Or perhaps not. From where I sit, there are signs that the last week may end of being the low point in the GOP’s 2016 election fortunes. One major reason why I see a turnaround afoot relates to money and advertising. On the presidential front, even though Hillary Clinton maintains a solid lead in cash on hand, Donald Trump enjoyed his best fund raising month yet and has just begun running TV ads for the first time since the primaries. Moreover, a quick look at the broader money story shows the RNC with a significant cash on hand advantage.
The Democratic National Committee outraised the Republican National Committee [in July]. But it also spent more, so the RNC finished July with $34.5 million on hand, the DNC just $10.1 million.
The two points that stand out to me in that excerpt are (1) RNC’s 3.5-1 lead in funds to spend and (2) the fact that Democrats have been outspending Republicans through the end of last month. These points impact the parties’ prospects going forward. On the one hand, the extra money spent by Democrats to this point means that they are probably enjoying a high-water mark in the polls – and still they need a Hillary victory to control the Senate, according to EP’s projections. On the other hand, with more money to spend between now and November 8, Republicans will likely be able to cut their losses, thus keeping their majority.Polling data
The second reason I’m not convinced of an overwhelming Democratic outcome on Election Day is the latest crop of polls. While it is true that Trump’s numbers suffered quite a bit as a result of his missteps, he has tried to right the cart of late, even going so far as to apologize for saying the wrong things at times. So far, it appears his efforts to get his campaign back on the right track have helped. One week ago, the EP Poll Average for the Trump vs. Clinton matchup put Hillary up 6 points. That average today is down to 4. And with lots of money to spend – and apparently a growing will to spend it – Trump stands to improve his numbers further in the coming weeks. Don’t misunderstand, I am not declaring that Trump’s on his way to victory – not just yet. But I do think it is way too premature for Bill to start ordering new White House curtains and china or for Chuck Schumer to start practicing his moves with the Senate gavel.