Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are headed for an unpredictable sprint as up to one in five voters isn’t firmly committed
As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump spin out of their first debate and into the last six weeks of the presidential campaign, they are headed into what figures to be not only a tight stretch run but one that is exceptionally volatile and unpredictable.
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That’s because roaming around in the middle of the electorate is a large chunk of voters—perhaps one in five—not firmly committed to anybody. Some of these voters are literally undecided, some are nominally backing a third-party candidate but available to be pulled to one of the major candidates, and some aren’t sure they want to vote at all when faced with what they consider unpalatable choices.
This situation creates an unusual amount of uncertainty about whether significant blocs of voters—including young people, minorities, suburban women and college-educated white men—will revert to normal behavior, break out of traditional patterns or simply not show up.
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The good news for Donald Trump in this mix is that, in a normal race, many voters who aren’t committed to voting for the incumbent at this stage actually already have made a decision to vote against the incumbent. They just haven’t admitted that yet. There is no incumbent in this race, of course, because President Barack Obama isn’t running, but Mrs. Clinton, his chosen successor, may be the functional equivalent.
Yet this isn’t a normal race, and it’s unclear that a candidate who arouses as many negative feelings as does Mr. Trump will exert the same pull away from the incumbent party as would a less controversial candidate under the same circumstances.Read the rest from the WSJ's Gerald F Seib HERE.
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