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There are the things a candidate can control - the message, the on-the-ground organising, the advertising campaigns. Then there are the "black swans" - unpredictable one-off events that can render all of those preparations irrelevant.
Ms Clinton has seen her ratings for honesty and trustworthiness damaged by stories relating to donations by foreign actors to the Clinton Foundation and her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. Although the information that has emerged has been embarrassing, and the FBI investigation into her email practices paint an at-times-unflattering picture, they have not presented a mortal threat to her candidacy… yet.
But what if damning evidence surfaces - a "smoking gun" that even her supporters can't explain away? There's currently a batch of 17,000 emails the FBI recovered from Mrs Clinton's server - documents not originally handed over to the government by Clinton personnel - that is being reviewed by the state department and will probably be made public by the end of October.
Then there's the possibility of more hacked Democratic communications being published by WikiLeaks. The group's founder, Julian Assange, has already hinted that Clinton-related documents could come out before the election.
Following the Democratic National Convention in late July, Mrs Clinton surged to a modest but steady lead in national polls and a more convincing advantage in key battleground states.
Now, however, Mr Trump appears to be cutting into her advantage. Many polls show the race tightening, and a few give the Republican nominee a slight lead.If the numbers stay close heading into election day, there's the possibility that the polls could be understating Mr Trump's support enough for him to end up on top.
Mr Trump made headlines in August when he warned that the election could be rigged against him. While his fears centred on vague allegations of potential voter fraud, Mrs Clinton has a different source for her election-day concerns - nefarious digital saboteurs.
While talking to reporters on her campaign plane on Sunday, she compared recently hacked Democratic committee emails to a modern-day Watergate break-in. The risk to the US electoral system could be greater than just purloined communications, however.
The three presidential debates, the first of which is scheduled for 26 September, are a huge opportunity for Mrs Clinton to draw contrasts with Mr Trump on knowledge and experience - but they also have the potential for disaster.
...Mr Trump is an unconventional debater, but as he demonstrated in 11 Republican primary face-offs, he can be a wily opponent. While he was often thin on details, he had a showman's skill on the stage and kept his opponents off balance. As the unpolished outsider, Mr Trump will enter the debates with lower expectations than career politician Clinton. If he acquits himself well, he could convince reluctant voters to come over to his side.
originally posted by: Sillyolme
a reply to: Puppylove
Funny I thought we'd already crossed that bridge and you guys were all wrong.
Yes we did. Clinton's not going to jail because she didn't commit any crimes. None not one. They'd have strung her up if they had even the smallest thing to charge her with. They had nothing. N.o.t.h.I.n.g.
Get over it already.
And get used to the idea of a Clinton presidency because trump is going to lose and lose embarrassingly.
originally posted by: Plotus
I'm going with 'Unexpected events'. In that I question if her health will hold until the elections. She's been in a declining pitiful state in the last few weeks.
A lot of power people stand to be exposed if she does not make it in the elections. And I believe ultimately it will turn into a Trump landslide.