The Slatest

Today’s Trump Apocalypse Watch: A Fitting End to Donald’s Disastrous Week

Donald Trump speaks at the Merrill Auditorium on August 4, 2016 in Portland, Maine.

Sarah Rice/Getty Images

The Trump Apocalypse Watch is a subjective daily estimate, using a scale of one to four horsemen, of how likely it is that Donald Trump will be elected president, thus triggering an apocalypse in which we all die.

Friday began with Donald Trump doing something he rarely ever does (admitting he was wrong) and is expected to end with him doing something he pointedly refused to do last week (endorse Paul Ryan). Given neither of those two things involve publicly feuding with the parents of a fallen U.S. soldier, though, today was arguably Trump’s best day in a rather disastrous week pretty much by default. But the more important thing is not whether Trump made things any worse for himself today, but instead just how bad things have already gotten. Consider the current national polling averages as I write this:

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  • Trump trails Hillary Clinton by 6.8 points in the RealClearPolitics rolling head-to-head average. The last time he trailed by a deficit that large was at the end of June, and the last time he trailed by a larger one was on May 1st.
  • Trump trails Clinton by 6.3 points in the RCP rolling average that also includes Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. With the exception of yesterday when he trailed Clinton by an additional three-tenths of a point, this is Trump’s largest deficit since the site began aggregating four-way polls at the start of June.
  • Trump trails Clinton by a full 7 points in the Huffington Post’s head-to-head average, his largest deficit in about a month-and-a-half.
  • Trump trails Clinton by 7.3 points in Huffington Post’s average that includes Johnson, Trump’s biggest deficit since the site began aggregating three-or-more-way surveys in early May. (Stein is listed as an option in some, but not all, of the polls in this average, so the site counts her support in the “other” category.)

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Things look even worse for Trump when the leading data sites plug the latest numbers into their election forecast models. As of Friday afternoon, Trump’s odds of winning the White House are at the lowest they’ve ever been in all three of FiveThirtyEight’s projections since the site began running them about two months ago. According to the site:

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The Upshot tells a similar story. According to its model, Trump currently has only a 20 percent chance of prevailing in November, his lowest odds of success since the site began running the numbers at the start of June.

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Given Election Day is still roughly three months in the distance—and given Clinton may still be enjoying a small but not-insignificant polling bounce that could be clouding our vision a bit—I won’t drop our danger level down below a single horseman just yet. Still, the solitary figure on the horizon looks to be limping:

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Getty Images, Wikimedia Commons
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