PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Former Pennsylvania Ed Rendell assessed the state of the Presidential race ahead of Labor Day, which traditionally marks the beginning of the home stretch in the battle for the White House, and gives Donald Trump the edge in voter enthusiasm, but sees Hillary Clinton with an advantage in organization.
Rendell told Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that there is so much time left in the campaign that he puts little stock in the current poll numbers showing Clinton comfortably ahead.
“There are a lot of things that could happen in the next two months, particularly those three debates. Donald Trump has one advantage going into those debates. People aren’t expecting him to do well. So, if he holds his own in those debates, those numbers could change.”
He admits there could be some voters in favor of Trump that pollsters are missing, but that the Clinton team’s ground game is vastly superior in a number of key states.
“I think that’s probably worth a point or two. If Donald Trump were within two or three points in any state, Pennsylvania or any state, I think that he’s got a shot. I also think the Trump supporters are likely to get out and vote, no matter what. They’re more passionate about Trump than other people are about Secretary Clinton. But you balance that off a little bit by organizations. Field organizations do matter. People go around and identify voters who are for their candidate and get them, send cars out on election day to get them out and get them to the polls. That matters. If Donald has a hidden vote of one or two percent, I think you give Hillary one or percent for having a much better organization. The Trump people in most states have little organization.”
Rendell also believes the scandal involving Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server would have a greater negative impact of her campaign if Trump, himself, was not so error prone.
“She’d like it to go away and it’s not. But I think Benghazi is pretty much a dead issue. If Donald Trump or one of the commentators would bring up Benghazi during the debate, Secretary Clinton has an easy answer: seven congressional committees, all headed my majority Republicans investigated Benghazi and not one of the seven found her guilty of any wrongdoing…It’s not good. It would be worse if she didn’t share the negative stories with Donald Trump who, everyday, manages to do something that provokes a negative story about himself, which, in part, takes her off the front page or off talk shows a little bit. They both have things that they’d like to stop.”