Monday, August 15, 2016

The RNC Isn't Pulling The Plug Yet But They Are Already Stabbing Mr. Trumpanzee In The Back


There's been a steady stream of stories all of last week about how the RNC is "mulling" the idea of if-- or some even claim "when"-- they need to just give up on the self-destructive narcissist dragging down the whole party. Maybe Team Hillary is pushing the narrative. Or maybe the permutations of the large and growing #NeverTrump people are. It got so pervasive this week that Peince Priebus was forced to fly to one of those excruciating fascist rallies that Trump does to get onstage and tell the rubes and monkeys that the RNC is sticking with Trump to the bitter end. I've never heard of anything like that in the annals of American political history before.

The new CBS battleground polls that were released yesterday for Florida, New Hampshire and Georgia will spark more doomed gloom and more speculation. This Georgia poll is the first one in two weeks where Trump isn't out-right losing to Hillary, but this is still ridiculously close in a state that is so red that Republicans never worry about spending money or campaigning there. Romney beat Obama by 8 points. Bush beat Kerry by 17. Most voters say it matters to them either a lot (33%) or some (18%) that some Republican leaders have refused to endorse Trump. When asked how Trump's campaign made then feel, Georgia voters were not very positive about Mr. Trumpanzee:
Scared- 47%
Angry- 32%
Excited -27%
Proud- 17%
None of these- 15%
That's 79%who feel either scared or angry, although I suppose some of that anger isn't directed towards Trump but towards Hillary or Ted Cruz or the media or John McCain or whomever his scapegoat du jour is. A majority of Georgia voters say he doesn't listen to people like them (55%), is not prepared to be commander-in-chief (58%), is not honest and trustworthy (59%), does not have good temperament and judgment (67%) and is a risky choice (64%). None-the-less:

But the real damage for Trump came in Florida and New Hampshire. Florida is the electoral prize Republicans need to win-- along with Ohio-- to have a serious chance to win the White House. The swingy-est of the big states but Hillary's lead over Trump has grown since June when she led him by 3 points. Today, it looks like this in the Sunshine State:

Among likely voters in Florida only 29% feel Trump has good judgment and temperament; 71% say that does not-- and that includes around 40% of Florida Republicans!
Trump hasn't made any headway since June in allaying the concerns of Florida voters who were put off by his campaign. Back in June half of them said watching the Trump campaign scared them, and those numbers are effectively the same today. The number of voters not with Trump who'd consider him has also slipped, from 16 percent in June to 10 percent now.

The movement in Florida, such as it is, has come from Clinton pulling in those previously undecided. Although she does get a few more Republicans now than Trump does Democrats, both of their support bases have remained largely locked in, and it remains a campaign in which voters feel they don't have a lot of choice. That may in turn explain why there have been so few outright swing voters.

In Florida, one-third feel they're choosing a candidate despite not liking either one, and just two percent feel they have two good choices between Trump and Clinton. In New Hampshire, that number is just one percent.
Republicans don't care that Trump is going to lose New Hampshire. Kerry beat Bush there in 2004, and McCain (with 44.5%) and Romney (with 46.4%) both lost to Obama. Trump was never a good fit for the state but the margin among likely voters, 45-36%, is shocking. And here's why:

In New Hampshire the numbers suggest Trump hasn't much room to grow, at least as of right now. Trump is losing New Hampshire women by a wide 51 percent to 29 percent spread, which is big enough for Clinton to easily overcome his slight edge with men.

Among women in New Hampshire, zero percent of those not with him are an affirmative "yes" and a scant nine percent say "maybe" they'd consider him going forward. Ninety-one percent say they never would.

And it also highlights the kinds of trouble he's had among voters of his own party: he's at 78 percent support among Republicans, compared to Clinton's 93 percent of Democrats.

That's especially interesting in light of the fact that Hillary lost New Hampshire badly in the primary-- 151,584 (60.4%) for Bernie to 95,252 (38.0%) for her, while Trump dominated in the New Hampshire primary, almost scoring as many votes as his three top rivals combined with Trump at 1--,406 votes (35.3%), Kasich at 44,909 (15.8%), Cruz at 33,189 (11.7%), Jeb at 31,310 (11.0%), Rubio at 30,032 (10.6%) and Christie at 21,069 (7.4%). So the Bernie voters have united behind Hillary, while the Kasich, Cruz, Bush and Rubio voters... well, many are not getting on the Trumpanzee Train. And what drives the RNC insane about this, of course, is that it's going to cost the GOP a Senate seat (Kelly Ayotte) and a House seat (Frank Guinta).

And in home state, Nueva York, where they know Mr. Trumpanzee best, he can't even crack 20% of the vote. Up against the ridiculous "Deep Bench" clown show, he did great-- sweeping the Republican primary... but in the real world, Hillary is beating him by an unheard of 30 points, according to the just-released Siena poll. And, yes, both McCain and Romney wound up in the mid-30s against Obama. It looks like Trump will drag Republicans to new lows, endangering, in the process, Long Island GOP incumbents Peter King and Lee Zeldin, as well as upstate incumbents Elise Stefanik, John Katko, Tom Reed, and possibly even Trumpist maniac Chris Collins. Those numbers also doom GOP challengers in open seats like Jack Martens, who's running against Tom Suozzi, John Faso, who's running against Zephyr Teachout and Claudia Tenney, who's running against Kim Myers. Wouldn't it be ironic if Hillary sweeps Staten Island-- which is likely-- and the only Republican left in the Congressional delegation is Daniel Donovan-- and only because of sheer DCCC incompetence.

[H]is support among New York Republicans plummeted.

When only Clinton and Trump were named in the poll, 55 percent of Republicans said they’d vote for him, with 24 percent choosing to back the former secretary of state and 9 percent saying they won’t vote. (Only 3 percent of Democrats said they don’t plan on casting a ballot).

Trump's numbers are worse when third-party candidates included. In that scenario, only 52 percent of Republicans said they planned to vote for Trump, 20 percent would back Clinton, and 9 percent said they would support Libertarian Gary Johnson. Even Jill Stein of the Green Party got 4 percent of Republicans.

Trump's polling among Republicans was lackluster on a variety of issues. Only half said he’d be better than Clinton on “addressing tensions between the police and communities of color,” 53 percent think he’d make a better commander-in-chief, and 56 percent believe he’d work better with Congress.
So that brings us back to the RNC. Politico was again insisting yesterday that they are already laying the groundwork to blame the whole dysfunctional Trumpanzee operation when Clinton wins and talking about cutting off cash to his campaign now. "Publicly, Republican Party officials continue to stand by Donald Trump" wrote Eli Stokol and Ken Vogel. "Privately, at the highest levels, party leaders have started talking about cutting off support to Trump in October and redirecting cash to save endangered congressional majorities."

Since the Cleveland convention, top party officials have been quietly making the case to political journalists, donors and GOP operatives that the Republican National Committee has done more to help Trump than it did to support its 2012 nominee Mitt Romney, and that therefore Trump has only himself and his campaign to blame for his precipitous slide in the polls, according to people who have spoken with Republican leadership.

Sean Spicer, the RNC’s top strategist, on Wednesday made that case to 14 political reporters he convened at the organization’s Capitol Hill headquarters for an off-the-record conversation about the election.

...According to sources close to Priebus, the chairman has warned that if Trump does not better heed this persistent advice to avoid dustups driven by his rhetoric, the RNC might not be able to help him as much-- suggesting that money and ground resources might be diverted.

To this point, Spicer has suggested a mid-October deadline for turning around the presidential campaign, suggesting last week to reporters and in separate discussions with GOP operatives that it would cause serious concern inside the RNC if Trump were to remain in a weakened position by then.

Operatives close to the RNC leadership who have heard this argument from party leadership, say the committee might have to make a decision about pulling the plug on Trump before that.

“Early voting in Ohio starts in a few weeks, there’s a 45-day window for absentee voters, so mid-September would probably be the latest the RNC could redeploy assets and have any real impact,” said an RNC member privately. “The only thing you could change in mid-October would be to shift some TV ads, maybe try to prop up Senate candidates in tough races like [Rob] Portman, [Marco] Rubio and [Pat] Toomey.”

One high-level Republican strategist added: “The party committee has this same job every cycle, to employ limited resources to maximum effect at the ballot box. ... And that means not pouring precious resources into dysfunctional, noncooperative, losing campaigns.”

Spicer, asked Saturday night about the ongoing discussions, told Politico that Trump could not be cut off soon because the party needs him to raise more money. “When I’ve gotten these questions, I’ve been correcting the record. There is no talk of shifting resources in mid-August and it’s unlikely that would happen until late September or October.”

...Within the Trump campaign, there has been suspicion for months that the RNC already has not been as supportive of its nominee as it could-- and should-- be, according to operatives in and around the campaign.

“There’s lingering doubt,” said one operative who has worked with the campaign. “It's never really improved much, and never for long.” The operative dismissed efforts to withhold RNC support from Trump as “only coming from the usual suspects-- the same crap from the same Republicans who can’t win elections.”

...Other Trump allies in and around the campaign fear that the RNC could use Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s widening lead in polls to justify pulling the plug on Trump before he has a chance to even the race.

RNC fundraisers have in fact been signaling to major donors a way that they could write huge checks to Trump’s joint fundraising committee with the RNC and dictate that only a fraction-- if any-- of the cash would go to Trump.

...[O]ne fundraiser with knowledge of the party’s high-dollar fundraising efforts said earlier this summer that the message to leery donors was “people can give to the RNC and not to him.”

Through the end of June-- the period covered by the most recent Federal Election Commission filings-- the main Trump-RNC joint fundraising committee had transferred only $2.2 million to Trump’s campaign, compared with $10.1 million to the RNC.

The committee, Trump Victory, still had $12.1 million in the bank at that point. And his campaign announced that it had combined with the joint committee to raise $80 million in July, though it’s unclear how much of that was transferred to his campaign, as opposed to the party.

Trump himself declared Thursday that he’s doing more to boost the RNC’s coffers than the campaign is doing for him, and warned that he might back out of the joint fundraising arrangement.

...[T]he RNC’s frustration is at a boiling point after a week of deepening division between the organization’s political and communications staffs and their counterparts on the Trump campaign.

Beyond the candidate’s continued rhetorical carelessness on the stump, his campaign has confounded GOP officials with a travel schedule-- more events have been announced in Colorado and Virginia, two swing states that appear to be out of reach, and even deep blue Connecticut-- that many believe is a poor use of the candidate’s time.

“He has shown no interest in doing the tough demographic work that’s necessary in campaigns,” one RNC member said. “You don't see them trying to talk to independent women, educated Hispanics; and beyond that, it’s an issue of strategic staffing. I don’t think he understands how presidential campaigns are won.”

“The senior staff gets it,” that RNC member said, “but the true believers outnumber them.”

After four years spent working toward winning back the White House, the RNC’s shift toward an endgame it didn’t envision-- essentially deciding when to concede the White House to focus on saving the Senate and saving face-- is a sign of resignation setting in.

On Wednesday evening as reporters were filing into the RNC’s conference room, Spicer, RNC political director Chris Carr and spokeswoman Lindsay Walters were ready to begin the briefing, but the attendees were focused on the flat screen TVs on the walls, which were tuned to CNN’s live coverage of an unknown individual, later determined to be a Trump supporter from Virginia, climbing up the glass exterior of Trump Tower with suction cups.

Even in the belly of the RNC, there was no escaping the near constant distractions of Trump.
My one good contact inside the RNC tells me there isn't a single top staffer who thinks Trump has any chance whatsoever to win and that most of them expect him to lose gigantically, not closely, which Hillary getting over 300 electoral votes and the GOP losing the Senate because of him. "On paper, 2018 looks like a great year for us. Schumer as [Majority] Leader will be a real gift to the Republican Party and we'll easily have him the most loathed man in America going into the midterms. He's a way more repulsive guy than Reid ever was-- real oily... It could take us more than two years to rebuild the party after the Trump fiasco and people are worried about that. If Clinton has a good couple of years, which no one really expects, we could have trouble in 2018. But probably not. Everyone feels we'll take back the Senate as long as Trump doesn't try it stick around and keep mucking things up." Let's do what we can to make sure they're right about the 2016 Senate races and try to foil their 2018 plans now by electing enough Democrats in November:

Goal Thermometer

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At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trump rots and the stench is spreading.

At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope the writer of this completely biased, tow the line, dump on Trump narrative article doesn't think of himself as a professional...LOL

At 11:15 AM, Blogger DuaneDawnrae said...

I see a cross section of America, including at least half the audience being women at Trump rallies...


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