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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs



. . . then maybe you don’t quite understand the nature of the situation:

Hillary Clinton has emerged from the F.B.I. investigation into her email practices as secretary of state a wounded candidate with a large and growing majority of voters saying she cannot be trusted, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

As Mrs. Clinton prepares to accept the Democratic Party’s nomination at the convention in Philadelphia this month, she will confront an electorate in which 67 percent of voters say she is not honest and trustworthy. That number is up five percentage points from a CBS News poll conducted last month, before the F.B.I. released its findings.

Mrs. Clinton’s six-percentage-point lead over the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, in a CBS News poll last month has evaporated. The two candidates are now tied in a general election matchup, the new poll indicates, with each receiving the support of 40 percent of voters.

Mr. Trump is also distrusted by a large number of voters — 62 percent — but that number has stayed constant despite increased scrutiny on his business record and falsehoods in his public statements and Twitter messages.

But Mrs. Clinton’s shifting and inaccurate explanations of her email practices at the State Department appear to have resonated more deeply with the electorate.

I’m not saying it’s time to panic (polls four months before the election generally don’t mean much; the electoral map is still very favorable to Clinton etc.), but:

(1) Assume Trump has a 25% chance of winning, which is probably in the ballpark. In one sense those are long shot odds for a major party candidate. In another sense, a 25% chance of your house burning down in the next four months is . . . worrisome.

(2) The email “scandal” is largely if not completely fake, but it’s also incredibly exasperating (much like the Clintons themselves), because it was such a totally unnecessary self-inflicted wound.

(3) The fact that Donald Trump has a non-trivial chance of being the next president of the United States is still too surreal of a fact for this correspondent to absorb, even though I was calling this a year ago.

Oh well there’s always beer. Also I’m eligible for EU citizenship so there’s that.

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