The FiveThirtyEight odds for president have swung back towards a bigger lead for Hillary Clinton. Their current forecast:
A the trend lines show that could just as easily turn around again. The US electorate seems to be volatile, I suspect with a large number of voters unhappy with all candidates.
Will the weight of media opinion take it’s toll on Trump in the final month of the campaign?
USA Today is the latest to come out against Trump.
The Editorial Board has never taken sides in the presidential race. We’re doing it now.
In the 34-year history of USA TODAY, the Editorial Board has never taken sides in the presidential race. Instead, we’ve expressed opinions about the major issues and haven’t presumed to tell our readers, who have a variety of priorities and values, which choice is best for them. Because every presidential race is different, we revisit our no-endorsement policy every four years. We’ve never seen reason to alter our approach. Until now.
This year, the choice isn’t between two capable major party nominees who happen to have significant ideological differences. This year, one of the candidates — Republican nominee Donald Trump — is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency.
From the day he declared his candidacy 15 months ago through this week’s first presidential debate, Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he lacks the temperament, knowledge, steadiness and honesty that America needs from its presidents.
Whether through indifference or ignorance, Trump has betrayed fundamental commitments made by all presidents since the end of World War II. These commitments include unwavering support for NATO allies, steadfast opposition to Russian aggression, and the absolute certainty that the United States will make good on its debts. He has expressed troubling admiration for authoritarian leaders and scant regard for constitutional protections.
They then list a number of problems they see with Trump:
- He is erratic
He simply spouts slogans and outcomes (he’d replace Obamacare with “something terrific”) without any credible explanations of how he’d achieve them.
- He is ill-equipped to be commander in chief
Trump’s foreign policy pronouncements typically range from uninformed to incoherent.
- He traffics in prejudice
From the very beginning, Trump has built his campaign on appeals to bigotry and xenophobia.
- His business career is checkered
Trump has built his candidacy on his achievements as a real estate developer and entrepreneur. It’s a shaky scaffold…
- He isn’t leveling with the American people
…alone among major party presidential candidates for the past four decades, he refuses to release his tax returns…
- He speaks recklessly
…It’s hard to imagine two more irresponsible statements from one presidential candidate.
- He has coarsened the national dialogue
Trump’s inability or unwillingness to ignore criticism raises the specter of a president who, like Richard Nixon, would create enemies’ lists and be consumed with getting even with his critics.
- He’s a serial liar
Trump is in a league of his own when it comes to the quality and quantity of his misstatements.
They also state reservations about Clinton:
Nor does this editorial represent unqualified support for Hillary Clinton, who has her own flaws (though hers are far less likely to threaten national security or lead to a constitutional crisis). The Editorial Board does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement.
Some of us look at her command of the issues, resilience and long record of public service — as first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of State — and believe she’d serve the nation ably as its president.
Other board members have serious reservations about Clinton’s sense of entitlement, her lack of candor and her extreme carelessness in handling classified information.
Clinton is a significantly flawed candidate. Just far less so than Trump.
USA Today concludes:
Whatever you do, however, resist the siren song of a dangerous demagogue. By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump.
That’s damning, but they encapsulate the concerns of many, not just in the US but around the world.