In this week’s politics chat, we talk about why the presidential race has tightened. The transcript below has been lightly edited.
micah (Micah Cohen, politics editor): Welcome, everyone, to our first post-Labor Day politics chat. Things are afoot! And we’re here to talk about them. Our question for today: Why is Donald Trump gaining on Hillary Clinton in the polls?
To set us up, Harry, briefly describe how the race has shifted since the conventions.
clare.malone (Clare Malone, senior political writer): I hope no one is wearing linen and/or white to this chat.
harry (Harry Enten, senior political writer): Clinton got a large convention bounce. In our polls-only model, for example, Clinton got as high as an 89 percent chance of winning and was projected to win the national vote by 8.6 percentage points. But since mid-August, her chances have fallen steadily. Right now, she’s at a 69 percent chance of winning and only is projected to win the national vote by 3.9 percentage points.
micah: So, let’s talk causes, then we can talk about where Trump’s gains have come from. Can we point to any one or two things to explain the race tightening?
clare.malone: I think it’s not so much what Trump has been doing, so much as Clinton has been the top story in most news cycles these last couple of weeks, and she’s not being portrayed in a flattering light, generally speaking.
Trump had a rough go after the conventions, and Clinton just sorta laid back and let him run his mouth for a while. But now, the Clinton Foundation stuff is raising itself as a specter in her campaign — whodathunk a charitable foundation would prove to have such …