Who won or lost last night's debate doesn't really matter. What matters is that Trump wasn't able to score the knock-out blows required to impact his declining polling numbers in a meaningful way. Meanwhile, of all the points made in last night's debate, the only one that seems to matter to the mainstream media this morning is that Trump is somehow plotting to overthrow our democracy by refusing to accept election results on November 8th.
Of course, facts do seem to support Trump's claim that the election is rigged and not just as a result of a biased mainstream media that refuses to cover Hillary's various scandals. In fact, according to research conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2012, the capacity for voter fraud in the U.S. is substantial with nearly 2mm dead people found to be registered voters and nearly 3mm people registered in multiple states.
- Approximately 24 million—one of every eight—voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or are significantly inaccurate
- More than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as voters
- Approximately 2.75 million people have registrations in more than one state
Add to that the recent Project Veritas videos showing democratic operatives paying people to incite violence at republican rallies and actually bragging about "bussing" in out-of-state voters to commit massive voter fraud and Trump's claims of "election rigging" seem hard to deny.
After watching those videos, does this tweet really seem all that inaccurate?
Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day. Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2016
Of course, according to The Hill, republicans this morning are jumping at the opportunity to bash their own party's nominee with Lindsey Graham saying that "Trump is doing the party and our country a great disservice."
Many Republicans were tired of Trump’s talk about a rigged election before his remarks on Wednesday night that he would not commit to accepting the legitimacy of the vote count on Election Day.
Trump said there are "millions of people" who are registered to vote illegally, alleged that the media has “poisoned the minds of the voters,” and pledged to keep the nation in “suspense” over whether he’d concede the race to Clinton.
Trump’s critics seized on his remarks after the debate, and Republicans down the ballot will be forced to weigh in over the coming days.
Several jumped at the chance.
“Mr. Trump is doing the party and our country a great disservice by continuing to suggest the outcome of this election is out of his hands and ‘rigged’ against him,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “It will not be because the system is ‘rigged’ but because he failed as a candidate.”
.@realDonaldTrump saying that he might not accept election results is beyond the pale— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) October 20, 2016
Of course, other topics were discussed during the debate with Trump seemingly scoring points during the abortion scuffle, the supreme court discussion and Hillary's various FBI, email and foundation scandals. That said, we suspect none of it really matters and is already forgotten.
The GOP nominee ably defended the conservative position against abortion and stayed on the attack against Clinton on her biggest vulnerabilities, raising questions about the FBI’s investigation into her private email server, donations from foreign governments to the Clinton Foundation and revelations from the WikiLeaks email dumps.
Regardless, as we said in the beginning of this post, none it really matters as the key takeaway from last night was that "Trump needed a campaign-altering moment, and it didn’t happen."
He will enter the final three weeks before Election Day trailing badly and with his support teetering on the edge of full collapse, stirring Republican fears that they could lose the House majority.
The days of Trump boasting about his polling numbers and his prospects in blue states are long gone.
Trump’s attacks against Clinton and the message that turned him into a winner in the GOP primaries won’t be enough to get him back to that place.
So, outside of some new bombshell development from WikiLeaks or wherever, we suspect this one is in the bag.