The Impact of the Comey Affair

imageThere are a number of interesting headlines floating around this morning about what I’ll call the Comey Affair. What none of the stories can say is that anything new has been discovered.  In fact, what we do know is that there won’t be enough time between now and Election Day to determine if any of the emails under review were classified and for the FBI to decide on a formal course of action.

What the emails do is put the focus on Mrs. Clinton and not on Mr. Trump. Since voters don’t much like either of them, and since the candidate being scrutinized at any given moment usually takes a hit in the polls, these will be a good few days for the Republican nominee.

In the past, polling fluctuations have occurred when soft Clinton supporters have moved away from her and into the undecided column due to bad news for Mrs. Clinton. They have not tended to move towards Trump in these cases, which is why his numbers have been holding steady over time and movement on hers have accounted for polling differences.

But we are getting so close to Election Day that new developments might end up changing very little.

I think it’s more than likely, to use the metaphor, that the cake is baked and that sloppy email security is such a well known concern that few will be worried enough about it to care. We’re just going to have to tough it out on that one, but polls starting Monday and for a few days afterward are going to loosen a few sphincters. That seems clear.

I prefer to believe that this will motivate voters who are terrified of a Trump presidency and who may have been getting a little complacent due to recent strong Democratic polling numbers.

Recent events have given rise to news stories about what a Trump presidency would look like, which, I suspect, could be the strongest part of any Get-Out-The-Vote effort Team Clinton could devise.

As Politico wrote this morning, “Clinton can no longer coast to the win.” Glad to hear it.

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