Excellent points. I agree the election is not in the bag for anyone.
I want to refine the discussion on two points. First is that one should not necessarily assume voter disapproval of a candidate means a voter will not pull that candidate’s lever. People disapproved of Trump in 2016. But in many swing states, voters disapproved of Hillary even more. For 2020, depending on whom the Democrats nominate, I think it is remotely possible, Trump could win the popular vote while having a disapproval rating above 50%.
The second particular point is that the theory of Comey’s October surprise is just a theory. I know Nate Silver thinks this is a good theory, but it is still a conjecture unsupported by data. There is no data showing which WI voters even knew about Comey’s late announcement and no data on whether this influenced late deciders. Another theory is that many pollsters systematically underestimated Trump’s appeal to working class women and systematically underestimated how many would turn out to vote for him. Without data it is hard to decide which of these conjectures or any other is more accurate.
Thank you again for your comments.