- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton must confront persistent, pesky poll numbers when she arrives in Detroit to give a major policy speech Thursday. Voters consistently rate the economy as the most important issue facing the nation. They also consistently trust Donald Trump on the economy more than they do Mrs. Clinton — this according to multiple polls in recent months.

A few sample numbers: 53 percent trust Mr. Trump more on “top-ranking economic issues,” 45 percent do Mrs. Clinton (Gallup, June 2); 51 percent say Mr. Trump is a better candidate to “handle the economy,” 43 percent say Mrs. Clinton (CNN, June 21); 50 percent trust Mr. Trump more on the economy and federal deficit,” 45 percent trust Mrs. Clinton (Fox News, August 3). There are more.

Mrs. Clinton delivers her midday speech from the Futuramic Tool & Engineering on Gibson in Warren, Michigan, before a private audience. Yes, C-SPAN will cover it. She arrives just 72 hours after Mr. Trump offered his own economic issues in Detroit, some 18 miles to the south. They have a few things in common. Both candidates push populist themes and both vow to shore up the middle class and reform taxes. Mr. Trump’s promise to make global trade that is “a win for America” holds particular appeal, however.

It is interesting to note that National Public Radio, Associated Press, The Washington Post, USA Today, Fortune and NBC News were among the news organizations that offered a formal “fact check” on Mr. Trump’s speech on Monday. Hopefully, they will be at the ready when Mrs. Clinton takes the stage for her version of a happy economy. Press coverage may suggest a sunnier story about Mrs. Clinton and the economy than the poll numbers do.

And one other number all are concerned with: According to the Treasury Department, the national debt is now $19,390,746,423,154 — and 50 cents.

FOR THE LEXICON

“The No Bad Clinton News”

— New designation for NBC News coined by Breitbart contributor and former Libertarian vice presidential nominee Wayne Allyn Root.

MEDIA LEANS ON TRUMP

Donald Trump blamed the media for blowing his recent Second Amendment comment out of proportion — and a new study suggests he’s right. A new analysis of broadcast treatment of his remark finds that CBS, NBC and ABC gave it five times more coverage than Hillary Clinton’s campaign visit from Seddique Mateen, father of Orlando mass shooter Omar Mateen.

“ABC, CBS and NBC deluged viewers with more than five times more coverage — 25 minutes and 35 seconds versus 4 minutes and 41 seconds — to Trump’s ‘Second Amendment people’ remark than they did to the father of an ISIS-inspired terrorist sitting right behind Clinton at a rally in Orlando,” writes Scott Whitlock, an analyst for Newsbusters.org, a conservative press watchdog.

“Imagine if the situations were reversed and Trump had featured a terrorist’s father at a campaign rally and Clinton had made the quip about guns. Journalists wouldn’t yawn at the terrorist link and hype the Second Amendment comment,” Mr. Whitlock adds.

MODERATOR MEGYN

Fox News prime-time host Megyn Kelly could reprise her role as a presidential debate moderator. Well, maybe. And so could some other news folks.

“Media execs, top on-air talent and producers think these people are in the mix to moderate the presidential and vice presidential debates: ABC’s Martha Raddatz, Fox News’ Ms. Kelly or Chris Wallace, PBS’s Gwen Ifill, CBS’ John Dickerson, NBC’s Chuck Todd or Lester Holt and CNN’s Jake Tapper and Anderson Cooper. There are four potential slots — three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate,” says Politico reporter Daniel Lippman.

PENCE HAS THE CHARM

“Since their respective selections as vice presidential candidates, both Mike Pence and Tim Kaine have become much better known nationwide, but Pence’s image has grown significantly more positive over this time than has been the case for Kaine. As of now, Republicans are embracing Pence more than Democrats are embracing Kaine,” reports Gallup analyst Art Swift.

Indeed, 18 percent of Americans had a favorable impression of the Indiana governor; following the Republican convention, it jumped to 36 percent. In contrast, the Democratic senator from Virginia had a 24 percent favorability that rose eight points after the Democratic convention. Both ratings are a little low, however.

“At this stage in the previous campaigns, most non-incumbent vice presidential candidates had substantially higher favorable ratings than Kaine and Pence do. Al Gore was at 62 percent favorable at this point in 1992; Jack Kemp was at 56 percent in 1996; Dick Cheney was at 51 percent and Joe Lieberman was at 55 percent in 2000,” Mr. Swift points out.

A FEDERAL GOOSE MOMENT

The National Park Service and District of Columbia’s Department of Energy and Environment donated the breast meat from 365 resident Canada geese to DC Central Kitchen on Tuesday. The meat will be used in the charity’s healthy meals destined for homeless shelters, rehabilitation clinics and afterschool programs.

The geese were captured and euthanized from Anacostia Park earlier this summer as part of the park’s wetland management efforts, the federal park agency noted. The park uses several techniques to restore the tidal wetlands that include reducing an overabundant resident goose population that feeds on wetland plants.

POLL DU JOUR

78 percent of registered U.S. voters say the American way of life is “under threat”; 91 percent of Republicans, 79 percent of independents and 71 percent of Democrats agree.

70 percent of voters overall say the nation is “greatly divided” on the most important values; 73 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of independents and 67 percent of Democrats agree.

64 percent of voters overall say the nation is on the wrong track; 89 percent of Republicans, 73 percent of independents and 39 percent of Democrats agree.

54 percent of voters overall say the current “government in Washington” has a negative impact on people’s lives: 71 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of independents and 34 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Monmouth University Poll of 803 registered U.S. voters conducted Aug. 4-7.

• Murmurs and asides to [email protected]

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