Sunday, August 14, 2016

Is Trump's Rigged Message Depressing His Own Turnout?

Nate Silver suggests the answer is yes:

"In USC/LATimes poll, Trump supporters' likelihood of voting has fallen a bunch over past week. His "rigged" message may depress his turnout."

Bruce Bartlett suggests the same:

"If Trump supporters really believe the election is rigged, why would they bother to vote? Could turn election into a rout."

Meanwhile, Trump is handling the chaos at the heart of his campaign by: yep, blaming the media for reporting on it.

"U.S. Republican Donald Trump on Saturday repeated his attack on President Barack Obama that he helped “found” Islamic State and railed against media reports that his campaign is failing, at a campaign rally in Connecticut, a state where he has a long-shot of being victorious."

"Speaking for more than an hour in a sweltering room, Trump spent a significant portion of his speech complaining about the media."

"He again threatened to revoke the press credentials of The New York Times. The credentials allow reporters access to press-only areas of his campaign events. He has already banned other outlets, including The Washington Post."

On Saturday, the New York newspaper published an article detailing failed efforts to make Trump focus his campaign on the general election.

“These are the most dishonest people,” Trump said. “Maybe we’ll start thinking about taking their press credentials away from them.”

"Trump visiting Connecticut, a heavily Democratic state, raised eyebrows among many Republicans."

“It’s asinine that he would be in Connecticut holding a public rally less than 90 days before the election,” said Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak. “You don’t see Hillary publicly campaigning in Idaho and Mississippi. I have to think this proves the candidate is running the campaign, which explains why it’s such a disaster of biblical proportions.”

"At several points the crowd chanted “lock her up,” a frequent campaign rally chant in reference to Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Trump told the crowd that normally he responds by saying he intends instead to defeat her in the Nov. 8 election, but this time added, “You know what? You have a point!”

"Trump also dropped his recent efforts to say he was not being serious when he said Obama was the “founder” of the Islamic State militant group."

“It’s the opinion of myself and a lot of people that he was the founder,” Trump told the crowd.

"Democrats and Republicans alike have criticized Trump’s assertion as patently false."

"Trump took a detour from attacking Clinton’s economic record to discuss the 1998 scandal involving White House intern Monica Lewinsky and former President Bill Clinton, whom Republicans attempted to impeach."

“Remember when he said, he did not have sex with that woman, and a couple of weeks later, oh you got me,” Trump said, to cheers. He then made reference to a blue dress that became a symbol in the investigation. “I’m so glad they kept that dress, so glad they kept that dress, because it shows what the hell they are.”

Man. Remember the conspiracy theories that Bill Clinton told him to run? I don't know how much more damage Trump could do to the GOP if that conspiracy theory were accurate.

"In the NY Times article that has got under Trump's skin it emerges that the worse things get, the more Trump blames his team for every suggesting he pivot. The worse things get, the more he will be Trump and the less he will 'pivot.'

"Advisers who once hoped a Pygmalion-like transformation would refashion a crudely effective political showman into a plausible American president now increasingly concede that Mr. Trump may be beyond coaching. He has ignored their pleas and counsel as his poll numbers have dropped, boasting to friends about the size of his crowds and maintaining that he can read surveys better than the professionals."

"In private, Mr. Trump’s mood is often sullen and erratic, his associates say. He veers from barking at members of his staff to grumbling about how he was better off following his own instincts during the primaries and suggesting he should not have heeded their calls for change."

"He broods about his souring relationship with the news media, calling Mr. Manafort several times a day to talk about specific stories. Occasionally, Mr. Trump blows off steam in bursts of boyish exuberance: At the end of a fund-raiser on Long Island last week, he playfully buzzed the crowd twice with his helicopter."

"But in interviews with more than 20 Republicans who are close to Mr. Trump or in communication with his campaign, many of whom insisted on anonymity to avoid clashing with him, they described their nominee as exhausted, frustrated and still bewildered by fine points of the political process and why his incendiary approach seems to be sputtering."

This is the beauty of it. The worse it gets, the worse he will get.

Bruce Bartlett, that old Reaganite, has all the best lines:

I object to calling this election a choice between the lesser of two evils. One candidate is evil, the other isn't. But which is which?"

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