March 20th, 2019


Trump's Last Stand: the Debate

Dick Morris

By Dick Morris

Published Oct. 19, 2016

Trump's Last Stand: the Debate

 David Paul Morris / Bloomberg

In the past week, the polls have shifted decisively against Donald Trump. Now, with his back to the wall, he needs to win the last debate with a strong and tough exposition of Hillary’s flaws. Otherwise, he is in for a defeat of Mondalian proportions.

Let’s review the trajectory of the race so far to understand where we are. With the noise of the biased media coverage, it is hard to figure out what is really happening. If one listens to them or reads Politico one gets the impression that Trump has been reeling from defeat to defeat and has never gotten his act together. And, the gospel according to Trump is that he has gone from victory to victory in an endless upward trajectory.

Neither version is true. Here’s what has really happened so far:

Coming off Hillary’s convention, she was dominant.

But then the FBI report and the increasingly evident bribery going on at the Clinton Foundation and the State Department erased her lead

Meanwhile, through the first three weeks of September, Trump stayed on message, eliminated the off-the-cuff remarks that had troubled his campaign, and moved up smartly in the polls.

When Hillary collapsed at the 9/11 ceremony, Trump took the lead as speculation about her health came to dominate the race.

In the first debate, Hillary demonstrated her recovery and Trump pussyfooted losing the contest and giving Hillary back her lead.

But as September waned and October started, the e-mail issue dragged Hillary down again and Trump recovered from his debate performance moving up to, at least, a tie.

Then came the Trump sex tape on the weekend of Saturday, October 8th thru Sunday, October 9th. Polls suggest that he dropped about 7 points by the time the second debate started at 9 PM on Sunday October 9th.

But Trump got off the canvass and scored his own knockout by overwhelmingly winning the second debate that Sunday.

The polls combined Trump’s fall over the weekend with his recovery in the debate and began the week with Hillary ahead by a small margin.

Then, in the past ten days, as allegations of groping women surfaced and Trump handled them poorly, the race got away from Trump. Hillary has added to her lead at the pace of almost a point every two days.

So, now Trump is behind by about 5-7 points and needs to score another knockout in the third debate as decisive as the one he won in the second match-up.

It’s possible. Trump has bested her before and could do so again. Now is the time for him to become unshackled and let her have it or its curtains.

Dick Morris, who served as adviser to former Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and former President Clinton, is the author of 16 books, including his latest, Screwed and Here Come the Black Helicopters.