GOP reality check: As FBI dust settles, Hillary still controls destiny
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So much has happened in the last week revolving around the presidential campaigns of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry negative images are defining White House Heller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll MORE and Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE. Let me sum up where things are, five days before the election.

The FBI stink bomb that Director James Comey threw at the electorate last Friday has had a putrid effect that is now dissipating. Comey has received plenty of scathing and well-deserved blowback for his egregious and inappropriate action.

So, with that out of the way, let’s take a deep breath and a step back.


For all of Donald Trump’s trumped-up rhetoric — that is more than ever characteristically filled with lies — understand that by any respectable measure, Hillary is still winning.

She still has a lead in the national polls and is ahead in most of the key battleground state polls.

But I do want to make a note of some polls that have Trump ahead in places like Nevada, Arizona and close in Florida. Don’t believe those polls.

The Florida electorate is made up of 18% eligible Hispanic voters. Nevada’s is 17.2%, Arizona is at 21.5%, Colorado is at 14.5%, even Pennsylvania is at 4.5%, North Carolina is at 3.4%, and Virginia is 4.6%.

In the recent public polling we see in these states, the methodology does not include bilingual calls to Hispanic voters — many of whom are Spanish-speaking, and some of these polls do not even include cross tabs for Hispanic voters. This leads to a ‘yuge’ undercount of Latino support for Hillary.

In fact, this oversight is even more egregious, because what we are seeing from the early returns is that Latinos are voting in record numbers so far this year. In many states, they are voting at twice the rate they voted in 2012.  

The National Association of Latinos Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) predicted there would be 13.6 million Latinos voting in this election (80% of the roughly 17 million Latinos who registered), up from 11.2 million in 2012. It could be way higher than NALEO”s prediction.

Additionally, the Trump campaign loves to talk about the “hidden Trump voter” and how that voter does not get counted in polls and will be a surprise in favor of Trump on Election Day because they either won’t admit they are for Trump to pollsters or they do not fit the likely voter model because they have voted seldom if ever in the past.

The same argument can be said for a secret “Hillary voter.” Many Latinos who are voting have seldom if ever voted before. The same with millennials. They won’t be counted in the “likely voter” model.

Republicans can be the “silent Hillary voter” too. There was a William and Mary survey that came out Wednesday, stating that of the early vote in Florida, 28% of GOP votes had been cast for Hillary Clinton.

Republicans for Hillary just put out a new video explaining why so many lifelong Republicans are for the first time voting for Hillary. And it is because Trump is so atrocious for their party and for the country.

There are a couple of other points to be made about the new polls coming out and some of the numbers in them. 

Much has been made about the concern with the drop off in African American turnout in the early vote so far. The drop off is real. But the reason is important — voter suppression efforts on behalf of the Republicans, especially in North Carolina.

Many fewer polling sites were originally open for early voting in North Carolina. After the Democrats took the GOP to court and a judge sided with Democrats, many new sites are now open and turnout is growing with each passing day, including an increase of 55,000 in North Carolina just today.

Additionally, let’s remember that the African American faith community makes its big “get out the vote” push on the weekend before Election Day. The program is called Souls to the Polls and it will take place this Sunday. We will see a big spike in African American early voting at that point.

But let’s also get real. The first African American president is a tough act to follow for anyone, even the potential first woman president, if the measure is African American turnout.

So let’s also get real about what Hillary needs to do. She does not need the exact same “Obama coalition.” She will have the “Hillary Coalition” which is a tad bid different. It will include the majority of African American voters, historic turnout of Hispanics, historic turnout for her of college educated white women, multicultural and white millennials, and even some college educated men.

Lastly, let’s talk about those trustworthy numbers, which if we believe the polls, for Hillary, they have gotten worse. And while that may be true in the short term, thanks to that aforementioned FBI stink bomb, when it comes to the measure of who has the temperament to be president and commander in chief, who has the experience and knowledge to lead the country, and who has the leadership qualities to be president, Hillary Clinton blows Donald Trump out of the water. Every time.

Let’s think about this. While voters may not believe that Hillary has been very forthcoming with her emails, and may not believe she is on the up and up with the issue of her server, clearly, based on all these polls, voters trust Hillary to have what it takes to be in the Oval Office. They trust her to have the steadiness, the steeliness, and the demeanor to be the leader of the free world. This is the most important and impactful measure of all when a voter goes to pull the lever. 

It is why she is winning.

And it is why Donald Trump is losing.

There is no question that the Hillary Clinton campaign is taking nothing for granted, and taking no voter for granted, nor should they. They are fighting for every vote, in every battleground state, and then some including Arizona. And while they are strategically focused, they are optimistic that she will be victorious on Election Day.

I agree, and look forward to welcoming our very first Madame President.

Cardona is a principal at the Dewey Square Group, a Democratic strategist and a CNN/CNN Español political commentator. Follow her on Twitter @MariaTCardona.

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