If we're to belive a poll released yesterday -- and yes, it's just one poll -- the tightening might well have been temporary:
Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton has opened up a double-digit lead over Republican rival Donald Trump, regaining ground after the New York billionaire briefly tied her last month, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday.....This comes as we're reading that Bernie Sanders intends to fight to the bitter end:
Some 46 percent of likely voters said they supported Clinton, while 35 percent said they supported Trump, and another 19 percent said they would not support either, according to the survey of 1,421 people conducted between May 30 and June 3.
Trump had briefly tied Clinton in support among likely U.S. voters in mid-May....
Sanders is showing few signs of surrender as end of the primaries loom, pointing out his differences with Clinton and vowing to take his bid to the party's convention in July.By contrast Hillary Clinton dropped out of the contest with Barack Obama on June 7, 2008.
... Sanders is expected to return to his Vermont home on Wednesday and advisers say he intends to ramp up his courtship of the party's superdelegates, a process that is already underway....
Sanders will compete in the District of Columbia primary on June 14, the final contest. Beyond that, Sanders' campaign manager Jeff Weaver said they are considering whether Sanders might appear at more rallies around the country after the primaries and speak in Chicago at a gathering of Sanders' activists on June 17-19.
Sanders assumes that Clinton can't win without his most fervent supporters. But what if she can? What if Trump continues to run the same slipshod, unprofessional, trash-talking, voting-bloc-alienating campaign he's running now? What if Clinton's well-received anti-Trump speech this week is a sign that she's found her stride?
And wht if, furthermore, she has a plan to try to win without the Bernie-or-Busters -- possibly by targeting moderate Republican voters? There was little in Clinton's Trump speech that would alienate most liberals, but before it was delivered, Amy Chozick of The New York Times -- at the prompting of Clintonites -- described it as outreach to the middle:
Mrs. Clinton’s campaign aides said the speech, which she will deliver in San Diego, would be the start of a persistent assault to portray a potential Trump presidency as a dangerous proposition that would weaken American alliances and embolden enemies....If more polls start to show that Clinton has a sizable and persistent lead, and if Trump continues to alienate moderates by campaigning like a bigoted drunk at the end of the bar, then the "no retreat, no surrender" posture of Bernie Sanders miht turn out to be a gamble he loses. Polls make clear that the vast majority of Sanders supporters will back Clinton in the fall -- the only question is whether Clinton will need the diehard remainder. If she doesn't, Clinton might decide that she doesn't need to mollify Sanders on platform issues. She might decide she's moved as far to the left as she's comfortable moving.
While Mrs. Clinton must be cautious not to alienate liberal Democrats who oppose some of her hawkish foreign policy stances, her campaign says national security could be the catalyst that drives independents and wavering Republicans to support her this fall....
To that end, the Clinton campaign and its outside advisers have embarked on an effort to reach out to prominent moderate Republicans who could endorse Mrs. Clinton, largely making the case for foreign policy sure-footedness.
She might win doing this. If that happens, how does it advance the revolution?
It seems to me that Sanders really could end this campaign with less influence over the Democratic Party than he would have had if he'd reached out to Clinton sooner. She really might find herself in a position to blow Sanders and his progressives off -- both now and in her presidency. That shouldn't have happened. But if Sanders drives too hard a bargain, and if the Trump campaign never expands beyond his base, I think it might.