Donald Trump
Credit: Michael Vadon/Flickr

The Clinton campaign had a response to the news that Donald Trump is trying to mainstream Alex Jones-ism by worrying publicly that the November election may be stolen from him.

Personally, I prefer Greg Sargent’s take on it:

Is it possible that Donald Trump has begun to contemplate his own political mortality? Is it possible that Trump, who had previously boasted to GOP primary audiences that he would beat Hillary Clinton “easily” — has begun to contemplate the possibility that he might lose the presidential election?

It is perhaps not a coincidence that Trump has suddenly stopped tweeting about polls (which are now showing Clinton taking a meaningful lead) at precisely the moment that he is escalating his efforts to cast doubt, in advance, on the legitimacy of the general election’s outcome.

Earlier today there was some confusion about a poll showing Clinton up by one point in Utah (the poll doesn’t exist), but as far back as mid-July Clinton’s chief strategist, Joel Benenson was listing Utah as a target state:

BENENSON: Ohio is going to be close. I wouldn’t call it a redrawing. Here’s what I think about the map. It’s going to be a close race. But there isn’t any state in the battleground universe where Donald Trump will force us to play defense.

But there are other states where it becomes very problematic for Republicans. A state like North Carolina — in 2004, Republicans probably felt pretty comfortable there. They don’t now. States like Arizona and Utah, if we can make them play defense there, which is very plausible because of the kind of divisive candidate Donald Trump is, it puts more pressure on them.

Those comments were made prior to the two parties’ conventions, but they still look solid. The last three polls out of North Carolina show Clinton in the lead, including the latest by NBC/WSJ/Marist that shows her up by six. Arizona has been lightly polled, but Huffington Post has Clinton up by one tenth of a percent in their aggregator. And, while there’s no new poll out of Utah, there have been two this year showing Clinton tied there and all but one poll has shown Trump polling below forty percent.

I’d like to add to this that the most recent poll out of Missouri (by Mason-Dixon) has Clinton up by a point there, and that a Republican pollster released a survey yesterday showing the race tied in Georgia.

That’s a lot of defense that Trump is already having to play, which is one reason why I questioned his decision to campaign in Colorado. Mike Pence is scheduled to be in Denver and Colorado Springs tomorrow. Hopefully, he won’t get stuck in any elevators and need the assistance of any fire marshals.

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Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at