TEAM TIME

Metro USA (New York) - - News - TOM FORE­MAN CNN’s Tom Fore­man is the au­thor of the book “My Year of Run­ning Dan­ger­ously.” @tom­fore­mancnn

Aside from their ob­vi­ous strengths and weak­nesses as can­di­dates, both Donald Trump and Hil­lary Clin­ton need ro­bust or­ga­ni­za­tions to carry them over the fin­ish line. This week, all three of my things to watch in pol­i­tics are about team, team, team.

1. ALL TO­GETHER NOW

A short while ago, when Bernie San­ders was still rag­ing along the cam­paign trail, it seemed un­clear if tra­di­tional Demo­crat power blocs would fully back Hil­lary Clin­ton as the nom­i­nee. Not any­more. She wrapped up last week with an en­dorse­ment from the Team­sters, which is a big sig­nal to or­ga­nized la­bor far and wide to get in line no mat­ter how they may feel about her trade deals. Watch for the Dems to tighten their ranks even more this week, with a wide range of sur­ro­gates push­ing the cam­paign’s talk­ing points (“We love mil­len­ni­als!”) and gang tack­ling any con­tro­ver­sies that come her way.

2. WE JUST DIS­AGREE

It re­mains shock­ingly un­cer­tain whether folks on the right side of the aisle are ready to stand with their guy. Even with Donald Trump re­ori­ent­ing some of his more po­lar­iz­ing po­si­tions, many rank-and-file Repubs re­main non­com­mit­tal. Just as it was a week ago: Keep watch­ing for more high-level de­fec­tions — big GOPers who say they’ll back Clin­ton. Trump’s power does not spring from his party’s Wash­ing­ton elites, but their open crit­i­cisms are not help­ing. And the polls keep steadily chew­ing at his hopes for elec­toral wins not only in bat­tle­grounds, but also in some states that are nor­mally bright red.

3. WHO IS IN THE HOUSE?

Hopes are ris­ing for Democrats, and anx­i­eties are sky­rock­et­ing for Repub­li­cans over the other races this fall. Put sim­ply: If the GOP holds onto the House and Se­nate, the party won’t care as much who wins the White House. But if the Democrats take over a cham­ber — or two — and win the Oval Of­fice, it’s a whole new world. Watch for a lot — I mean A LOT — more talk about the “down bal­lot” races in com­ing weeks.

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Repub­li­can Na­tional Con­ven­tion

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