CHARLOTTE, NC, October 27, 2016 – Something just doesn’t feel right. Something is askew. Given the erratic nature of the 2016 presidential campaign, that shouldn’t be surprising, but trying to put your finger on exactly what it may be just doesn’t add up.
Donald Trump draws thousands of people to his rallies where potential voters wait hours in line to hear him speak. Tim Kaine holds a rally in Florida and only 30 people show up.
And yet, most of polls have Hillary Clinton in the lead.
Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity both say they believe the polls, but which polls do they believe? Most of them have Clinton in the lead over Trump, but some are by double digits while others are within the margin of error.
So how do you decide?
Trump calls Clinton a liar, Clinton says Trump is a sexual predator. Wikileaks dumps e-mails every day, Barack Obama’s own words should come back to haunt Clinton while Project Veritas reveals dirty tricks, but the media still devotes most of its air time to denouncing Trump and building up Clinton.
No surprise there, but something still feels out of kilter.
Are we headed for a Brexit election in which everyone is completely surprised by the outcome? Are pollsters attempting to sway voters by making Americans believe Clinton is leading when she is not?
Jesse Watters of “Watter’s World” on FOX News Channel has editorialized that he believes Trump is running much stronger than the media is indicating. As do former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and ex-Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani. Other broadcast figures have opined similar positions, but the mood among those “in the know” favors Clinton.
Perhaps in any other political year, it would be easier to pinpoint precisely what is happening, but 2016 has been nowhere near a traditional campaign season. With less than two weeks before election day, chances are strong that there are more October surprises coming from both camps, and possible November surprises as well.
All of that said, the numbers still do not add up.
Trump has been relentless on the campaign trail. Following the debate in Las Vegas he made at least one rally stop before heading to the New York for the Al Smith dinner at the Waldorf Astoria.
If nothing else, given Barack Obama’s propensity for finding a golf course whenever the need for leadership surfaces, one gets the feeling that Trump, on the other hand, will actually be working to find a solution. That alone should be enough to sway thousands of votes, even if he makes a mistake.
There’s no question a Donald Trump administration will be flawed. Then again, could it be any more erroneous than what we have witnessed for the past eight years under Barack Obama? Certainly it will be far less corrupt.
Considering the Clinton alternative, the corruption and dishonesty banner merely goes with the territory.
Even Pat Caddell, a former pollster for President Jimmy Carter, has said that he has never experienced anything like this presidential campaign. Surely if someone who knows the nuances of how the game is played cannot figure out what is going on, how then is “Joe the Plumber” supposed to come up with an answer?
The only thing we know for sure is that late on the night of Tuesday, November 8th or early in the morning of the 9th the citizens of the United States will select a new occupant of the White House. It hasn’t been pretty and it’s almost a sure bet that ugly will be the order of the day for the next four years.
Either way, regardless of which candidate people vote for, it will not take long before those who win will question whether they made the right decision.
However, none of that quells the undercurrent that something is brewing out there that nobody can quite understand. What it is or what is means is practically impossible to determine.
Even Rush Limbaugh is hedging his bets, although you can be sure he will dredge up sound-bites the day after the election that demonstrate he was “99.8 percent” right in his call.
Does a huge voter turnout bode better for Clinton or Trump? The same could be asked about a large early voting sample. Will the surge in Obamacare premiums make a difference? Or will Project Veritas or Wikileaks finally get legs?
Making predictions about the 2016 presidential race may be the most difficult event odds-makers have handicapped in years. Why? Because something is happening out there and nobody can guess what it is.
Whatever it is may not be revealed until the election is over. It’s almost as crazy as the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series.
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Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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