Sweet Merciful Heaven, is Trump Actually Making a Comeback?

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Earlier this morning, we ran a feature encouraging Democrats not to count their presidential chickens before they hatch—drawing on recent history, including Brexit and this year’s Republican primary—and it appears our timing couldn’t have been better. (Or worse, depending on how you look at it.) Recent polls from swing states are somehow indicating that Donald J. Trump, candidate for president, is making a comeback. Here’s a snapshot of what might be a legitimate comeback, with a nod to Real Clear Politics and their thorough poll aggregation:


A Bloomberg poll released today has Trump leading by two points.


A Remington Review poll, released yesterday, puts Trump up three points.


The last five polls, from Remington, Suffolk, Quinnipiac, CNN/ORC, and NBC/WSJ/Marist, have Trump either leading or tied.


A Monmouth poll conducted from Friday to Monday puts Trump up one point.


A Remington poll has Clinton up a mere two points, which, when you consider how Trump’s unique brand of nativist supporters have been underestimated in GOP primary polling, and a similar brand of UK voter was similarly dismissed before the Brexit voting, this is scary.

There are also too-narrow leads for Clinton in “stronghold” states like Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. It’s hard to know exactly why this is happening. It’s not like Trump has been any more presidential in his behavior over the past two weeks. The news of Obamacare premium spikes may play into the number, but that report was released Monday, so it shouldn’t have affected most of these polls, which were taken over the weekend. (In fact, if you’re a Dem, it’s an especially terrible harbinger that this “comeback” happened before that piece of bad news.)

Now, it’s not all doom and gloom—Clinton is still the clubhouse leader (Nate Silver has her at 85% to win), and she could actually lose the first four states above and still win the election, provided she holds onto Virginia. Plus, there are a few traditionally red states like North Carolina that look like they may go blue in November.

That being said, this is no slam dunk, and the really annoying thing is that for people who fear a Trump presidency, there will be no premature relief—the specter of his potential ascent to the highest office in the land will haunt us at least until election day.

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