After losing the debate on Sept. 26, Donald Trump's fortunes appear to have revived.
The three polls conducted since Oct. 1 all show a trend toward Trump. Rasmussen Reports, which is conducting daily tracking polls, shows Trump +2 in a three-way race today.
Gravis, fielded the day before the vice presidential debate, has it tied. Economist/YouGov shows Hillary Clinton +3, about where she has been for the past two weeks in their polling.
Very likely, Trump will experience a bounce when the polling comes in after the vice presidential debate. He may enter the Sunday, Oct. 9, debate with a slight lead.
How did he comeback from a weak performance in the first debate?
Undoubtedly, he scored points in the debate on jobs and trade and showed an open mindedness of race issues that did him credit. He didn't hit Clinton nearly hard enough and that disappointed his backers.
But Trump seems to have made the fundamental point stick: That a vote for Clinton is a vote for the status quo and that a vote for him is a vote for change. With the country saying, by 3-1 that we are on the "wrong track," that's an important bit of positioning.
And the impact of the vice presidential debate may be significant. The endless and repetitive name-calling in which Tim Kaine engaged may demonstrate the hollowness of Clinton's case and lead people to look beyond and behind the slurs and insults.
Why did Kaine do so badly? I believe that the voices of Bill and Hillary Clinton were echoing in his mind, exhorting him to be tougher and meaner. Likely, they attended his coaching sessions and criticized him for not being strong enough. In his mind, he was likely pleasing them regardless of the effect on his audience.
If Hurricane Matthew hits landfall in Florida and does huge damage, it will loom big as an issue. Whether or not this is the storm of the century, it is certainly the quadrennial storm that seems to impact our elections every four years.
But this time it lands right in the middle of a climate change debate and unless Donald Trump is careful in how he handles the issue — and shows open mindedness and a willingness to follow the science as it evolves, he may be badly hurt.