The Slatest

Today’s Trump Apocalypse Watch: A Flower Grows in a Bleak Wasteland

Hillary Clinton in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Tuesday.

Justin Sullivan/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.

Friends, things were pretty bad last night at about 9:20 p.m.. Hillary Clinton had entered the first presidential debate in a virtual tie with Donald Trump, and she started it badly, failing to effectively rebut Trump’s well-delivered argument that she’s sold out American workers in trade deals. But, thank Debate Jesus, Trump then started unraveling himself on issues ranging from President Obama’s birth certificate to the Iraq war to his history of misogyny. All Clinton had to do to take home the consensus victory was keep her composure, deliver the kind of ego-baiting criticisms that set Trump off, and demonstrate a basic command of issues like community-police relations and the value of military alliances. She did, and she came out ahead in most observers’ eyes.

Now, we wait to see how much that will help in the polls. The best guess (i.e. Nate Silver’s guess) is two to four points; it’s also worth noting that more people watched this apparently lopsided debate than have ever watched one before. So, for today, the danger level is going down.

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