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Presidential Horse Race 2016: How Donald Trump can win the final presidential debate

“Fight Night in Vegas” is a phrase often associated with the glittering southwestern Nevada city, home to gamblers, sinners, vacation bargain-hunters and thrill-seekers of all sorts. In that sense, Las Vegas is perhaps the perfect locale to host tonight’s third and final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, an event that could easily serve as the city’s most consequential of all time.

If predictions hold, it could also very well turn into a “fight night” to remember.

Las Vegas debate stageThe candidate forum will take place at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and will be moderated by Fox News’ Chris Wallace. It will start at the usual time, 9 o’clock eastern and last ninety minutes.

Unlike the first two debates, there really isn’t anything “new” dominating the headlines in the lead-up to the event. Donald Trump has been busy the past week fending off the claims of several women who accused him of improper sexual advances from decades ago and Hillary Clinton has been, well, out of sight for the most part.

Needless to say, the recent revelations regarding Hillary’s surrogates trying to reclassify documents by making deals with the FBI should be leading every newscast, but we’re hardly hearing about them. And then there was the latest video from Project Veritas where various Hillary supporters openly discussed fostering violence at Trump rallies, but again, hardly a peep from the major media on it.

It’s also funny how no one is talking about Hillary’s health anymore, though she’s hardly keeping a rigorous schedule. I’m guessing the reason for her absence from the public eye is one part health-related and one-part campaign strategy to keep her away from people as much as possible.

Should Hillary end up winning the presidency I’m guessing she’ll set records for the fewest number of campaign appearances as well as fewest media interviews given.

Everyone knows everything about Hillary’s crooked past yet she’s still leading in the polls. As of yesterday she carried a healthy seven point advantage in the Real Clear Politics average, buoyed by a CBS survey that gave her an 11-point lead (Note: The LA Times/USC poll still shows Trump ahead by two points).

These are shocking numbers and truthfully, defy belief.

As far as tonight’s debate is concerned, it’s anyone’s guess as to the strategies both candidates will employ.

Gerald F. Seib of the Wall Street Journal writes, “For Republican Donald Trump, the question is whether the kind of scorched-earth tactics he has employed in the last week—full-bore attacks on his opponent and on the legitimacy of the very system by which presidents are chosen—really translate to his benefit in a debate format.

“For Democrat Hillary Clinton, the question is whether to engage in the fight with Mr. Trump as she did in the last debate, or instead pivot beyond attacks and counterattacks to try to occupy some higher ground in the closing chapter of the campaign.”

Seib notes that nothing seems to stick to Hillary these days as her poll numbers have steadily improved regardless of the tactics she’s used in debates. Hillary certainly owes a huge debt of gratitude to the media for helping her out in this regard, since they’re doing all the dirty work of smearing Trump and fanning lies for her.

But we already know Hillary’s campaign and the media folks are in cahoots, so no thanks necessary!

If I were advising Trump, I would suggest his sole purpose in tonight’s debate is to speak directly to undecided or marginal voters, if indeed there are any left in the country.

But more than anything, the Republican nominee needs to address the constituency that can really make a difference in this election -- the millions of Americans who are either unemployed, underemployed, out of the workforce altogether or forced by necessity to work in part-time jobs and those in cities who are living with little hope of bettering themselves economically.

I think everyone would agree this campaign has had enough personal insults. Trump can and should speak about Hillary’s emails and other various scandals but he absolutely must talk about his economic plan, emphasize his immigration reforms and also touch on national security as the foundation for his campaign.

Crooked Hillary’s likely strategy is straightforward: stay out of the mud with Trump, tell her usual fantastic lies with a phony smile on her face and “they go low we go high” rhetoric, paint the country as being in great shape (despite the revolutionary mood of half the electorate), mention Ronald Reagan a time or two for bipartisan points, avoid talking about husband Bill except for the economy in the 90’s and try to hang on to the voters she already has.

Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it?

Daniel Strauss of Politico reports on what Trump and Hillary will be talking about. “The six discussion topics will be immigration, entitlements and debt, the Supreme Court, the economy, foreign policy, and each candidate's fitness to serve as president.”

Having Fox News’s Chris Wallace as the moderator should pacify the fears of some Republicans who complained that the parade of leftists who oversaw the first three (including the vice presidential debate) events slanted them in the Democrats’ favor. But make no mistake, Wallace is no limited government conservative.

Wallace does seem fair, however. His questions during the GOP primary debates tended to be detailed and rather harsh in tone at times – he’s equally nasty to all the candidates. Wallace doesn’t run from a fight and I would expect him to serve up some tough interrogations for both Trump and Hillary.

Viewership for the final debate should be somewhat down from the first debate but could match the second. Again, Strauss reports, “The trend in 2016 matches 2012 so far. The last debate between Clinton and Trump had a viewership of 66.5 million people, down from the record-breaking 84 million viewers who watched the first debate between the two presidential candidates.”

This time the program isn’t going up against an NFL game, so that should free up more people to watch.

One way or another, tonight’s debate should be something worthwhile to see. If for nothing else, if Trump’s voter wave doesn’t start developing soon, it could be the final time we’ll see the New York businessman in a political debate.

President Obama’s “whining” comment proves once again how out of touch the elites are

It’s safe to say Donald Trump has been taking a lot of heat in the press lately for claiming that this year’s election is “rigged,” with reporters and politicians alike mocking him at the mere mention of the notion.

I didn’t think Trump’s attacks were really hitting home until none other than Obama decided to weigh-in on the subject.

Nolan D. McCaskill of Politico reports, “…Obama dismissed Trump's incessant talk of a rigged election as a whimper coming out of a campaign that treats this election like a joke.

“’There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America’s elections, in part because they’re so decentralized and the numbers of votes involved,’ Obama said.

“’There’s no evidence that that has happened in the past or that there are instances in which that will happen this time,’ he continued. ‘And so, I‘d advise Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes.’”

Obama’s a notorious whiner and poor loser, so I guess he should know. But to say there’s no evidence that an election’s been rigged in the past? Seriously, Barry?

Thanks for the advice, but there’s plenty of proof that irregularities happen in every election -- they’re just mostly disregarded by the snobby political elites and the media in the same way these people are ignoring the gross disparity in candidate coverage this year. When the media talkers would rather feature Trump’s unsubstantiated sexual abuse accusers instead of Hillary’s much more relevant and damaging email foibles, you know there’s a fix in there somewhere.

When you get down to it, Obama’s condescension is nothing other than the latest example of our president dismissing the anxieties of most average Americans -- and not just Trump supporters. Go ask someone living in one of America’s major dilapidated cities whether they believe the system is “rigged” against them and watch what they say.

When Trump mentions a “rigged system” he isn’t just commenting on elections. He’s talking about the way things are handled in Washington where politicians and unelected judges are running up debt, squandering billions of dollars every day and fundamentally altering the way Americans live their lives.

In doing so, Trump’s talking about the disastrous Obamacare law which is going to raise everyone’s health insurance premiums next year when the federal subsidies run out. He’s talking about trade agreements that give license to America’s competitors to cheat without sanction. He’s talking about a government that purposely won’t enforce border laws because politicians see political benefit in keeping things the way they are right now.

Obama and his cohort -- which certainly includes Crooked Hillary -- seems to believe that if you say something enough times it becomes true, such as there’s “no evidence” of voter fraud.

Trump’s idea of defeating the “rigged system” goes more towards taking power away from the elites and giving it back to the People. The system is indeed “rigged” when one of the major party presidential candidates claims a quarter of the population is from the “basket of deplorables” and are therefore “racist, misogynist, homophobic…” and “irredeemable.”

Obama himself once said people who live outside of the cities “cling to their guns and religion.”

These are the forgotten Americans that make up Trump’s strongest base of support, the people who are dead tired of the ruling elites looking down on them. They’re the ones who are going to turn out in force on Election Day hoping to send the establishment packing by elevating to power someone who they believe will fight for them.

Because these forgotten Americans understand that the system is “rigged” and Hillary will only shower goodies on her favorite special interests.

If these “forgotten Americans” do win the election for Trump, there will be all the proof Obama needs to see how “rigged” the system really was.  

Trump receives surprising support for the concept of “rigged” elections

Speaking of “rigged,” Donald Trump is getting surprising support for the notion from some of the higher-ups in his own party.

Kyle Cheney of Politico reports, “Interviews with more than two dozen members of the Republican National Committee reveal abiding fears of Democratic voting fraud and widespread belief that at least part of the process or outcome is rigged…

“[R]ather than knock down Trump’s claims, most lauded his focus on ballot integrity and pointed to instances of what they say is fraudulent voter registration as proof that he may be onto something.”

Of course Cheney goes on to detail all the Republican officials who swear by the integrity of the system, turning the whole matter into just a great big swearing match over a subject that is of vital importance to many people. Of course they’re going to claim the elections are legitimate – it’s their rear ends that are on the line if it’s proved otherwise.

Personally, I’d like to see some sort of study on the integrity of mail-in ballot elections where there is little more than a signature to prove that a legitimately eligible person voted. How easy would it be for an organized effort to target marginal voters, show up at their front door and pressure people into filling out a ballot in front of them?

Or offer to do it for them as a “service”?

Here in Virginia there were recent reports of non-citizens voting by the hundreds. Kerry Pickett of the Daily Caller reported, “The study surfaced in the wake of Andrew Spieles, a young Democrat admitting he registered 19 dead people in Harrisonburg, Virginia to vote.

“The eight county sample showed that 1,046 non-citizens managed to register to vote and, according to Adams, were only caught because they renewed their driver’s licenses and told the truth about their non-citizenship status.”

In other words, there are an awful lot of ineligible people who have registered to vote and haven’t been caught. If the election is close in Virginia or elsewhere, this number could make all the difference. (Note: The study did not include the largest Democrat heavy counties.)

There are other voting irregularities at issue, such as people registered to vote in more than one state. Under the current system and the ease of obtaining absentee ballots, there’s no simple way to verify that the concept of “one person, one vote” is truly being honored.

The bottom line in all of this is both sides are likely correct. The “rigged” people are right that voter fraud is a problem and likely occurs on a limited scale in most if not all jurisdictions. And the “not rigged” folks are accurate in arguing that it would be too difficult to rig the votes on a national scale to completely tip an election.

It seems clear that reforms are needed, such as Voter ID, eliminating vote-by-mail and also greatly reducing the time available for early voting.

If the Democrats are so convinced on the integrity of our elections, they should have no issues with the above suggestions…but they’ll find a way to claim any ballot security measure is biased against the poor and minorities anyway.

The “debate” on this subject will continue long past this election. Personally, I hope Trump keeps it up for the next three weeks.

Donald Trump thinks Hillary prepared for tonight’s debate by napping

Finally today, preparation for the presidential debates has certainly received a lot of attention this year, probably because one of the candidates isn’t a typical politician and has a very different style of handling questions on political issues.

We don’t really know how Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have chosen to gear up for tonight’s debate, but Trump has a theory on how Hillary handled her preparation.

Jonathan Swan of The Hill reports, “Donald Trump on Tuesday goaded Hillary Clinton over her health, claiming she’s off the campaign trail not to prepare for this week’s debate but to rest.

“’You know what the debate prep is? It's resting. It's lying down, going to sleep,’ Trump told supporters in Colorado Springs, Colo.”

And I said (above) that no one’s talking about Hillary’s health anymore.

It’s true that Clinton hasn’t held a campaign event in several days. Trump correctly pointed out that that’s a lot of debate prep.

Again, I think Hillary’s absence is somewhat health related but also part of the Democrats’ strategy to keep her out of sight. The more she’s seen in public the more people are reminded of how repulsive she is as a person. Imagine having to listen to her for the next four years…but then again, she likes to do all of her crooked dealings behind closed doors.

Hopefully Trump can still get through to voters and prevent that result from happening. Here’s to a good, substantive, hard-hitting debate tonight. If so, it’ll be a “Fight night in Vegas” that everyone can benefit from.

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