The nightmarish aspect of Donald Trump’s rise is the sheer number of times liberal (or even moderately conservative) pundits have declared his candidacy doomed based on the latest piece of outrageous bigotry, and how consistently they were wrong. The more of a dick he was, the more strength he seemed to gain, and after he dispatched the sad/pathetic group of Republican primary opponents, against all conventional wisdom, it began to seem like it would never end. His growing popularity reflected other fascistic moments in history, when “reasonable” people write off a terrifying candidate in the belief that there will be national come-to-our-senses moment. A moment that, in the worst circumstances, never comes, and by the time shit gets really bad, it’s too late.
But in America right now, that moment may finally be coming. A new Monmouth poll shows Hillary Clinton leading by 13 points nationally, and that’s just the latest in a series of polls, including those of the swing state variety, which indicate that Clinton is pulling away in the general election. This particular poll comes long enough after the convention that it can no longer be seen as a “bounce,” and seems to be indicative of a larger holding pattern. Clinton’s big advantage, in this poll and others, seems to be that she captures a larger share of Democrats (90 percent and higher) than Trump does of Republicans (at or below 80 percent). She also reached the 50 percent threshold, even with third-party candidates Jill Stein and Gary Johnson included.
Here’s a look at the 10 most recent four-way polls from Real Clear Politics:
There’s a long time between now and the election, and it’s possible that I’m making the same error that pundits and prognosticators kept making in the GOP primary race, but if this pattern holds or expands, Hillary Clinton can safely be looked at as a solid favorite to win the presidency. And knowing what we know about Trump, it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll do anything to make himself seem more presidential between now and November. For the first time, it seems reasonable to hope that the nightmare might be over.