisted (correctly) that the presidential 2012 race wasn’t a toss-up when many said it was, currently handicaps this year’s contest. It gives Clinton a 50 percent chance of winning; Trump a 48 percent chance; and “goes to the House” a 2 percent chance.

Wisconsin and Michigan look like the keys — the two states in Clinton’s fire wall that are most precarious. Trump has a small lead in Michigan. In Wisconsin, his lead is a big bigger — 3.4 points — with more than half of the vote counted.

Moreover, Harry Enten of FiveThirtyEight says that much of the vote in Milwaukee, a Democratic stronghold, is in. If true, this is bad news for Hillary (and for Russ Feingold in his attempt to unseat Power Line pick Ron Johnson).

Clinton has won in Colorado now, another fire wall state Trump had thought he might pick up.

However, all eyes will now be on the “rust belt” now. Wouldn’t it be something if Wisconsin, where Trump suffered one of his worst setbacks during the primary season, turns out to be the key to a Trump victory in November?

UPDATE: I see this race tilting towards Trump. He had to play defense in Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina. It looks like he’s played it successfully.

As a result, the tables have turned. Clinton must play defense in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and she’s hardly reminding me of Ozzie Smith.

The problem for her in these states is that she can’t count on Hispanics. Instead, she needs the massive support of African-Americans — support approaching what Barack Obama received. This doesn’t seem to be happening.

It may well be that Clinton is not getting what she needs out of Detroit, for example. That, at least,seemed to be the view of a rather despondent-sounding John King at CNN.

UPDATE: FiveThirtyEight now gives Trump a 58 percent chance of winning.


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