Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

For all I know, the punditocray is right in prophesying that “the summer of Trump” is over. But it remains hilarious how frantic they are to manufacture evidence for this proposition. Today’s chief exhibit is from a Kyle Cheney piece in–you guessed it–Politico.

After faltering in last week’s debate, Donald Trump showed signs that the campaign grind has taken its toll. He’s taking longer to shake off controversial remarks, delivering relatively subdued performances during interviews and campaign appearances, and, most disconcertingly, stalling in polls.

The latest national Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday provided some fuel to wishful rivals. Trump still leads among registered Republican voters with 25 percent, statistically unchanged from last month’s Quinnipiac survey that put him at 28 percent. Yet it’s the second major national poll this week showing a slight decrease from last month — Trump experienced an 8-point drop in the CNN/ORC survey released Sunday. (A Fox poll released Wednesday evening also showed Trump with relatively stalled momentum, and a Bloomberg survey of the GOP field showed Trump in a holding pattern at 21 percent).

Statistically unchanged…holding pattern…stalled momentum. What this means is that Trump is no longer making measurable progress in the polls, and merely continues to run first at a level no other candidate has achieved at any point in the Invisible Primary, despite an epic pounding from the MSM and various rivals. No, he’s not going to keep increasing his support in an upward arc towards 100%. Does that mean he will be down there in the teens by Halloween or single digits by Caucus Night? Maybe, maybe not; we just don’t know. But as in sports, “momentum” in politics is an incredibly overrated and sometimes imaginary quality. Every time it appears, you should take whatever follows with a shaker of salt.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.