Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are about to become even more unpopular. A recent ABC News and Washington Post poll saw Hillary Clinton’s unfavorable ratings jump up to 56 percent. Donald Trump’s unfavorables were at a whopping 63 percent. As terrible as those numbers are, mark my words. By the time the calendar turns to October, both candidates will have seen their unfavorables go even higher.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen the polls between Trump and Clinton tighten. The reason? Teleprompters. Donald Trump is terrible off the cuff. He says dumb things. His campaign has done a great job of keeping him on message over the past few weeks but on September 26, the date of the first presidential debate, those teleprompters won’t be there to help him.
Say what you will about Hillary Clinton, there’s no denying that she’s brilliant. She’s also a lawyer. Like a litigating attorney, she’s going to work the opposing counsel and the American people will be the jury. She’s going to bait Donald Trump and Donald Trump is going to say something very dumb.
Presidential debates either don’t matter at all or they matter a lot. Nobody chose to vote for George Bush over John Kerry because of Bush’s debate performance. Nobody chose Bill Clinton over Bob Dole because of anything that was said in one of those debates. Those debates didn’t matter. But Reagan vs. Mondale? Game, Set, Match, Reagan.
Hillary Clinton is going to embarrass Donald Trump at the debates, and Trump will emerge from the first debate deeply wounded.
Hillary, though, will have her own wounds to deal with. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange claims to have the goods on Hillary and has announced that he will release a new batch of Hillary’s emails just before the first presidential debate.
The last batch of Hillary’s emails that Assange released revealed the maneuverings of the Democratic National Committee to undermine the campaign of Bernie Sanders and led to the ouster of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Assange says the emails he has from Hillary are enough for an indictment. He says she’ll go away in handcuffs. Maybe Assange is just hyping his website. Maybe you think it doesn’t matter at all, that she should have been indicted before and that the email scandal has blown over. The cynic in you wants to say the American people don’t care and there’s nothing in Hillary’s emails that could emerge that will matter.
But when Hillary hit 56 percent unfavorable in the ABC News/Washington Post poll, that was a 6 percent jump from earlier polls, largely due to allegations of pay of play deals from when she was Secretary of State. Forget the handcuffs, could Assange’s forthcoming email dump bring about another 6 percent jump in unfavorables?
As unpopular as these candidates are now, they’re both about to become more unpopular, and that presents a huge opportunity for third party candidate Gary Johnson, the former two-term governor of New Mexico.
Johnson needs to get to 15% nationally to make it into the presidential debates and he’s polled as high as 13% in recent weeks. Even if he does not make the first debate, he could still make the second or third if his numbers spike. If Trump and Hillary both emerge from the first debate wounded like I think they will, that represents a big opportunity for Johnson. We’ll see what he makes of it.
Of course, in my new book, Johnson doesn’t even have to get to 15% or make the debate stage to radically shake up this election. Backdoor to the White House: The 2016 Election and the Crazy Story that Might Come True is a hypothetical story of what happens from Election Night to Inauguration Day after Johnson wins his home state of New Mexico and no candidate reaches 270 electoral votes, the necessary number to be elected president.
You can get my book for only $12.99 in paperback on Amazon or for $3.99 on Kindle. You can learn more about the book at BackdoorToTheWhiteHouse.com or read the “From the Author” page to get more insight on how the book came about.
You may also enjoy this post, Why Abraham Lincoln would tell Gary Johnson to Grow a Beard.