Tags: trump | manafort | conway | bannon

Experts: Not Too Late for Trump's Campaign Shakeup

Image: Experts: Not Too Late for Trump's Campaign Shakeup

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Monday, 22 Aug 2016 08:42 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Since Wednesday, coverage of the Trump campaign focused on the sudden exit of campaign Chairman Paul Manafort and his replacement by Steve Bannon of Breitbart News as the campaign's chief executive.

Then veteran pollster Kellyanne Conway signed on as campaign manager the — the first woman ever to hold that title in a Republican presidential campaign.

The turnover, noted Financial Times Washington bureau chief Demetri Sevastopulo, “marked the second revamp of Mr. Trump’s top team in as many months.” Others in the press raised this obvious question: Is it too late to make a difference for the candidate now trailing Hillary Clinton in almost every nationwide poll?

But veterans of GOP presidential campaigns who spoke to me said just the opposite — Trump, Bannon, and Conway have ample time to forge the campaign into a winning operation.

“It's never too late to make adjustments” Chip Saltsman, manager of Mike Huckabee’s two presidential bids, told me. “As we have seen this cycle, polls move quick and big. Labor Day begins the sprint.”

Saltsman’s view was strongly second by Mississippi’s Republican National Committeeman Henry Barbour, a close adviser to former Texas Gov. Rick Perry in his 2016 presidential campaign.

Barbour said, “Eighty days is a long time in politics, and most voters don’t make up their minds until the last couple of weeks before they vote. The political environment favors a change candidate like Trump and certainly not Hillary.”

Barbour, nephew of former Mississippi governor and onetime Republican National Chairman Haley Barbour, agreed that “Trump does have to change his trajectory” but quickly noted that “he’s already doing that and must continue. Debates, more undisclosed unflattering emails from Hillary and a very fluid national security situation with terrorists, Iran, and Russia all could have a serious impact on the political dynamic.”

Former Republican National Chairman Michael Steele told me, “Yes, organizationally, the ground game, voter turnout, fundraising are important tools . . . the Trump campaign has been, and remains, woefully behind. But it may not matter. Trump appears to have finally found the right fit — marrying ‘let Trump be Trump’ [Bannafort] with smart political acumen [Conway], which may make the success of his campaign more about the message than the organization on Election Day.

“Conventional wisdom says that analysis is just loopy. But, when during this election has conventional wisdom been right?”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.


 

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Is it too late for Trump to make a difference now that he trails Hillary Clinton in almost every nationwide poll?
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2016-42-22
Monday, 22 Aug 2016 08:42 AM
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