By Eyobong Ita
You probably know by now that all scientific polls showed that Hillary Clinton ate Donald Trump for dinner during Monday night’s first U.S. presidential debate. Hillary’s superior performance over Trump was so glaring that even Trump’s advisers and some surrogates conceded that he didn’t do as well as he should have done.
But trust Trump, the business mogul has been busy claiming that he won some online polls where thousands of people voted for him. Problem is, unlike the scientific polls where Hillary clearly won, the non-scientific online polls are meaningless because individuals can vote as many times as they want without any restriction.
Also, leaked documents disclosed that Trump was furious at surrogates and advisers who dared to suggest that he lost the debate to Hillary or that he didn’t do very well, even when the rest of the world believes he lost.
The debate indeed proved that people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. While Hillary took some days off the campaign to prepare for the debate, Trump was busy on the campaign trail and not devoting enough time to such an important debate, which was seen by a record 80 million viewers.
After the first 30 minutes of impressive offense by Trump, Hillary bounced back and put him on the defense for the last 60 minutes and clearly rolled over him. Let’s see what happens at the next debate on October 11.
Early Voting in Progress
While the rest of the country may still be grappling with who to support between Clinton and Trump, voting is already in progress in seven states in the union. Minnesota started voting three days before Monday’s debate, followed by Michigan, South Dakota, Vermont, Illinois and Wyoming, while battleground Iowa began voting Thursday. While it may be too early to know who is benefiting most from the early votes, it would be safe to expect the candidates with the Big Mo (as in Momentum) to have a slight edge.
Going by Monday’s debate, that candidate would be Hillary. But it would be a terrible mistake to write off Trump. Anything can happen in the last two debates. Remember how Mitt Romney outsmarted Obama in the first debate of 2012? Just when naysayers thought Obama was toast, he rebounded big time and rolled over Romney in the last two debates enroute to a second term.
Trump the new Maradona
Remember IBB, the Maradona of Nigerian politics? Never did we see any like IBB and right now never have Americans (and probably the world) seen anyone like Donald Trump.
Like IBB, Trump was a very handsome young man and both are rich. And like IBB, Trump is infectiously charismatic, even when it is so obvious that he is lying through his teeth. (Well, Trump doesn’t have a gap tooth). And just like IBB dribbled Nigerians like the legendary Diego Armando Maradona, Trump is now dribbling the media and American voters like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel “Merciless” Messi.
No exaggeration, folks, Trump’s political wizardry is as potent as the on-field mastery of these two soccer legends combined. No kidding, Trump knows how to get the media their next new story. He says and does so many crazy stuff that would have buried the campaign of any American politician, talk less of a presidential candidate, but he knows exactly how to dig himself out of any hole.
The moment he knows what he has created is taking him down, he quickly creates a new story and distracts attention from the story that was impacting him negatively. For instance, once the focus was on how Hillary did so much better than him at Monday’s debate, he began to divert attention from his poor performance by beginning to talk about former President Bill Clinton’s sexual indiscretions and how Hillary demonized the women who accused Bill of having those affairs. And it worked. That’s what the media is now talking about.
Like him or loathe him, Trump is a political tactician such as never seen in American politics. With all his alleged crooked and fraudulent dealings in America and all over the world being exposed by the day, he always finds a way to defend or deflect them.
I mean, even other billionaires within and outside his party say publicly that he’s a con-man and a fraud. No other politician would have been able to survive any of this, but Trump is still standing, and even improving in the polls. Can he pull this off? We’ll know in 43 days.
Clinton hangs on to 3-point lead
Hillary Clinton is hanging on to a slim 3-point average national lead in the polls as she continues her bid to become America’s first female president. But there are contrasting numbers on different polls. For instance, the Democratic presidential candidate leads her GOP rival Donald Trump by seven points in the latest NBC News/SM polls, 51-44 percent.
Trump, however, leads in the LA Times/USC Tracking polls by four points, 47-42, while the Bloomberg poll has both candidates at a tie, 46-46. Even more interesting is the polls in the battleground states, which is more significant than the national polls.
According to the latest survey by Public Policy Polling, Clinton is hanging on to single-digit leads in five battleground states. In a head to head contest, Clinton leads Trump in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia 49-43. Trump leads in Ohio, Iowa and Nevada.