Election Guru Charlie Cook Retracts Previous Assessment, Says Trump Now Has a Path to Victory

Jason Hopkins
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Posted: Nov 06, 2016 9:00 AM
Election Guru Charlie Cook Retracts Previous Assessment, Says Trump Now Has a Path to Victory

Charlie Cook, the man behind the influential Cook Political Report, is backtracking his previous statement that the presidential race is over and Clinton will cruise to victory.

In mid-October, Charlie Cook rocked the political world and called the race for Hillary Clinton via Twitter.

Less than two weeks ago, Cook told The Hill there was no “moon shot” scenario possible for Trump to win the White House.

Things changed quickly these past few days.

Amid tightening poll numbers in pivotal swing states and another FBI investigation for the Democratic nominee, Cook is now taking back that assessment. He is still saying Clinton is the odds-on-favorite to win, but has admitted that Trump has a plausible path to electoral victory.

“The race is in a different place than 8 or 9 days ago when there was virtually no path for Trump,” Cook told The Hill on Saturday. “So yes, like everyone else, we've revised our assessment.”

However, Cook says that most everything would have to go right for him to win on Election Day. He argues that if polls in a swing state are within the margin of error, odds are Clinton would prevail due to her massive campaign infrastructure over Trump. Her staff size in many swing states dwarfs that of Trump’s skeletal operation.

Cook is not the only election expert to change his assessment of the 2016 race. FiveThirtyEight’s forecast model on Trump’s chances has jumped almost threefold in less than a month, from 11.9 percent in mid-October to 35.4 percent on Saturday.

To be sure, Cook and FiveThirtyEight still predict a Clinton victory, but the monumental swing in this election is certainly unprecedented.

Trump proved most every expert wrong during the Republican primary. Can he do it again on Tuesday?