A presidential campaign is figuratively called a "race." Two runners sprint toward the
But the 2016 presidential campaign has spawned lots of weird races.
The first sprint is one between embarrassments and scandals.
Will another WikiLeaks disclosure confirm that
The winner will be the candidate leaked about the least by
Here, Trump might have an odd edge. Even the most lurid disclosures will only confirm what we already knew about his vulgarity. But any more leaks about Clinton could shatter the crumbling facade depicting her as a highly respected and ethical establishmentarian.
Another race is between the relative health of the two candidates.
At 68, Clinton seems too frail. At 70, Trump seems too frenetic. This race is nearing the home stretch to see whether Clinton stumbles, nearly faints or goes into a coughing fit. Or will the sleepless Trump stay on his Twitter feed at
Democrats want to pep up Clinton. Republicans want to calm down Trump. For now, worries over Clinton's poor health seem to be outracing Trump's nocturnal mania.
A third race is one of defections within the candidates' respective parties.
Leaked emails revealed that in the primaries, the Clinton campaign colluded with the supposedly neutral
Trump is now not just at war with Clinton and the liberal media. He is in mortal combat against almost all the Republican bluestockings of the
For now, Trump's civil war has a far higher body count than Clinton's.
There is a fourth race between two quite different media.
Traditional media sources -- the three major network news outlets, the flagship
Against these fixtures of some 70 years is pitted a louder outlaw media.
Talk-radio hosts such as
If spirit and passion rather than manners won races, then the unorthodox pro-Trump media would beat the predictable pro-Clinton media. But so far, Clinton is reaching far more voters with the old media than Trump is with the new.
There is yet another race between the grating personalities of the candidates themselves.
In the next three weeks, will voters finally tire of Trump's empty and over-the-top superlatives, such as "tremendous," "awesome" and "great," or his periodic meltdown rants in defense of his business career?
Or will we become even more exhausted by Clinton's inadvertent depiction of the aggravating Nurse Ratched character from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"? The more we hear Trump go off, the more we hear in reply Clinton's canned monotony. Yet her contrived calmness is still preferable to her occasional screeching when excited.
There are two final races, the most important of all: money and time.
The billionaire wheeler-dealer Trump oddly has raised far less cash than the supposedly progressive, anti-Wall Street Clinton.
More valuable than even money is time. Clinton is ahead, sitting on her lead. Trump is behind, in need of another two weeks beyond
The money and the clock races usually trump all others.
Mostly reliable traditional polls -- Gallup,
In this outlandish year, the winner will be the survivor who crawls barely alive over the