Well that didn’t take long. It was just two weeks ago that the pundits were hyperventilating over Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton in the national polls. But then a few things happened: Clinton clinched the nomination a day before a decisive victory in California and New Jersey (the two largest Democratic primaries left) and becoming the presumptive nominee. Then she was endorsed by both the enormously popular President Obama and superstar liberal icon Elizabeth Warren. During the same period, Clinton and Warren delivered some of the most brutal and effective attacks on Donald Trump to date. Finally, Donald Trump spent most of that time spewing extremely racist attacks at a “Mexican” judge that forced many Republicans to openly question if Trump can control himself.
It’s not quite as impressive as it looks. Clinton’s only leading 44.1% to 40.3% but it’s a sharp drop and there’s no sign of it stopping. To make matters worse (for Trump, but great for America), Trump, being a political neophyte and really REALLY lazy, has not bothered to put together an actual campaign. Maybe he thinks he’s so awesome that he doesn’t need one?
Veteran operatives are shocked by the campaign’s failure to fill key roles. There is no communications team to deal with the hundreds of media outlets covering the race, no rapid response director to quickly rebut attacks and launch new ones, and a limited cast of surrogates who lack a cohesive message.
“They don’t or can’t cover it all, and there are things that happen that need to be addressed immediately and don’t get addressed at all, and that hurts the candidate,” a source within the campaign groused last month.
We actually saw this in action after both Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren’s brutal takedowns of the thin-skinned bully. Instead of a coordinated response, we were treated to a couple of lame tweets and a lot of silence.
On the other hand, they don’t call it the “Clinton machine” for nothing. Hillary already has a staff of thousands working in every swing state and even some of the newly vulnerable red states that Trump is putting into play. In 2008, Obama used a similarly well-oiled machine to first beat Hillary in the primary and then crush John McCain in the general. Trump’s scattershot approach to campaigning simply won’t be capable of competing even with the Republican National Committee trying to act as a backup.
Oh, and Trump’s campaign is more or less broke, doing a poor job of raising money and the donor class doesn’t seem to be interested in helping him out. Combine all of this with an electorate that’s highly motivated to keep Trump as far away from the White House as possible and we’re looking at a very bad year for Republicans.
Featured image via RCP