Success breeds failure. That’s one of the melancholy lessons you learn in life. The success of policymakers in stamping out inflation in the 1980s and minimizing recessions for two decades also produced policies that contributed to the collapse of the housing and financial markets in 2007-08.
It’s the same in politics. Strategies and tactics that seem certain to produce victory can eventually produce defeat. Prognostications that one party or platform will prevail far into the future usually turn out to have a surprisingly early sell-by date.
That becomes apparent when you look at the shrinking margin for Hillary Clinton in the polls. As of Friday, the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls shows Clinton’s margin down to 1.5 percent in two-way pairings with Donald Trump and down to 1.1 percent in four-way pairings that include Gary Johnson and Jill Stein.
And it’s down to 0.7 percent in polls that included interviews conducted on or after Sept. 11, when Clinton collapsed while attending a 9/11 commemoration in Manhattan.
Note that Clinton is averaging only 42 percent in four-way polls, with 11 percent being cast for the minor-party candidates. That means Clinton is running far short of her goal of replicating the 51 percent majority Barack Obama won in 2012.