Donald Trump faces an uphill battle for the presidency, and unless he can turn around his campaign or hand it off to another Republican, The Wall Street Journal's editorial says it will be Hillary Clinton in the White House next year.
The GOP nominee has steadily lost ground to Clinton since the Democratic National Convention, after a brief stint on top after the Republican National Convention. In an editorial Monday, the Journal recounts how Trump's advisers would "like him to be disciplined. They want him to focus on growing the economy and raising incomes and fighting terrorism."
"They think he should make the election a referendum on Hillary Clinton, not on himself. And they'd like him to spend a little time each day — a half hour even — studying the issues he'll need to understand if he becomes President." All to no avail, the editors say.
Trump denies that he hasn't stayed on message, or that he doesn't know the issues, as he did in a series of tweets Sunday night.
He blames the media for misrepresenting him and focusing on his unscripted remarks rather than his policy-focused pre-written speeches. "I'm running against the crooked media," not "Crooked Hillary," The Hill reports.
Political scientist Alan Abramowitz correctly predicted every presidential election since 1988, according to the Journal, but while he gave a hypothetical 'mainstream' Republican a 66 percent chance of victory this year, Trump has only a 51.4 percent chance of winning, according to his model.
Christopher Wlezian, who teaches government at the University of Texas, told Politico Monday that things are looking grim for Trump's campaign.
"When you come out of the conventions, the leader in the last 16 elections has not lost the popular vote," he said, referring to Trump's slump in the polls. "It's not magical, (the electorate is) substantially baked. Not everybody's locked in, but there's a lot of voters locked in now."
"As things get more and more baked, there's less room for change," Wlezien said, adding that debates are "the second-most important set of events, but they're far less important than conventions."
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