Is Donald Trump Blowing It?

From FiveThirtyEight:

In this week’s politics chat, we talk about what’s happened in the 2016 campaign since the end of the Democratic National Convention on Thursday. It’s been a wild few days. The transcript below has been lightly edited.

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micah (Micah Cohen, politics editor): All right, everyone, we’re back in New York after two weeks covering the conventions and here’s our question for today: Is Donald Trump blowing it? He got a middling bounce out of the Republican National Convention, and since then has seemed intent on creating problems for himself. Most notably, he’s spent days criticizing the Muslim parents of an American soldier, who was killed in Iraq, after they spoke at the Democratic convention.

clare.malone (Clare Malone, senior political writer): Can we lay the numbers out here? He got a 3-4 percentage point bounce, which is fairly normal for recent conventions, right? And we think Clinton might get a bigger bounce?

natesilver (Nate Silver, editor in chief): Clinton has gotten a bigger bounce. That’s safe to conclude at this point.

And I sort of don’t buy the argument that a 3-4 point bounce was impressive for Trump, especially given what we’ve seen from Clinton. There was a lot of low-hanging fruit this year, in terms of undecided and third-party voters. Doesn’t take that much to sweep them into the GOP camp. But he really didn’t reach out at all beyond his base, which is maybe 40 percent of the population. He went from 37 to 40 percent. Woo-hoo.

harry (Harry Enten, senior political writer): I mean, “blowing it” implies he really was ahead to begin with.

micah: Even if he wasn’t winning, Harry, is he blowing any chance he had?

harry: We know that Clinton’s lead in FiveThirtyEight’s now-cast is nearly as high as …

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