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FiveThirtyEight.com raises Trump's statistical chance of winning to 40.8 percent
Some important caveats here: FiveThirtyEight.com is far from infallible. It basically consists of a bunch of statisticians who run probabilities based on polls and all kinds of other factors. The media treats their founder Nate Silver as if he's some sort of predictive deity, but he's just a guy who's worked out a system that's got some logic to it.
Also: A 40.8 percent chance of winning would be horrendous if it were the night before the election. But it's not. It's mid-July, and Donald Trump's job at the Republican National Convention last week was to put himself in a stronger position to win the general election All signs are that he did just that, as Silver's site has his chances decidedly on the rise.
But what matters most here is that these dynamics will likely remain in flux, and for Trump's sake, they will have to do so. We'll see what kind of show the Democrats put on this week, and we know that the media will do everything it can to help them by carrying Hillary's water and minimizing controversies as much as they possibly can (or ignoring them entirely, as is their wont).
I thought Trump's acceptance speech was excellent because he didn't try to win over the pundits or the political class. He spoke directly to the American people and he addressed their concerns. He got lots of criticism for supposedly engaging in doom and darkness, but the average person didn't hear that at all. They heard a man who, unlike your average politician, isn't going to stand there and blow sunshine up your butt instead of addressing the real problems the nation has to deal with. Trump talked to the public with respect, and I think that's why his chances have improved.
Will Hillary do as well? I can't imagine that she will, since the next good speech she gives will be the first good speech she gives. But it will probably be talked about as if it was brilliant, because her official media stenographers know their jobs. I just hope the American people take the time to listen to both speeches for themselves, because I think that if they do Trump will win easily.
There is still a lot that has to happen, and the general election campaign has not even really begun yet. Hillary is a terrible candidate who is also a horrible human being - and she would make a horrendous president. The more people see her, the worse her poll numbers usually get. More of that dynamic is what will keep driving Trump's numbers higher, to the point where he could really come out on top in November.