Tags: Trump Administration | Donald Trump | GOP2016 | Hillary Clinton | trump | hillary | 2016

What It Will Take for a Trump Turnaround

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Friday, 12 Aug 2016 10:52 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Donald Trump, the outsider businessman exploding onto the political stage last year to great fanfare and unprecedented media coverage: irrelevant. Donald Trump, the candidate defying political experts by besting 16 rivals in the primaries: irrelevant. Donald Trump, the GOP nominee facing off against Hillary Clinton: almost irrelevant.

No one can argue that this year’s campaigns have been unprecedented. But while new trails were blazed and fireworks commonplace, the general election will settle down, with those precedents becoming distant memories. The next president will be chosen not so much because of policy positions, but by being the one with whom Americans feel more comfortable, or, more aptly, less uncomfortable.

Despite significant hesitation about another President Clinton, voters are leaning toward making her their new leader. That can change, but if Donald Trump doesn’t right his floundering ship immediately and put down the mutiny from his own ranks, he won’t be able to recover, and this election will be over before Labor Day.

This is not over, at least not yet. Many pundits are stricken with short-term memory, getting caught up in the here-and-now and forgetting how quickly things can change. Mere weeks ago, Trump had pulled even with Clinton in numerous polls. But now that Hillary has opened a sizable lead, the same “experts” who declared this a hotly-contested election have written Trump’s obituary.

And when Trump surges again, and he will, though whether it will be sustainable is another story, they will once again revise their predictions. Changing analyses to fit fluctuating polls in an attempt to appear relevant doesn’t make an expert; it makes laughingstocks with zero credibility. Sadly, too many commentators offer nothing but regurgitated and often incorrect perspectives rather than offering analyses not affected by Tweets in the daily news cycle.

That said, two things must soon occur if Trump has a shot: A) he becomes a highly-disciplined candidate, committing absolutely no more self-inflicted errors, and B) a damning revelation emerges about Clinton. Barring those developments, the path to a Republican victory is extremely narrow.

If Trump loses, the Republican Party, from establishment to grass roots, will need to do a brutally honest assessment of why and how things went so terribly wrong. And the self-inflection must be thorough, since a GOP loss will go way beyond Trump’s shortcomings.

From coronating those whose “turn it was” (Dole, McCain and Romney), to a hierarchy that for years refused to listen to the rank-and-file (ultimately paving the way for Trump), the Republican Party has been unable to build upon its electoral successes in Congress, state legislatures and governorships.

America’s shifting demographics provide an initial advantage to the Democrat. Therefore, the Republican needs to be a widely-appealing candidate running a near-flawless campaign to lock up his base, and, more important, the swing voters in battleground states.

To say Trump has fallen short is the understatement of the decade.

While a damaging story about Clinton may yet emerge, the ability of Trump to change is virtually nonexistent. Yet many in the GOP still hold out hope that he will suddenly act “presidential,” jettisoning his tendency to verbally assault all who criticize him. That’s not going to happen.

It’s not because he’s dumb, or that he doesn’t care about repercussions. It’s much simpler: his brash personality is who he is.

Hillary is also a deeply flawed candidate. But with a massive fundraising advantage, along with her electoral leg-up, all she has to do is keep Trump’s negatives higher than her own, and her chance for victory remains high.

Most foreboding is the shifting of traditionally solid Republican red states to “undecided.” So instead of focusing on the independents and swing voters who will decide the election, Trump has been working to keep his own base from fracturing any further. Every dime and every minute spent in states that should be “gimmes” for a Republican — Georgia, Arizona, Kansas, even Utah — is money and time away from those who need to wooed.

With his national operation still scrambling to get organized, scores of Republicans refusing to endorse him, self-inflicted controversies, and, relative to Clinton, paltry fundraising, Donald Trump’s chances are quickly diminishing.

Yet through it all, Trump nonetheless remains a viable contender, especially given the volatility of the electorate. If he can defy the experts once more by getting his head in the game, and catches a tailwind, he just might make this election a nail biter after all.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.


 

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Despite significant hesitation about another President Clinton, voters are leaning toward making her their new leader. That can change, but if Donald Trump doesn’t right his floundering ship immediately and put down the mutiny from his own ranks, he won’t be able to recover.
trump, hillary, 2016
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2016-52-12
Friday, 12 Aug 2016 10:52 AM
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