Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Donald Chronicles: Get Thee Behind Me

Both the Guardian and CNN (and possibly other outlets by now) report that a US Secret Service official said that the Secret Service has spoken to the Trump campaign about his Second Amendment remedies comment Tuesday.  Both quote the unnamed official as saying "There has been more than one conversation."

But CNN also reports that Trump himself is denying this."No such meeting or conversation ever happened," Trump tweeted in response to CNN's report.

Granted that the head of the Secret Service has not gone on the record confirming the contact, yet.  But the Trump habit of first-resort lying makes the report even more credible.  Consider that this time Trump is calling out the Secret Service--some of whom risk their lives every day to protect his sorry ass.

The Trump campaign was clearly trying to put all this behind them, and it has been pretty quiet so far today. Several media analysts tried to follow the varied excuses for the Second Amendment statement put out by Trump (it was politically organizing the Second Amendment people) and surrogates (it was a joke) while all blamed the media.  And amidst the condemnations, there were notable Republicans defending or minimizing the import of Trump's comment.

So far the only other actual Trumped-up news today is the announcement of the Republicans for Clinton organization anticipated yesterday, and several more Republican defections--though they include guys I'd have to figure out what I'd done wrong to get their support.

There is always a campaign group called The Other Party for Our Party's Candidate, but this one may set a new standard.  It already has many high profile GOP names, and conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin at least believes it's going to reach down to the grassroots.

Meanwhile, some Republicans are trying to figure out how to repair their party after Trump, and this one foresees a lot of problems, because of the large Trump constituency that after all voted him into the nomination:"This is Donald Trump's Republican Party now. The rest of us are just living in it."

A substantive defection:   Billionaire hedge fund manager Seth Klarman said on Wednesday he would work to get Hillary Clinton elected president of the United States because he finds recent comments by Donald Trump "shockingly unacceptable."  

As for some prior defections, I noted that the first several high profile ones were women, and this might provide cover for Republican women voters to dump Trump.  Whether there's any cause and effect operating yet,  the phenomenon has apparently begun: Trump is losing ground among the female Rs.

Other campaign news: a new state poll shows Clinton has tripled her lead in Wisconsin to 15 points over Trump. Bump dump on Trump: Philip Bump at WPost analyzes recent national poll numbers and finds that Trump has little potential to capture voters he doesn't already have.  There aren't that many undecideds or soft preferences."This number should be more alarming to Trump, though: Bloomberg asked people if they would consider voting for the other candidate. More than half -- 51 percent -- said that they could never support Donald Trump." 

Politico reports that a number of mostly young staffers have left the Republican National Committee because they don't want to work for Trump.  The RNC pretty much is the Trump campaign on the ground.  Trump has no TV ads, though he's working the Internet.

That Trump is losing August is an understatement.  But stuff like RNC staff defections (and there was at least one major state party defection in Florida this week) can really hurt in October and during the voting that ends on November 8.

Though all this--including polls--presupposes that at least in these respects the normal election rules pertain, which apparently is what Trump is betting against.  But in the ground level voter world, Trump already faces (at best) hostile indifference among state party stalwarts and officeholders in battleground states that include Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Virginia and Florida, as well as purple states like Maine and red states like Utah.  In a close election where turnout is key--which is now Trump's only dim hope--those folks count.

Meanwhile, the actual President of the United States saw his approval rating climb again, to 56% in one poll.  No word on whether it affected his golf game on Martha's Vineyard.

No comments: