With exactly one week left before the 2016 presidential election, the wheels are coming off the Hillary Clinton campaign. The FBI has renewed their investigation into Clinton’s handling of classified documents, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin may have perjured herself in prior testimony, Donna Brazile has been fired from CNN for leaking debate questions to Clinton, and the FBI has announced- contrary to the Clinton campaign’s narrative- that they do not believe Donald Trump has ties to Russia.
This high-speed car wreck of a week on the campaign trail is having a massive impact in the polls: Trump has surged to a 4 point lead in the LA Times/USC tracking poll. The ABC tracking poll has seen a massive 13 point swing in Trump’s favor in the past week.’
The Clinton camp is in trouble and they know it.
In response to this complete momentum swing, conventional wisdom held that the Clinton campaign would release their final piece of opposition research on Trump to reclaim the media narrative. A new accuser, perhaps. Maybe another unreleased hot mic tape. Perhaps it would be a speech from years ago where Trump contradicted his current policy proposals in an effort to shake his core supporters.
And yet, the Clinton campaign came back with nothing. No scandal, no tape, nothing.
In an attempt to stop the bleeding, Clinton hit the trail in Florida with none other than Alicia Machado, the former beauty queen she attempted to make a campaign issue in the wake of the first presidential debate nearly six weeks ago.
Struggling to read her heartfelt testimony off a script at a campaign event in Florida, Machado stated the following:
“I was scare of him…he made fun of me.”
A video of part of her speech is available here.
If this is any indication, Clinton’s quiver is empty. In all likelihood, neither Clinton nor her press team in the media has any material on Trump that could truly be race-altering, otherwise it would already have been released. With thousands of voters casting early voting ballots in swing states every day, the race is becoming increasingly hard to alter- which makes the timing of the FBI’s discovery of new Clinton emails perfect for Trump.
This strategy reflects the demoralization Clinton supporters are feeling: per the Washington Post tracking poll, the number of Clinton supporters feeling “very enthusiastic” about voting for her plummeted from 51% to 43% on the news of the FBI reopening their investigation.
The shift is taking place in swing states, too: the most recent poll of North Carolina voters finds a six point swing in Trump’s favor, placing him one point ahead of Clinton. He is winning or tied in every Ohio poll. Florida polls conducted before the FBI news had him up three percent, with post-FBI news polls indicating the lead is growing. Pennsylvania is shifting as well, as Clinton’s 7 and 8 point leads have shrunk to 2 and 3 points in half a week. He’s leading in Iowa, Georgia, Arizona, and even looks to expand the map in New Mexico and Virginia.
In two weeks, he’s clawed back 7 points in Colorado, a trend that places him tied or in the lead by election day. In six days, he has reduced her eleven-point lead to four points, indicating a possible 4%-5% victory on election day.
If Clinton cannot find a way to stop the bleeding, this news cycle and recent polling could spell disaster for her campaign. While her organized get out the vote organization is more organized than Trump’s, the Trump campaign and informal allies (such as Mike Cernovich’s MAGA3X) look to do everything they can to remind Trump supporters to vote by or on November 8.