This morning in a NYT op-ed, former McCain agonist Nicolle Wallace (who now bigly suffers Donald Trump) observes:
Those in Mr. Trump’s inner circle are waiting for the political conversation to turn to events that they believe will determine the outcome of the election: the vice-presidential pick, the conventions and the debates.
As if anticipating Wallace, and no doubt anticipating Trump's "inner circle," former President Clinton adviser Doug Sosnik counter-observes in a Washington Post op-ed:
Breathless coverage notwithstanding, none of these has had a measurable impact in changing the outcome of a presidential election in at least 40 years.
The last time a vice presidential selection may have altered the outcome was in 1960, when John F. Kennedy’s choice of Lyndon B. Johnson assured Democrats of carrying Texas. (It should be noted that had Kennedy lost Johnson's state, he still would have carried the Electoral College.]
The last time a party’s convention may have changed the outcome was in 1968, when the Democrats suffered four days of rioting in the streets of Chicago.
And the last time a debate may have affected the outcome was in 1976, when Gerald Ford mistakenly asserted that "there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe," effectively ending his surge against Carter.
I'm still trying to identify even one advantage that Trump might hold, other than having a lock on that part of the electorate that brushes its tooth every night.