Op-ed: Before we try to figure out where our presidential race stands the question should be asked.
Should be looking at polls or TV ratings?
“The Democratic National Convention continues to be a bigger draw than its Republican counterpart, as nearly four-and-a-half-million more viewers have tuned in for primetime coverage of this week's dog and pony show,” said Ad Age.
“Midway through the four-night event, the DNC is also besting the GOP confab in terms of the number of demographically desirable viewers it is reaching. Thus far, the DNC is averaging 7.9 million adults 25 to 54 years old per night, which translates to a 6.7 rating and represents a 39% lift versus the RNC's 5.68 million/4.8 rating.”
The most stunning development this morning was that the Republican-leaning polling agency for the first time had Hillary Clinton leading.
538 pollster Nate Silver has said: “Rasmussen polls were the least accurate of the major pollsters in 2010, having an average error of 5.8 points and a pro-Republican bias of 3.9 points…”
And Trump was still living down his associations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, even urging Putin on national television to steal more U.S. documents.
These statements were being made as Putin’s jets were buzzing NATO and U.S. warships, and attacking Ukraine. He is accused of shooting down a Malaysian airliner with 298 people. British police accuse his government of killing a former agent with a special radiation syringe.
Why won’t he release his taxes?
Every president since Richard Nixon has, and Nixon was being audited and ultimatey forced out of office.
Trump’s manager has close ties with the crook-dictator Ukraine kicked out who is now living in Russia. People are demanding to see Paul Manafort’s returns.
President Obama, in a speech some pundits say was perhaps his finest ever, said of Putin: “We don’t look to be ruled.”
"I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America,” said Obama.
It’s no longer a joke that Trump is “The Manchurian Candidate.”
Both versions of the movie end with a drunken politician being used to take control of the U.S. for Russian being shot as he tries to assassinate the mostly likely presidential candidate.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been a democrat, a republican and independent, and who pundits say is worth 100 times more money than Trump, said:
“Throughout his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he's run his business. God help us.
“I'm a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one! Trump says he'll punish manufacturers that move to Mexico or China, but the clothes he sells are made overseas in low-wage factories. He says he wants to put Americans back to work, but he games the U.S. visa system so he can hire temporary foreign workers at low wages. He says he wants to deport 11 million undocumented people, but he seems to have no problem in hiring them.
Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy.”
Whack a presidential candidate Donald Trump is running out of one-liners.
At one time there were 20 or so Republican presidential candidates. That meant Donald Trump could get away with one-liners instead of talking policy.
Assuming he does have some ideas, he soon will have to talk about them.
What was once 20 Republican candidates is now down to four or five.
Nobody has heard from Ben Carson.
Chris Christie and Carley Fiorina are the latest to withdraw.
On Saturday, in Houston, there will only be four five on the stage, depending on whether Carson shows up and is admitted.
There won’t be such great pressure to make sure Trump, Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and present and former Govs. John Kasich and Jeb Bush get their chance to speak.
Kasich has tried to show he is the only moderate. This week he is expected to sign a bill taking money away from Planned Parenthood.
There still may be too many on the stage to deal with serious issues, and Trump has shown no sign of being interested in them.
If billionaire Trump does become the GOP candidate that could bring the even richer former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg out as an independent.
Despite Bernie Sanders so far in two very small, nearly all white states, roadblocks lay ahead. Starting with Nevada and South Carolina, both with large minority populations.
Clinton may be so embedded in the Democratic party’s structure that she cannot be stopped.
Wikipedia is the last place to look for breaking news. But today the New York Times chose to publish a list of polls since 2014 in all 50 states.
Hillary Clinton was the winner.
Bernie Sanders led in his home Vermont, neighbor New Hampshire, Alaska and Maine. All the rest went to Hillary.
A few of the polls were taken in 2014, but a majority in 2015 and a significant number this year.
The winners were the ones who led in the last poll taken in a state.
Clinton not only led in the vast majority of polls, she took all 10 of the most populous states: California,
Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina and Michigan.
Polls of Democrats
Clearly, things may have changed since some of these polls were taken. Network television has been taken over by non-stop coverage of Donald Trump, plus claims that Hillary is a liar, dishonest, shouts, killed soldiers at Benghazi, cozies up with Wall Street, and that husband Bill was promiscuous.
Yet some polls, and in big states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and California, show Clinton still ahead.
Pundits begun last year declaring that Clinton was unstoppable. Then they began trying to stop her.
There is no story, and thus no work for them, if the race is over before it began.
It was somewhat pathetic that two almost lily-white states, with a combined population of less than 5 million, Iowa and New Hamsphire were seen as ways to give evangelicals control of the nation.
Seen many of these zealots lately. Not in my town, Denver.
Of course much can happen between now and next November, and I may decide not to vote for a Clinton for the first time in life. But the shrieking of Trump won’t be a factor. Whenever he is on I turn the channel as fast as I can.
And most people, even old fogies like me, do get all that much content off commercial television the days. Thank heavens for Netflix, Amazon and the others.
Also by Robert Weller:
Donald Trump threatens to take his ball back
Iowa rejects Trump and his extremism
2016 US election news and other news from the USA
Worked in journalism, including on the Internet, for more than 40 years. Started as a news editor at the Colorado Daily at the University of Colorado, joined a small Montana newspaper, the Helena Independent-Record, and then United Press International.