All Hallow’s Eve of the Election

All Hallow’s Eve of the Election October 31, 2016

Image credit: Angelbattle bros.
Image credit: Angelbattle bros.

The demon looms around the corner. He awaits, poised to strike. Just when you thought you had finally eluded the monster, he returns, bloodthirsty as ever and ready to pounce.

Don’t turn your back!

As you’ve no doubt already heard, late last week, FBI Director James Comey made the unprecedented decision to reveal that the bureau is looking into a new batch of Clinton-related emails (though not, as was at first erroneously reported, reopening its case) just eleven days befor the election. The news broke late as I was preparing my last post.

Few details were known, and precious few others have since been uncovered. Comey’s disturbingly vague letter to Congressional leaders basically said, we don’t know if these emails have any significance, but they appear to have some relevance to the closed investigation. Many of them could be duplicates of emails they have already examined.

Republicans are besides themselves with joy. I’m filled with growing knot of anxiety, which is exacerbated by tightening poll numbers.

These are likely unrelated to the email story. Indeed, most Republicans still expect Trump to lose. You have to remember that even a generic Republican starts out with an extreme Electoral College disadvantage.

And The Donald is no generic Republican. And that’s the thing. Every election, people say this is the most important election in our lifetime. That’s usually hyperbole.

This time, it’s really true.

Hillary is still 3-5 points ahead, which is beyond the 1-2 points that past “October” surprises have shifted the polls so late in the game. Most voters have already made up their minds, and distrust of Clinton related to her email practices are already baked into her poll numbers.

But even if we dodge the Trump bullet, the tantalizing prospect of a landslide may have slipped away. The dems are still better than even money on winning the Senate. And a takeover of the House was always unlikely, but the margin of gains has most probably been whittled down.

Say goodbye to hopes for demoralized Republicans staying home on November 8, thanks to the actions of their fellow-traveller, the Republican Comey.

According to most experts, the tightening of the race began even before the email revelation (which I will write about in more detail in a future post). It represents the usual return to the fold of party members and Republican- leaning independents.

Not coincidentally, these are the very same groups who say that the email revelations make them less likely to vote against Clinton. In a CBS poll taken entirely after the email news broke, 71% said that it wouldn’t change their vote or they had already voted. Most of the rest were Republicans.

But you have to keep in mind the vast superiority of the Clinton ground game. That has a lot to do with the edge they enjoy in the early voting, as they shuttle infrequent voters to the polls.

So should you be afraid? Yes. I certainly am. But remember also that the Democrats are energized, as well. They have a new boogeyman for their House of Horrors: James Comey.

Gone is the complacency the Dems feared might depress their vote. Fear of Trump will drive voters, who might have assumed the election was safe, to the polls.

But that knot in my stomach will not go away until November 9. Unless…

No, I can’t even bear to think about it. Tonight, I will be visited by enough little terrors without a real one haunting my nightmares.

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