Hillary Clinton Remains the Most Likely 45th President of the United States

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Greg Sargent is a little tired of the current conventional wisdom about a Trump-Clinton general election:

Democrats should not underestimate Trump or imagine that defeating him will be easy….Democrats should obviously be prepared for any manner of attack that Trump will throw at [Hillary Clinton], and they’ll need to figure out how to create a more positive narrative around her.

Rather, the point is that we should stop over-inflating impressions of Trump’s strength. We should stop ascribing magical political powers to Trump based on the questionable notion that his “unconventional” and “unpredictable” campaign makes him a more formidable foe than anyone expected. Trump will be difficult to beat, but that might be mainly because these elections are always hard.

I’ll go a little further: chill out, people. Trump is likely to get at least 45 percent of the vote. That’s just the way our country works at the moment. Ditto for Hillary. There’s probably not much more than 10 percent of the electorate that’s really, truly undecided.

This means that at any given moment, all it takes is a tiny bump based on some outside event, combined with a little bit of normal poll error, to make either candidate look like a winner. Especially this early in the campaign, this stuff is meaningless. For what it’s worth, though, the very least you should do is rely on poll aggregations, not single polls. Sam Wang has personally investigated 2 quadrillion outcomes—and boy are his eyes tired—and figures that Hillary is currently likely to win the electoral college by 336-202. Likewise, Pollster puts Hillary ahead in the popular vote by 44-40 percent. This will flutter around, and there will be times when panic seems like the best response, but it’s probably not. It’s just life in 50-50 America.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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