When it comes to Donald Trump, very few voters are undecided about whether or not they like the things he says. If you don’t believe me, just ask him. He’ll tell exactly who loves him.
But here’s the thing, it’s not who loves him that will decide if Trump wins the White House. It’s who’s going to hold their nose and vote for him.
Who’s willing to tolerate what he says and how he says it.
About one-third of the country is all in for Trump. About the same amount is die-hard Clinton. The rest . . . trying to figure it all out before November.
Do you take his comments seriously or with a big bag of salt? Is he serious or sarcastic?
Voters will soon decide.
The latest mini-scandal that has Trump in the news is a solid example. Last week he made headlines by saying, that Obama and Clinton co-founded ISIS. Now, it could be assumed that he meant they created the environment out of which ISIS was able to grow.
That’s what his supporters and most serious journalists believed he meant.
So, some journalists asked him. So did some supporters. Trump didn’t change a word. He just went back to the line that got him lots of love at his last conventional stop.
Guess what, the line played well among his supporters. Not so well among the media, especially when Trump doubled, and then tripled down on the message.
Now, at this point someone might want to tell the media Trump’s appeal is not in what he says about political opponents. He understands how that game is played. Rile up the base with attacks on the other guys (which Trump calls counter-punching). Give them a boogie man to hate and fear. Then continuously log grenades at him at every opportunity.
Meanwhile, continue to push out policy points and stay on message. Major in the majors and stick to the point. Which is what Trump has been doing since day one. He says something outlandish and the media bites. Then he packs out an event venue or goes on the weekend talk shows and hits hard on trade, jobs, and immigration.
And, so far, that strategy is working. He’s getting tons of free media to push his agenda, and he’s loving every minute of it. Sure he says embarrassing things. Then he shrugs and goes after outsourcing companies, terrorists, and our failing infrastructure and schools.
The gamble in all of this, for Trump, is whether or not enough independents and undecideds are savvy enough to make the distinction between sarcasm and serious policy.
We still have a few months.
Ronn Torossian is one of America’s foremost Public Relations executives as founder/CEO of 5WPR, a leading independent PR Agency. The firm was honored as PR Firm of the Year by The American Business Awards, and has been named to the Inc. 500 List. Torossian is author of the best-selling "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations." For more of Ronn Torossian's reports, Go Here Now.
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