Tracking the pundits in the week of the DNC.

Will the DNC Inspire Any Conservative Pundits to Vote for Hillary?

Will the DNC Inspire Any Conservative Pundits to Vote for Hillary?

The Slatest
Your News Companion
July 29 2016 12:20 PM

This Week’s Conservative Pundit Tracker: DNC Crushes RNC Edition

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton acknowledges the crowd as she arrives onstage during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday in Philadelphia.

Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Each week we’re publishing a new chart showing where our group of 25 right-wing pundits stand on the question of Trump, and you’ll be able to look back at past weeks to see if minds are changing. Our categories are “Voting Trump,” “Voting Clinton,” “Not Voting,” “Someone Else,” and “Inscrutable.” Someone else means either a third party candidate or a write-in. Inscrutable includes pundits who have voiced opposition to both Trump and Clinton, but are otherwise undecided, and those who are sharply critical of Trump but haven’t stated a preferred alternative. Click on a pundit’s head to see what he or she has said about the election this week. (If someone doesn’t write or speak or tweet—crazy, but possible—in a given week, we’ll assume they are “thinking…” Also: We are scouring the internet obsessively, but it’s a big place and it’s possible someone will say something that we miss. We are confident you’ll let us know in comments if so!)

Will the Inscrutables pull it together come November? Will anyone else jump on the Hillary train? Will more pundits coalesce around a third-party candidate? Or will everyone eventually fall into line for Trump between now and Election Day? Keep an eye on this weekly tracker to find out.

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The speeches are over, the balloons have fallen, and the verdict is in: The Democrats pulled off an optimistic, patriotic convention that stood in sharp contrast to the fearmongering and negativity of Donald Trump and the GOP.

The Democrats got an assist from Trump in that regard, thanks to the GOP nominee’s wild press conference on Wednesday. With the DNC reeling from the hacked emails that revealed how the party appeared to favor Hillary Clinton and work against Bernie Sanders during the primary, Trump jumped on the fact that U.S. authorities suspected Russia of being behind the hack.

“Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing,” Trump said, in reference to Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.

Saner elements of the party went into damage-control mode. Speaker Paul Ryan’s office released a statement: “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug. Putin should stay out of this election."

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The idea that Russia may be meddling in our election—and that Trump is Putin’s favored candidate—is sobering. “The DNC dump may not have revealed a conspiracy that could end a candidacy, but it succeeded in casting a pall of anxiety over this election,” Franklin Foer wrote in Slate.

In light of all this, the Democrats’ sane, flag-waving convention was particularly well-timed.

The big question, though: Did Hillary and the Democrats win over any of our pundits who were undeclared or vowing to support a third party? A few commentators seem to be leaning that way, if they haven’t outright declared themselves voting for Clinton. Still, as we await further signals, at this time we can only move one writer into the Hillary column. In previewing Clinton’s speech, the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin wrote “Yes, Clinton is the lesser of two evils. That’s not a great message. But there is virtue in truth and hope in rational governance.”

Now on to the tracker:

Rachael Larimore is the online managing editor of the Weekly Standard and a former Slate senior editor.

Ian Prasad Philbrick is a Slate contributor. Follow him on Twitter.

Catherine Piner is a Slate intern.

Andrew Kahn is Slate’s assistant interactives editor. Follow him on Twitter.

Chris Kirk is a web developer at New York magazine and Slate’s former interactives editor. Follow him on Twitter.

Holly Allen is a Slate web designer.