Trump's Vulnerability and Dangerous Talk

Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg View columnist. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.
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1. Dave Hopkins on the effect of the debates on the 2016 election. I'm more skeptical than he is that the debates really did matter to vote choice -- the problem is that so much has happened in this unusually eventful past month that it's going to be very hard to separate out the various possible causes of Hillary Clinton's lengthening lead. One important factor he doesn't mention: the possibility that Donald Trump's failure to secure the support of his party's highest-visibility elites may make him particularly vulnerable to any sort of bad news, whether it's the debates or other events. 

2. Dan Drezner on the debate

3. Mark Tessler and Michael Robbins at the Monkey Cage on how just talking about the possibility of "rigged" elections can be damaging. I know I've linked to a lot of items about this from political scientists -- it's a sign of just how seriously experts on democracy treat this subject. 

4. On the other hand, Greg Sargent speculates that Trump may be just as bad at threatening democracy as he has been at running for president. Plausible! Trump certainly isn't known for his long attention span. And very few Republicans will be interested in building him up (or preventing him from being treated as a laughingstock) after Nov. 8, even if he only loses narrowly. Assuming, that is, that he does lose.

5. My Bloomberg View colleague Margaret Carlson on the debate, Trump and female voters

6. Ed Kilgore on the overhyped "sting"-type videos showing Democrats (perhaps) misbehaving. 

7. Is Trump just acting the way Al Gore did in 2000? No. The Washington Examiner's Philip Klein makes the most reasonable case that they're somewhat related, albeit not the same ...

8. ... while Jonathan Chait explains why the two cases are very different

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This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Jonathan Bernstein at jbernstein62@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Brooke Sample at bsample1@bloomberg.net