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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Stupid media still acting stupidly over Donald Trump

Anyone who has read this column on a regular basis knows I’ve been hard on leading #NeverTrumper Erick Erickson, questioning his motives and reasoning in various ways throughout the post-Republican primary campaign.

But yesterday, Erickson actually brought up a good point. In a post titled “If Trump Wanted to Lose to Hillary Clinton, What Would He Be Doing Differently?” Erickson wrote in The Resurgent, “Hillary Clinton is spending Donald Trump$59 million on advertising and Trump is spending $0.00.

“And when you say that Trump is getting unbelievable free advertising from the press, remember his campaign is now complaining about too much media coverage. By the way, it’s not like it is favorable media coverage.

“Likewise, he still isn’t growing staff or major ground game operations.”

I believe Erickson continues to regularly comment on Trump because he knows it drives ratings to his site. I’m guessing Erickson’s lost a big chunk of readership with his daily assaults on the Republican nominee, but he deserves some recognition for sticking to his guns…even if his position is based on faulty reasoning.

At any rate, Erickson’s query in this case is legitimate. Donald Trump isn’t running a very efficient campaign and it does make one wonder why he isn’t doing more to shore up the areas where he’s weakest. Trump’s obviously not trying to lose, but he also doesn’t appear to be doing the things necessary to win, either.

Much has been written about Trump’s lack of faith in traditional campaigning, how he steadfastly refused to invest a great deal of his money in advertising during the primaries and how he largely eschewed ground game and data operations as well, all the while depending on the enthusiasm of his supporters to propel him forward.

Trump is certainly a different kind of political candidate and his campaign has seemingly gotten by on the force of his personality alone. Volumes will be written in future years about how Trump was able to turn his celebrity status and ability to manipulate earned media coverage into winning the Republican nomination.

But I also can’t help but think his strategy for succeeding against his fellow Republicans isn’t translating to the general election against the much nastier Democrats. This is so for a few reasons.

First, whereas Trump was able to make headway with GOP voters early on by defining his Republican opponents in various ways, the same can’t be said for his similar attempts to characterize Hillary Clinton.

Prior to this year, it’s safe to say not much was known in national politics about Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson, amongst others. Therefore, Trump could pin labels on them as “Lyin’ Ted,” “Little Marco” and “Carson is an okay doctor who’s mentally unbalanced”. It worked with an electorate that was persuadable by a well-known anti-establishment celebrity who was exceptionally adept at dishing out insults.

Trump has successfully called Clinton “Crooked Hillary,” a label that is fitting – and true. But Hillary is at least as recognizable to Americans as Trump, has already been defined and those people who are inclined to support her aren’t going to budge because of further classification. They want their government provided goodies and instinctively realize Crooked Hillary will provide them.

Democrats accept the fact she’s corrupt and a liar. Many of them may like her even better for it…if you don’t believe it, look at their hero worship of her “I didn’t have sex with that woman” husband all these years.

Next, Trump isn’t making headway because the media isn’t cooperating the same way in the general election race as it did in the primaries.

In the GOP race, the media provided all the coverage Trump would need to swamp his opponents. Trump drove ratings and offered what the other candidates couldn’t – entertainment and a penchant for making off the wall comments. Viewers loved it. So did the media outlets.

Now that Trump is the Republican nominee, however, and his only opponent is the establishment protected Hillary Clinton, there’s no longer any incentive for the media to treat Trump kindly. In fact, they’ve figured out they can still generate the same big ratings by escalating every Trump-ian misstep.

Whereas a good portion of the Republican primary electorate watched the pro-Trump Fox News during the primaries, the same can’t be said for the general electorate which likely leans more towards the so-called “mainstream” outlets of ABC, NBC, CBS, CSPAN, CNN and newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post.

Fox may still continue to lean towards Trump but he isn’t picking up any new voters from them. Fox viewers are already in Trump’s corner.

Lastly, Trump’s poor message discipline isn’t helping him fix his lack of traditional campaign metrics (ads, ground game, data operations) and antagonistic relationship with the media.

Trump has always seemed to thrive on media coverage of any kind, but he appears to be miscalculating in continuing to add fuel to the fire to controversies where he’d be better off by sticking to his message.

Here’s where Trump’s lack of political experience is showing up the most and where he should lean on the sound advice of advisers such as Mike Pence and Newt Gingrich.

Trump shouldn’t hide from the media like Hillary does, but he should take a short course on media relations from Gingrich or someone who’s used to being grilled for perceived slights to the politically correct norm. Simply stated, Trump’s mistakes need to stop.

As I’ve argued many times, Trump has a winning message if he’d only use it. His economic speech on Monday in Detroit was well delivered and on-point. If Americans were supplied a larger dose of the type of information that could help them rather than sensationalized soundbites, I think Trump would make headway in the polls.

No, Trump isn’t trying to lose…but he needs to work a lot harder on winning, too.

Wishy-washy Republicans may be writing off Trump, but Democrats aren’t

With Donald Trump’s steep drop in the post-Democrat convention polls the past couple weeks, many Republicans are quickly jumping off the bandwagon…or even fostering a dump Trump movement.

Take for example former Republican senator Gordon Humphrey, who argues the party can replace Trump using an incompetency provision in the party rules. And notoriously wishy-washy Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins said the other day she “can’t” support Trump because he insulted a disabled person (he didn’t), questioned a Mexican judge’s impartiality because of his heritage (an Obama appointee who most certainly isn’t impartial) and then picked on the Khan family (Sharia law supporters). Blah, blah, blah…

Both Humphrey and Collins are typical of the politically correct moderate/liberal establishment wing of the party and don’t represent the party base in any way, shape or form, but the media loves to report on any wayward Republicans, and these two certainly qualify for that category.

Most conservatives and Republicans ignore them but they get front page exposure when they speak out against Trump. Where are all the Democrat detractors of Clinton?

Wherever they may be, the Democrat party leaders aren’t writing off Trump. In that sense, they’re a lot smarter than their Republican counterparts.

Gabriel Debenedetti of Politico reports, “[B]behind the scenes, high-level party officials who are watching Trump’s poll numbers slump further are growing increasingly worried about Democratic overconfidence that could give the Republican nominee — and some flagging GOP Senate candidates — an opening to climb back into contention.

“Fear of complacency is suddenly a frequent topic of discussion among both Capitol Hill influencers and the financiers backing Clinton’s bid. The worry, spelled out in a series of private conversations, conference calls, and campaign communiques over the last two weeks, is that the party’s efforts could end up underfunded and its turnout operations neglected against an opponent whose campaign is one big political death-defying act.”

The Politico piece certainly depicts Democrats as worried but is still generally positive in tone, like “Yeah, we’re in great shape in the polls but we need to finish this race so we can make sure no one interrupts our big government hegemony.”

I’m not sure “complacency” is the right word for the Democrats and it certainly isn’t “overconfidence”. What they should really be worried about is Americans waking up one day to the reality that Hillary Clinton could be their next president… the people must therefore be kept in the dark about her real issues. Democrats realize they’ve got an ethically challenged candidate who just isn’t likable.

That should be enough to make anyone worried.

At any rate, it sounds like the Democrats are going to go all out to get every last Hillary voter to the polls. They want to make sure they have all the money necessary to fund their operations.

Their undying fealty to Crooked Hillary is admirable…something the Republicans could certainly learn from.

Stupid media still acting stupidly over Trump Second Amendment comment

Hard as it is to believe, the media is still trying to milk Donald Trump’s Second Amendment comment for all it’s worth, this time in speculating the Secret Service must be after the Republican nominee for his “threat” to off Crooked Hillary should she become president.

Tyler Pager of Politico reports, “Republican nominee Donald Trump is pushing back against a report that he had a conversation with the Secret Service following his comments on Second Amendment supporters, which many interpreted as him inciting violence against Hillary Clinton…

“CNN reported that the Secret Service had a conversation with Trump after his remark Tuesday that Second Amendment supporters could stop Hillary Clinton from appointing liberal justices to the Supreme Court. The Secret Service tweeted Tuesday that it was aware of the remark. Trump, however, said he was just trying to urge Second Amendment supporters to flex political muscle against Clinton.”

I’m actually inclined to believe the Secret Service DID have a conversation with Trump over the matter, but it most likely consisted of something like this:

Secret Service Agent: “Mr. Trump, did your statement about having Second Amendment followers take care of Hillary Clinton so she can’t appoint judges as president constitute a threat to her life or person?”

Trump answers, “No.”

End of story.

The Secret Service is duty bound to investigate all threats, including those made to Trump from leftwing nutcases who are always talking about how “dangerous” Trump is to the world.

Just because the Secret Service must investigate doesn’t mean they have to give a lot of credence to the media’s claim that Trump’s words constituted a serious threat. Trump may have been making a joke about Clinton and Second Amendment people, but there certainly wasn’t any malicious intent involved.

The Secret Service isn’t the same as the political correctness thought police who would gladly lock up anyone who says something they feel is insensitive. I’d like to think common sense factors in here somewhere along the line.

Truth be told, the only ones who care about this matter are Democrats who are trying to find anything possible to distract from Hillary along with the media members who need something on Trump to feature in their news reports so people will watch their silly shows.

It’s the ultimate example of the stupid media acting stupidly. It’s hard to contemplate how they might possibly find something more ridiculous than this, but if it’s possible, they’ll do it.

Crooked Hillary pandering to disgruntled Mormons to try and paint Utah blue this year

Finally today, it’s no secret Mormons aren’t big fans of Donald Trump this year, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be open to the abortion-on-demand, anti-family candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

Lisa Hagen of The Hill reports, “Hillary Clinton is making an appeal to Mormon voters in an op-ed she penned for a Utah newspaper owned by the church.

“The Democratic nominee’s op-ed in the Deseret News trumpeted how she fought to support religious freedom around the world.

“’I’ve been fighting to defend religious freedom for years,’ Clinton writes. ‘As secretary of state, I made it a cornerstone of our foreign policy to protect the rights of religious minorities around the world — from Coptic Christians in Egypt, to Buddhists in Tibet.’”

Hillary’s claim is flat-out laughable. The Obamacare supporting Clinton is the same one who favors federal funding for abortion and forcing religious institutions to provide the morning after pill as part of employees’ health coverage. Crooked Hillary is about the last person on earth who has fought for religious freedom anywhere.

If Hillary is so into fighting for minority religious rights, why won’t she go to her Muslim friends and demand that they stop imprisoning Christians for merely reading the Bible? Or what about her lack of support for Israel in its ongoing battle with its Muslim terrorist neighbors who seek nothing but the destruction of the Jewish state?

How about telling her Muslim friends to stop persecuting homosexuals and grant real rights to women? Sheesh, women can’t even get a driver’s license in Muslim countries.

It’s somewhat understandable how Mormons might not be wild about Trump considering his harsh criticism of Mitt Romney and spotty personal past. But to think they’d be gullible enough to support Hillary Clinton is a leap of faith that’s just a bit too hard to imagine.

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Mr. Trump

The reason is to "Stop Mr. Trump"! They do not want a rich man in charge of America and are jealous of him and the Criminal Hillary certainly has paid the media off to win this election! Americans Mr. Trump is the same man he was when he started this Race, and We need to quit listening to the media and tell them to go and let their pups suck! Vote Trump and there are reason to Vote Trump! 1. To be Free and have Our Rights in America, 2. To live in a Free Nation with Our Guns So if attacked We the People can defend Ourselves.
3. To stop this crazy unlawfulness in America with Health Care! 4.To Not have illegal laws written 5. To Keep Our Constitution in place in America to live under 6. No more "Fears" to live Under like losing Our Social Security or Not to be able to feed Our Children 7. To Undo the illegal gay laws illegally written. 8. To take back America in every area of Our Lives!

RI-NO Surprise

The only surprising thing about Susan Collins is that like many Democrats, she wears an "R" label. It's also no surprise that NH Sen Kelly Ayotte has been lukewarm on Trump - she needn't fear Trump, though, as she will lose the election on her own "merits".
The bigger surprise is the once famously conservative Gordon Humphrey, who claims that Trump is too risky. Really, sir? And a Clinton presidency is not a yuuge risk?