A week of good newsflow for Trump would make a change after the last month. This week saw the release of the first polls taken after the FBI released its findings on Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. They show a significant swing towards Trump. Especially important is the shift in swing state polls where a Quinnipiac poll has Trump ahead by 3 points in Florida (a crucial state for Trump) having been behind by 3.7 points in the poll averages.
With more post-FBI polls coming out in the next few days it’s very likely we’ll get a general shift towards Trump even if we shouldn’t read too much into the magnitude of the shift from just one poll. More headlines along the lines of ‘Trump gaining in the polls; the race is on.’ are very likely. Betting markets have already responded by bidding up Trump’s odds of winning from 22% to 35%.
Another Trump positive is that he has just announced his running mate: Mike Pence.
‘Mike who?’, you may ask.
The Indiana governor is seen as loyal, a social conservative who could bring some Republicans reluctant to support Trump on board. Furthermore, he has voted against Bush’s tax cuts and TARP and has a good relationship with some key senior Republicans. Mr Conventional to Trump’s Mr Unconventional.
On the other hand, he is relatively untested in dealing with the glare of the national media and is surprisingly unpopular in his home state of Indiana (the people who arguably know him best). But it’s worth remembering that VP picks have rarely boosted a candidate’s chances of winning the general election, but have done the opposite; remember Sarah Palin and Dan Quayle?
Next up is the Republican Convention. Lots of press coverage is guaranteed, generally coverage of people praising Trump and waving of flags, maybe even a bit of policy. This will be followed by Clinton’s VP pick and the Democratic Convention a week later.
While we continue to see a Trump presidency as unlikely, the fact that he remains visibly in the race means it's not impossible.