Familiar Theme Emerges in Election Coverage
Common refrain: Clinton will win easily, now looking to Congress
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2016 11:12 AM CDT
Hillary Clinton listens to Donald Trump during the second presidential debate.   (AP Photo/John Locher)

(Newser) – A clear theme is emerging in political coverage, one that suggests a shift in thinking in DC from a probable Hillary Clinton victory to a certain Clinton victory, with the only question being how big it will be and whether the Democrats take over Congress. Examples:

  • "With Donald Trump’s path to victory so narrow that he appears to be looking beyond the election ... the focus of the presidential race is shifting down the ballot. Democrats are making new investments in red states to help party candidates, while Republicans are focusing on salvaging their congressional majorities." Real Clear Politics.
  • "Trump’s free fall is forcing American Action Network and its sister PAC, Congressional Leadership Fund, to also shell out millions in red-leaning districts that weren’t even in play until this month. Their suddenly urgent mission: Build a firewall to prevent a Democratic takeover of the House." Politico.

  • "The pivot is a sign that Clinton is confident enough in her own prospects to start thinking about what comes after Nov. 8, when she'll need a friendly Senate to approve her nominees, and would like to help Democrats make inroads in the House. Her advisers feel they've made Trump as radioactive as possible, so now is the time to use him against his colleagues." NBC News.
  • "The maneuvering speaks to the unexpected tension facing Mrs. Clinton as she hurtles toward what aides increasingly believe will be a decisive victory—a pleasant problem, for certain, but one that has nonetheless scrambled the campaign’s strategy weeks before Election Day: Should Mrs. Clinton maximize her own margin, aiming to flip as many red states as possible to run up an electoral landslide, or prioritize the party’s congressional fortunes, redirecting funds and energy down the ballot?" The New York Times.
  • "With Clinton favored to win the presidential election in November, she and other allies are shifting their gaze to the Senate and House races that will determine whether she has a Congress that can help her advance her agenda or one that will be an intransigent roadblock, as Congress has been for President Barack Obama." Newsweek.
  • "The GOP’s wisest course of action now, with Trump clearly headed for defeat, is to quietly concede the presidential race and spread the message that Republican voters must support their Congressional candidates to block the Clinton agenda. And with Clinton’s poor approval ratings, this is a message that could resonate with independents as well." Cliston Brown at the Observer, whose publisher is Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.
  • FiveThirtyEight puts Clinton's current chance of victory at 88%.