In this week’s politics chat, we try to present the upside case for Donald Trump. The transcript below has been lightly edited.
micah (Micah Cohen, politics editor): Lots of our election coverage of late (here, here, here and here, for example) has been about the presidential race settling into what seems like a new equilibrium: Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by about 7 or 8 percentage points nationally. She’s a clear favorite according to our models, with an 87 percent chance of winning according to polls-only and a 76 percent chance according to polls-plus. But that still leaves Donald Trump with a 13 percent or 24 percent chance of a comeback. So, today, let’s talk about the universes contained in those probabilities. Trump can still win, but how?
To start, though: He can still win, right?
harry (Harry Enten, senior political writer): Absolutely, but he’s a heavy underdog. I’m going to cover this more in a forthcoming piece, but Gerald Ford looked like a goner at this point in 1976. He still lost, but by only 2 percentage points. Of course, the problem with any of these historical comparisons is that Trump isn’t Ford. Then again, Trump isn’t like anyone.
clare.malone (Clare Malone, senior political writer): The “settling” narrative makes me very nervous, though. (On a number of fronts in life, but this presidential election specifically.) Part of me has been traumatized into believing that anything we decide as narrative for a period of three weeks or so …