Friday, September 23, 2016

The Pollcast: Trump and Clinton finally face-off

On Monday night, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will take part in the first presidential debate. The confrontation comes at a time when the polls are showing a tightening race.

And depending on who uses the platform best, the debate could set the tone for the remaining 46 days of this unpredictable campaign.

The debate will be held on Monday night at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Hosted by the NBC's Lester Holt, the 90-minute affair will tackle three topics: America's Direction, Achieving Prosperity, and Securing America.

To help set up the debate, Keith Boag, the CBC's senior reporter in Washington, D.C., joins me on the latest episode of the Pollcast.

You can listen to the podcast here.


  1. Interesting that the major US Newspaper, the NY Times, has endorsed Hillary for President.

    1. Somewhat but, the NY Times is known to have a leftward lean. The City is heavily Democratic anyway so I doubt the endorsement will have much impact. It may help Trump as it is another example of how "The Establishment" is opposed to Trump and his "movement".

      It's like that Old El Paso ad. The cowboy asks his partner where the salsa is from and he says: "New York City" where upon the other cowboys sneer and snicker. So, an endorsement from the NY TImes may help the Trump campaign in more traditional blue collar areas.

      I wouldn't expect a knock-out punch from either side. Hilary is a slight underdog but, only because of Trump's sometime bombastic style and his unpredictability.

      At this point in the campaign both candidates will be focussing on individual states they need to win-Pennsylvania, Colorado, Ohio, Florida. This probably benefits Trump but, who knows, Trump may go way off script or go for Clinton's jugular-anybody remember Whitewater, Monica Lewinsky, Gennifer Flowers? Hilary's health and the goings-on of the Clinton foundation will certainly be topics.

      If Trump can get through the debate without offending women in general and white women in particular he'll win the debate. For most politicians this would be a no-brainer-easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy type stuff, a walk in the park, for Trump? If Trump can convince enough white women that his brand of change is "safe" he'll win the debate and election.

  2. NY Times
    Editors' Picks
    OPINION | Editorial

    Hillary Clinton for President

    Our endorsement is rooted in respect for her intellect, experience and courage.

  3. It is interesting that the American site (a polling site not a political site that is affiliated with the NYT) now has Trump chances of winning at 54.3%.... based on if election were held today.

    Nate Silver uses 3 predictive models.

    Polls plus has the chances of Hillary winning at 52.4 % From August 1 to Sept 1 this showed Hillary's chances of winning at 75%

    Likewise the polls only model had Hillary's Chances at 77-89% all of August and now is 52.5 %

    Mr. Grenier has borrowed a significant amount of poll analysis and election prediction from 538.

    My partisan input:

    The media has been setting the debate in the same way that the Canadian Media set up the Harper/Trudeau debate. There seems to be a consensus that if Trump does not take off his shirt or threaten nuclear war he will win the debate tonight and get a boost in the polls.

    1. FiveThirtyEight used to be affiliated with the NYT, but it is now an independent site.

      I'm not sure what you mean by borrowing poll analysis and prediction from 538. The model I developed is independent of 538's, though I use the site's pollster ratings rather than my own (which I calculate for Canadian elections) as they have better access to the data required to calculate them.

    2. Even so Eric you have them virtually tied so what happens tonight will have a major influence.

    3. 538 is now owned by ESPN who is owned by Disney, which also owns ABC.

      BCVOR, where are you pulling that number from? The only times that any of the three 538 models has had Trump ahead is July 25 to 29 (Now-cast), July 30 (Polls-only), and never with polls-plus.

  4. Trump's rants seemed to take over the debate. While his rants may resonate with his base who have been getting the short end of the stick over GOP and Democratic administrations, the rants may have pushed undecideds towards Clinton.

    The winner of the debates will be announced November 8.

    1. Hilary's best line was on Trump's tax evasiveness but, in a country founded by tax evaders the fact Trump admittedly doesn't pay taxes, may help him out. It certainly reinforces Trump's main criticism of systematic incompetence, corruption and inefficiency. The debate was a draw but, as Trump only needed to not do damage to his campaign, he wins on points. Hilary was Hilary, Trump looked presidential.

    2. George Not Bush,

      Trump might win one of the debates. But if he brings up Bill, it will be a phenomenal mistake.


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