Ralph Lopez majored in Economics and Political Science at Yale University. He has been published in the Boston Globe and the Baltimore Sun.
The most recent average of national polls published by Real Clear Politics (RCP) shows that Donald Trump has closed an average 6-point gap with Hillary Clinton in the past week with dizzying speed, and is now slightly ahead of Clinton for the first time in the election season. Bernie Sanders, who is also seeking the Democratic nomination, continues to maintain a comfortable lead over Trump.
The new polls come after a raucous week in the Democratic primary process, when a Democratic convention in Nevada revealed dictatorial behavior on the part of pro-Clinton state party officials. The conduct of the convention by party leaders generated outrage which was then subject to wildly inaccurate characterizations by party leaders and in the media. The mainstream media, including the New York Times and AP, asserted that chairs had been thrown, even though extensive video of the event shows this to be an outright falsehood.
The convention erupted in a chorus of boos from Sanders supporters after the state party chairman, Roberta Lange, ruled after an inconclusive voice vote that Clinton supporters had won the voice vote. Lange then refused to consider a follow-up motion for a formal vote, which is against party rules, and is routinely granted if a voice vote is inconclusive. The rulings by the party chairman resulted in a string of victories for the Clinton side which reinforced Clinton's Nevada delegate lead.
NV Democratic State Committee Chairwoman Shutting Down Sanders Supporters
The Nevada fiasco took place after Sanders officials mulled asking for a recount in last week's Kentucky primary, in which thousands of votes were somehow erased from some voting machines, benefitting Clinton who then pulled into the lead, and narrowly won. The entire Democratic primary season has been marred by multiple allegations of fraud benefitting Clinton.
Trump's sudden lead in the RCP average follows a newly aggressive tone by the campaign and willingness to treat parts of both Mr. and Mrs. Clinton's past as fair game. This year a woman stepped forward to say that, as a 12-year-old rape victim in Arkansas when Hillary Clinton was a public defender, Clinton smeared her and lied in a court affidavit in order to win a case on behalf of a man Clinton knew to be guilty. The man walked free. And this month, it emerged that Bill Clinton flew much more frequently on convicted billionaire and child rapist Jeffrey Epstein's private jet than was previously known. The plane has been dubbed "The Lolita Express." A woman in a lawsuit against Epstein who claims to have been an underage victim of his has said in an affidavit that Bill Clinton "must have known about Jeffrey's girls."
Woman Says Hillary Clinton Smeared Her as 12-Year-Old Rape Victim
The Clintons have long been embroiled in all manner of controversy since Bill Clinton's early days in Arkansas, beginning with the Whitewater Scandal, Iran-Contra drug-smuggling, and on through Hillary Clinton's "EmailGate" in the present day. Trump and his operatives say that many questions remain unresolved, and have suggested they will raise these questions in political ads. They say that what bears on Bill, also bears on Hillary, as a fully involved partner in his political rise and day-to-day work life.