Trump’s Successful Trip to Mexico Shows Election is Far from Over

US presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) delivers a joint press conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in Mexico City on August 31, 2016. (AFP / YURI CORTEZ)
US presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) delivers a joint press conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in Mexico City on August 31, 2016. (AFP / YURI CORTEZ)

Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump’s surprise visit to Mexico Wednesday was accompanied by an equally surprising shift in the position many Democrats had heretofore taken on the construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border. They suddenly found themselves in favor of it – as long as it could be completed before Trump tried to return to the United States.

It’s a bad joke as well as an obvious one, but it underscores how unsettling the Democrats find the Trump campaign to be. He may not be winning, but he’s not losing either. The latest polls from Reuters/Ipsos and the LA Times have Trump and Clinton running even or him slightly ahead. The PPP poll, which is generally slanted toward the more leftward candidate in a given race, has Clinton up by only 5 points, and the RealClearPolitics average of national polls has her leading by 5.3 percent, a decisive result in an election but hardly big enough to be considered commanding at this point in a national campaign.

The reality of the race is that neither candidate is the voters’ ideal. According to the same Reuters/Ipsos poll, more than half the likely voters surveyed said the primary reason they intended to vote for the candidate they had chosen was in order to keep the other one out of the White House.

No one should be surprised. This election, like the previous four, has been framed as a personality contest rather than a debate about issues, great or small. It’s as though Trump and Clinton were running for class president rather than for leader of the free world, an impression helped along immeasurably by the kibitzing coming from the peanut gallery.

Consider the Mexico trip. When Barack Obama took time off from his presidential campaign to go through Europe, receiving thunderous applause from thousands of people who could not vote in the election, he was called a statesman, one with Kennedy-esque overtones (the highest compliment, by the way, the media can pay any American politician). Meanwhile Trump, who has made the problem of illegal immigration a centerpiece of his campaign, is criticized for staging a photo-op by no less than his opponent in the upcoming election.

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SOURCE: Peter Roff 
U.S. News & World Report