It’s the Comey Letter Wot Won It

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Joshua Green’s new book, Devil’s Bargain, confirms that the Trump campaign knew exactly what everyone else knew: the Comey letter is what allowed them to beat Hillary Clinton. The Daily Beast provides the summary:

“The last few days have proven to be pivotal in the minds of voters with the recent revelations in reopening the investigation of Secretary Clinton,” the memo read, according to Green. “Early polling numbers show declining support for Clinton, shifting in favor of Mr. Trump.” It added: “This may have a fundamental impact on the results.”

….“[Many in the campaign were] pessimistic but some in the [top] ranks saw glimmers of hope even before the Comey letter hit,” the second Trump 2016 vet said, still conceding however that it is very “difficult to write the history of [Trump’s] win without mentioning Comey.”

Green also reports that Trump’s internal numbers had him gaining momentum before the Comey letter, which then provided a “sharply upward” turn “in every state.” By the time they published the five-day-out memo, aides worried that the campaign was already leveling off.

This is no surprise to anyone who’s actually paid attention to the voluminous evidence that the Comey letter shifted the election by about three points, more than enough to turn an easy Clinton win into a loss. Can we all now please stop talking about the white working class?

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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