Don’t get cocky

Published 6:04 am Saturday, July 23, 2016

There’s a reason that they say a presidential race is a marathon, not a sprint.

In one example, 1988 Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis held a 17-point lead over George H.W. Bush after the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention. In a February 2004 Gallup poll, John Kerry led by 12 points over George W. Bush. And, of course, there’s the mother of all comebacks — when Harry S Truman defeated Thomas Dewey in 1948 in an upset so unexpected that the Chicago Tribune infamously blasted “Dewey Defeats Truman” on an early-edition banner headline.

There’s still a long way to go until November.

While following last week’s Republican National Convention on various social media sites, I noticed that some of my friends on both sides of the political aisle were already starting to get a bit cocky.

Many Democratic Party voters still aren’t taking Donald Trump seriously, even though he set new records for primary voter turnout. And many Republican Party voters aren’t taking Hillary Clinton seriously, viewing her as a bad candidate while underestimating anti-Trump fervor.

I thought it was telling Thursday, when RNC delegates began chanting “Lock Her Up! Lock Her Up!” Trump shook his head and calmly stated, “Let’s defeat her in November.” Trump knows that catchy slogans might be fun and make for a good Twitter hashtag, but treating Hillary like a joke will only lead to defeat.

If either side thinks they’ve already got this race won, they might be in for a surprise on Election Day.

Justin Schuver is the publisher and editor of The Daily News. You can call him at 985-732-2565 or email him at