The clusterfuck that is Donald Trump’s campaign is manifesting itself in the polls, as Hillary first opens up a ten-point lead nationally, and now, gains huge leads in three major battleground states. New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Michigan have all pivoted solidly toward Hillary, at least for now, when she and Trump were virtually deadlocked before the Trump Train went off the tracks.
Perhaps one of the most surprising aspects of these polls is that western Michigan, which tends to be very Republican, has turned blue because of Trump’s downward spiral. Hillary now has a nine-point lead in that state, along with an 11-point lead in Pennsylvania and a whopping 17-point lead in New Hampshire.
Past polls showed Hillary within just a few points of Trump in all three states, setting the stage for a major showdown in the battlegrounds. Normally, that would likely continue – there’s a reason these states are battlegrounds.
The Trump Train is anything but a normal campaign, though. Richard Czuba, president of the Glengariff Group, Inc., says:
“He’s sitting in the cellar right now, and they’re going to have to do something to dramatically turn this around.
If I were a Republican running on this ticket right now, I’d be beyond nervous.”
Some of them are. There are Republicans running for re-election to Congress who have said that they can’t support him. A Republican strategist actually said that not endorsing Trump is a badge of honor, instead of the horrible betrayal and kiss of death it would ordinarily be. Billionaire Meg Whitman, who votes for Republicans in presidential elections, has formally endorsed Hillary Clinton.
Perhaps even more damning for Trump are conflicting reports about the state of his campaign. His campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and his spokespeople say that everything is fine. One of his spokespeople even said that Trump’s success is evident in the crowds he draws, the ratings he garners, and his fundraising. All of that implies that he thinks the polls are badly biased (isn’t everything biased in Trumpland?).
But an ally to Manafort said that even Manafort is ready to give up, and staff morale is virtually nil. That conflict further damages Trump as he struggles to convince America that he hasn’t completely lost it.
Speaking to that, GOP strategist Greg McNeilly says:
“I know that there’s a lot of numbers that matter in politics, but Twitter followers still don’t trump poll numbers.”
He said that Trump should stick to his “Make America great again” messaging. Trump doesn’t know how, though, because he’s Donald Trump and Donald Trump knows best, including when it comes to vanquishing his enemies, real and imagined. John Harwood, of CNBC, confirmed that when he said that Trump’s campaign is unique because candidates don’t usually have a stranglehold on their campaign’s daily messaging. Trump, as a thin-skinned control freak, does.
And that’s how Trump likes it, so the GOP better get used to it. They nominated this train wreck. They get to handle the fallout right up until we go to the polls in November.
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