Seven weeks to Election Day

Seven weeks to Election Day 

Posted: 4:18 am Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

By Jamie Dupree

There are now only 49 days left until November 8, 2016, as the campaign for President really doesn’t have that much time left in it. Let’s take a look at what’s out there with seven weeks of electioneering left.

1. Voting is already underway
– In several states, absentee and early voting has already started, which lends even more urgency to “Get out the vote” (GOTV) efforts in both parties. Everyone will do their best to parse some of the data that comes out – like in North Carolina, where more absentee ballot requests are in so far from Democrats than Republicans. Yes, it would be better to have a scoreboard with running vote totals already, but that’s not the way the election is run.

2. The first debate is six days away – Starting next Monday night at Hofstra University in New York, the three debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will dominate the news of this campaign until the final debate on October 19 in Las Vegas. NBC News anchor Lester Holt, who will moderate the first debate, released the general topics on Monday – just about any subject you can imagine could be shoehorned into those three categories.

3. The big issue is terrorism now – But what will it be in seven weeks? We all know how swiftly the news cycle moves with social media and more, so what other stories might push their way to the top of the heap by November 8? Many feel that terrorism benefits the tough talk of Trump, as on Monday, he zeroed in on Hillary Clinton and whether she has done enough on the issue of Islamic terrorism. A stumble in the debate, or some outside development could still change the conversation.

4. Trump now not holding news conferences – Earlier this month, Hillary Clinton ended her somewhat unprecedented nine month streak of not taking questions from reporters on the campaign trail. Since then, she has done a series of Q&A sessions with reporters, with another on Monday on the tarmac in New York. As for Donald Trump, suddenly he has become the one who is still doing individual interviews, but no longer taking questions from the larger press corps. The last time Trump did that was in late July. My recommendation to anyone running for President, meet with reporters every day. Once a day. Maybe you take four or five questions, but do it every single day of the campaign that’s left. And do it in the morning – it helps set the news agenda for the day, often to your advantage.

5. Will Trump’s boost in the polls last? – That is the big question at this point, as it is obvious that Trump has seen a bump in both national and some state polls. Is it a big change in the race that’s going to be difficult to change for Democrats? Or is this just a surge that will ebb? One pollster yesterday indicated that Clinton’s numbers are a bit higher this week – but we’ll wait and see.

What do I think? I think Trump and Clinton can both win. And they can both lose. Seven weeks is a huge amount of time.

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