Trump’s remarkable consistency on Russia

Great piece from Frum:

But it’s important to understand that there is more here than one unfortunate remark. Over the course of his candidacy, Donald Trump has revealed a remarkably consistent attitude toward Russia—a subject he seems to have thought about almost more than any other in this campaign.

He has repeatedly and emphatically rejected criticism of Vladimir Putin’s methods of rule, including his murders of journalists.

He has called NATO obsolete because it is too focused on the threat from Russia. At his own convention, he told The New York Times he would not defend small NATO countries like Estonia against a Russian attack…

Hillary Clinton was very careless, yes. She was careless—choosing to shield her email from scrutiny by hosting it on a personal server, perhaps over-learning the lessons of decades of subpoenas and congressional hearings. She obfuscated and dissembled about what she had done, and why. Along the way, she may have exposed classified information to foreign-intelligence agencies. She may also have exposed herself to blackmail, if those agencies hacked more personal confidences…

Those are things one may suspect. They are not things that are known. Conservatives who invoke fears about what Clinton may have done as a defense against what Trump repeatedly has done are inverting all reasonable concerns. Trump actually is acting to advance Russian interests. He actually has subordinated U.S. national security to his own political ambitions. He already has compromised the security of U.S. alliances and the integrity of the U.S. military guarantee.

No candidate for president since Henry Wallace ran as a “Progressive” in 1948 has run a campaign so openly in service to an adverse foreign power as Trump’s. His complaints about the insufficient number of American flags on the Democratic convention stage are clumsy parodies of patriotism, and the flag pins on the lapels of the TV talking heads who will condone his latest pro-Putin remarks are no better. [emphasis mine]

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What’s behind Trump’s bounce?

I’ve been waiting to come across a post like this from a smart polling guy about Trump’s bounce and Mark Blumenthal has come through.  Yes, this is an analysis based on a single polling organization, but what it has to say is very telling:

The recently narrowed race coincides with a shift in party identification in SurveyMonkey’s tracking, particularly over the past two weeks. While Democrats had held a remarkably consistent party ID advantage since January (usually  in the 4–8 point range), that margin narrowed to three points last week (33 to 29 percent) and just a single percentage point (32 to 31 percent) this week. [bold mine, italics original]

The shift is also evident when including the partisan leanings of those who are initially independent. For most weeks in 2016, SurveyMonkey’s tracking gave Democrats an advantage of 3 to 5 percentage points in leaned party identification. Last week, the same number of voters (43 percent) identified or leaned with the Republicans as identified with or leaned to the Democrats. This week, Republicans have a one percentage point edge (43 to 42 percent).

While aggregate partisanship and vote preference has shifted in our samples over the past four weeks, vote preference by party has remained mostly stable. Trump may have gained very slightly among Republicans and independents who lean Republican (rising from 86 to 90 percent), although his vote has fallen (from 37 to 32 percent) among independents who lean to neither party.

Blumenthal has a lot of smart thoughts on all this, but I think it is pretty simple.  What’s more likely, 1) that the Republican convention has led to a substantive change in mass partisanship throughout the country? or 2) that the Republican convention has changed the partisan balance of Americans responding to survey questions?

Here’s the key chart:

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 11.59.28 AM

I will confidently predict that if Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both win 90-91% of their partisans, Clinton wins the election by a close, but comfortable margin.

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