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President Obama says Donald Trump has no evidence to back up his complaints about the election.

The more they campaign, the more things stay the same ...

So many primary contests, so much debate, so many millions spent on defining Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

And now, three weeks before the election, it turns out voters may have known these two characters fairly well at the outset — or at least as well as they cared to.

New NBC/WSJ poll numbers show this shocking pattern:

  • Trump’s favorability rating in January 2016: 29% positive, 58% negative
  • Trump’s favorability rating now: 29% positive, 62% negative
  • Clinton’s favorability rating in January 2016: 40% positive, 49% negative
  • Clinton’s favorability rating now: 40% positive, 50% negative

Yes, that’s right. Almost zero change in how voters see the candidates. But surely their voting intentions have adjusted for new information, right?

Hardly:

  • The two-way ballot in January 2016: Clinton 51%, Trump 41%
  • The two-way ballot now: Clinton 51%, Trump 41%

What to make of these results? They could reflect the unprecedented nature of this election, in that both of the major party nominees were well-known figures going into the campaigns. What’s more, they were familiar personalities, about whom Americans had strong personal opinions.

Or maybe it’s about the state of political polarization as the Obama era draws to a close, and Americans are just more rigid in their political views.

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