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Commentary. Trump should be in damage control, but he isn’t. And Clinton is already looking past Nov. 8.

The Donald’s increasingly headlong spiral

Donald Trump is continuing his strategy of personal attacks and the low blows. To him, civil tones, the presentation of positions based on arguments and competition based on merits are all foreign ideas, as shown once again Wednesday night in Las Vegas, during the last televised debate with Clinton, and again Friday at a charity dinner.

Moving on, the fight will continue at a distance, from now to the vote. The more reason why the Donald can only continue on the path of escalating conflict. Does he have any chance to climb back in the polls? Polls are relentlessly negative for the New York magnate. A strong and growing gap is separating him from his Democratic rival. The surveys before the last debate were worse for him than those that preceded the first and second duels.

And even those hot polls conducted by CNN immediately after the confrontation in Las Vegas indicated that this time Hillary prevailed again. If the elections were held tomorrow, in short, Trump would be a goner; Hillary would win in a landslide. Her victory would push the Democratic Party with her, allowing her to wrest a majority in both houses of Congress from the Republican Party.

The only hope for Trump is that, in addition to those voters who unfailingly support him, there are many others who will vote for him but won’t acknowledge it, not even anonymously to a pollster. He must hope there are many others, who, for a variety of reasons, are not consulted by the polls. Silent undecided voters who in the end will vote for him, holding their noses.

But will they be enough to overthrow the current odds? Will we find out on Election Day that the final barometers of public opinion are useless? It’s possible.

It may also happen that, in November, Donald Trump will succeed against all odds, both at the national level and on the key “dancing” states.

But what if everything goes the way it looks like it will, with a Clinton landslide?

Trump not only risks a hard defeat. With his candidacy, he has put into play his own brand, which has made him a rich man with a number of questionable financial and real estate transactions. The brand that allowed him to enter the political arena as a well-known character, a name written on neon lights on the skyscrapers of U.S. metropolises. Besides being a celebrity television star.

His political defeat would throw his brand into the whirlpool of misfortune, as well as all businesses closely related to the Trump brand. And in the descending spiral, he even risks ending up on trial himself. The revenge of the Republican establishment, faced with a defeat that would also affect candidates for Congress, would be implacable. And they would find easy support in the Democratic Party, of course.

In the view of such a prospect, it would be advisable for him to mitigate his tone in the remaining days of the campaign, at least against those big Republicans who are openly against him, to whom Trump replies with an avalanche of insults, considering them more enemies than the Democratic candidates themselves.

A truce would also be convenient for the Republicans themselves. Trump’s loyal followers, at the instigation of the presidential candidate, are ready not to vote for those Republican candidates who have turned their backs on their favorite. Trump, however, needs the support of these detested Republicans, especially in the states where even a few votes can make a difference.

More friendly tones against his rival and the Republicans would be the real October surprise of this presidential campaign. But it would probably arrive too late to be of any use. Because nobody believes Donald Trump can repent. If anything, everybody expects the opposite.

Also on Hillary’s side, the trajectory toward the November election hasn’t changed after the third and last of the presidential debates. However, it was noted that in Las Vegas, she repeatedly touched on social and economic issues that are in Bernie Sanders’ wheelhouse. She quoted him with emphatic naturalness.

In this last stretch of the presidential race, courting votes on the left is a clear, essential priority for the Democratic candidate. This change of pace is accompanied by an increased prominence on her side of the bigwigs of the progressive Democratic wing. This confirms the impression of a cohesive and united party behind the candidate (the opposite of what we see happening to the adversary) and to draw the contours of a future Clinton presidency.

After Obama’s charismatic presidency, Hillary will present herself as the No. 1 of a team of strong personalities, many of them women, with markedly more progressive traits, to create her new image. This image will be different from the one with which she began this campaign and that makes her still unlikeable to substantial portions of the left-leaning electorate and those who in 2008 chose Obama.

This is one of the reasons there are growing rumors about a possible important role for Michelle Obama in a future Clinton administration. Other names that are making the rounds are Donna Brazile, the current African American chairman of the Democratic Party, and Elizabeth Warren, as well as other names indicated by Bernie Sanders.

In short, we are already thinking about Nov. 9, taking for granted that Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the next president.

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