I haven't written much about the polling in the presidential race. Until Labor Day, I think it is rather pointless. Most people have lives and mental health stability, and so don't focus on the election starting 44 months out like the Washington crowd and those who read them (including me, truth be told--but I at least know that it isn't normal). Really, wait until the polls are of likely voters before figuring out the state of the race.
I was going to write about the problem with polling fever and how the race would tighten once polls starting using "likely voters" rather than "registered voters" or--God help us all--"all adults." This article beat me to it.
I'm sure there are reasons to use registered voter polls so far out--it may be too soon to refine models of who is a likely voter, for example.
Or maybe the press just likes to have drama to have a fake closing the gap as polls shift from Democrat-favoring registered voters to more Republican-friendly likely voters.
Anyway, the race will likely tighten a bit as people start to pay attention and answer polls on more than name recognition, and as likely voters are defined.
So I'm going to let this win stay on the table and make another bet: if, at the first debate, neither candidate stumbles and the debate is judged a draw, that Trump will gain in stature simply by standing on the same stage as a woman who is described by our current president as the most qualified candidate for the president ever (regardless of how much you value such an endorsement), and he will gain ground on Clinton (either closing the gap if behind or expanding his lead).
Of course, if there is a figurative or literal stumble by either, that's another story altogether.