Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Last Call For The Last Red Line

And as I expected, Donald Trump has now crossed the last line, openly wondering if somebody can't come along and provide a "Second Amendment solution" to his Hillary Clinton problem.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appeared to joke about the possibility that Hillary Clinton could be shot in remarks at a campaign rally Tuesday in Wilmington, N.C. 
Trump was discussing the possibility that Clinton, the Democratic nominee, would be able to appoint liberal justices to the Supreme Court if she wins the race for the White House. 
He then said that there was nothing that could be done in that scenario, before mentioning “Second Amendment folks.” 
“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment,” Trump said to boos from the crowd. 
“By the way, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks,” he then added. 
Though the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know.

Gonna be a long four years.

Trump Cards, Con't

The latest losers in Election '16 are all the conservative pundits who promised us Trump would pivot to the general election after his rise in the primary.  I said that would never happen and lo and behold I was right.

On the heels of his campaign’s worst week yet, Donald Trump suggested that it is his temperament that “has gotten me here” and said he has no plans to change it. 
“I think that my temperament has gotten me here,” Trump said in a Tuesday morning interview on Fox Business Network. “I’ve always had a good temperament and it’s gotten me here. We beat a lot of people in the primaries and now we have one person left, and we’re actually doing pretty well there, but we’ll see how it all comes out.”

Trump’s poll numbers have sagged in recent days after he spent much of last week feuding with the Gold Star family of a fallen Muslim soldier and with prominent lawmakers in his own party. After initially refusing to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sens. John McCain and Kelly Ayotte in their respective primary races, Trump offered an about-face and voiced his support for all three. By then, the intense scrutiny — combined with Clinton’s bump from a well-received Democratic National Convention — had taken their toll on Trump’s campaign. 
But while a wave of recent public polls have shown Trump trailing Hillary Clinton by double digits, the Manhattan billionaire said his campaign’s internal polling paints a rosier picture. Asked by Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo what his campaign needs to do to escape from the polling hole it has sunk into, Trump said his campaign needs only “steadiness” and for him to continue “just doing what I’m doing.” 
As he often does, Trump pointed to the size of the crowds at his rallies as evidence that his campaign is successfully reaching voters. 
“I certainly don’t think it’s appropriate to start changing all of a sudden when you’ve been winning,” he said. “I mean I’ve beaten many people, and now we’re down to one. And we’ll see how it all works out, but I think it’s going to work out well.”

Apparently whichever Republican campaign strategist wrote up the memo on Trump's "reboot" on Monday forgot to give a copy to Trump himself. Reality never mattered to this election, only the perception of reality.

Donald Trump said a lot of different things last week so we polled to what share of his supporters bought into each of them: 
-69% of Trump voters think that if Hillary Clinton wins the election it will be because it was rigged, to only 16% who think it would be because she got more vote than Trump. More specifically 40% of Trump voters think that ACORN (which hasn't existed in years) will steal the election for Clinton. That shows the long staying power of GOP conspiracy theories.

-48% of Trump voters think that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton deserve the blame for Humayun Khan's death to 16% who absolve them and 36% who aren't sure one way or the other (Obama was in the Illinois Legislature when it happened.) Showing the extent to which Trump supporters buy into everything he says, 40% say his comments about the Khans last week were appropriate to only 22% who will grant that they were inappropriate. And 39% of Trump voters say they view the Khan family negatively, to just 11% who have a positive opinion of them. 
-Even though Trump ended up admitting it didn't exist 47% of his voters say they saw the video of Iran collecting 400 million dollars from the United States to only 46% who say they didn't see the video. Showing the extent to which the ideas Trump floats and the coverage they get can overshadow the facts, even 25% of Clinton voters claim to have seen the nonexistent video. 
-Trump said last week that Hillary Clinton is the devil, and 41% of Trump voters say they think she is indeed the devil to 42% who disagree with that sentiment and 17% who aren't sure one way or the other. 
We've been writing for almost a year that there's a cult like aspect to Trump's supporters, where they'll go along with anything he says. Trump made some of his most outlandish claims and statements yet last week, but we continue to find that few in his support base disavow them.

Trump voters are so massively divorced from reality that when he loses in a landslide they're not going to accept it for a second.  If you thought America was in bad shape in 2016, wait until 2017.

The Pebble In The Av-Hill-Lanche, Con't

It's a bit early for high-profile defections from a losing presidential candidate with 90 days to go until the election, or it would be if the candidate was anyone other than Donald Trump. Today's contestant bailing on the Trump Train? Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins.

Donald Trump lost the support of another Republican lawmaker on Monday, with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) stating she would not vote for her party’s presidential nominee in a Washington Post op-ed published on Monday night.

“With the passage of time, I have become increasingly dismayed by his constant stream of cruel comments and his inability to admit error or apologize,” Collins wrote. “But it was his attacks directed at people who could not respond on an equal footing — either because they do not share his power or stature or because professional responsibility precluded them from engaging at such a level — that revealed Mr. Trump as unworthy of being our president.”

She specifically mentioned Trump’s verbal attacks against Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the bereaved parents of US Army Capt. Humayun Khan who criticized him at the Democratic National Convention.

“Rather than honoring their sacrifice and recognizing their pain, Mr. Trump disparaged the religion of the family of an American hero,” Collins stated. “And once again, he proved incapable of apologizing, of saying he was wrong.”

She also cited Trump’s rhetoric concerning federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel and his mockery of reporter Serge Kovaleski late last year, arguing that Trump has shown a refusal to tone himself down in the general election.

“Regrettably, his essential character appears to be fixed, and he seems incapable of change or growth,” she said.

This is how badly Trump has damaged the Republican brand in 2016.

Now, Collins isn't up for re-election this year, but in a state where the other senator is an independent like Angus King, Collins trashing Trump without saying she'll support Hillary Clinton only makes sense, especially in a state where Clinton is ahead.  Still, this is a sitting Republican senator saying she will not vote for the party's standard-bearer, and that's definitely not good for Trump.

We'll see who else starts jumping off the Trump Train in the weeks ahead.  My guess is we'll see a lot more Republicans in the House and Senate do so in an effort to provide downticket cover for their colleagues up for re-election.


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