The numbers don’t lie, even if the candidate does
The first debate in any presidential election is a big deal. But tonight’s might be the biggest in history, with some estimates saying that as many as 100 million people could watch the first face-to-face showdown between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
But you don’t really need to watch, right? Trump is going to embarrass himself, Hillary is going to give her usual composed performance and everyone will come to their senses and send the billionaire real estate mogul packing. Right? Well, not so fast.
A number of polls released on the eve of tonight’s debate at Hofstra University in New York show the two candidates in a virtual tie:
The latest Bloomberg poll has Clinton and Trump tied at 46 percent each. And Trump actually leads by two points when third party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are included in the sample.
Likewise, CNN cites new polling data of its own in the critical swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, showing the two candidates in a statistical tie. That’s particularly newsworthy in Pennsylvania, a state Trump has bragged about winning but has traditionally gone to Democrats in recent elections.
Need more evidence? The latest numbers from Quinnipiac University (one of the most reliable polling outlets available) show Clinton leading Trump by just one point – 47percent to 46 percent. Clinton also maintains her one point lead when Johnson and Stein are included
And if you’re hoping the media will bail out Clinton or bring the hammer of truth down on Trump’s well-documented troubles with the facts, you’re probably going to be disappointed. All of the major networks have rejected pressure to fact-check the candidates during the live broadcast.
So, no matter whom you support, but especially if you support Hillary Clinton, this is one major political event you should not sit out. Tonight may not shut the door on the Oval Office for either candidate but it will likely go a long way to deciding how the rest of this shockingly close race will play out before Election Day.