WaPo's Greg Sargent again chats with David Plouffe, who notes:
This race is being covered in a way that suggests it’s a dead heat. And it’s not. She’s got a small national poll lead. But more importantly, she’s got a decisive electoral college lead….
The Clinton campaign is doing large samples for modeling surveys of everybody on the voter file. So you have a very good understanding of how you believe 100 percent of the electorate will be allocated on election day. When you look at how 100 percent of the vote is likely to be allocated in Florida, I get very optimistic…. I can get Donald Trump to within two or three in Pennsylvania, but I can’t get him to a win number. The same is true in Virginia and Colorado. I know everybody goes crazy about the latest Cheetos poll, but I feel very confident about both New Hampshire and Florida. So that puts her over 300 [in the electoral college]. Trump has to pull off a miracle in the electoral college.
Plouffe adds that in tonight's debate:
[Trump will] be graded by the figure skating judges on a lower bar. But the American people have a higher bar.
Not that it makes much practical difference — given, that is, Clinton's easy path to 270 — but I do hope that Plouffe's second assessment is as valid as his first. There is nothing more spiritually depressing than watching my fellow citizens, every four years, lower the bar a bit more. From Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush and now to Donald Trump, the bar has been lowered to the point that a reasonably healthy cockroach could hurdle it without scraping its belly. In fact in national polling, a cockroach is doing that now. And again, that is just goddamn depressing.