Presidential candidate Donald Trump has two choices in this early stage of the campaign season; stay on topic and articulate his convention promises or continue to rant about obscure and off-script stupidity. The monotonous and over-sold fact he is not a politician. It won’t work anymore as a campaign excuse for those on the fence, period.
The billionaire real estate mogul has made two crippling mistakes in the last two weeks, and the polls echo the demise that led to a shocking shift in the polls. Hillary Clinton now boasts a commanding lead in several swing states while putting others previously seen as safely Republican within her grasp. In other words, Trump must stay on message, quit handing the Democrats raw meat in his off-the-cuff statements and slow down and listen to his handlers.
More bad news indicates that in recent days, states that would not be in play in more normal election years are now competitive, including Arizona and Georgia. Could that be why Trump held his nose and endorsed Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for his re-election bid? The man he labeled a coward for being shot down and imprisoned in North Vietnam for seven years?
Public endorsements for re-election Republicans include Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), obviously to calm and unite the Republican Party. Meanwhile, with all the “hold-your-nose political endorsements,” new polls from NBC News/Wall Street Journal, McClatchy and Fox News have pegged Clinton’s lead at between 9 and 15 points.
Trump definitely has time and energy to make a comeback with reportedly more information forthcoming on Hillary’s email controversy concerning legally sworn lies and the alleged corruption within Bill and Hillary’s “charitable” Foundation. Three months to Election Day and Trump must return to his Hillary agenda and her record.
Presently, Clinton has a secure 195 of the 270 Electoral College votes required to win the White House. That is indisputable. At this time in August with Trump’s foot-in-mouth outrageous remarks, can Hillary get to within 400 electoral votes if this trend continues?
The Clinton campaign could squeak by in the Rust Belt where Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan are in play with 64 Electoral College votes. That should be Trump’s bread and butter states. They are of immense importance to a Trump victory.
Then there is another crucial state for both sides; Florida. It’s now an up-for-grabs battleground state. Hillary has the Hispanic vote overwhelmingly (no surprise) while Trump has enjoyed the constant exposure in the state with his luxury resorts and world-class golf courses. Clinton leads by six points in a new poll from Suffolk University, published Thursday.
Then there are the slam dunk Republican strongholds; not any more Donald. North Carolina is in play and running mate, Virginia former governor Tim Kaine’s home state. That’s 28 crucial Electoral College votes for Trump to have a chance. Clinton has a five-point lead in the RCP average in Virginia.
New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada, traditional Republican states, now have many new residents including thousands of new Hispanic votes. There goes another 20 Electoral College votes should Trump lose those key states. Additionally, Iowa and New Hampshire hold ten electoral votes.
The Clinton campaign would burst in unquestionable triumph in Arizona, Georgia, Missouri and Utah (Utah?) and gain 43 Electoral College votes. Worse yet, there is Montana with three electoral votes. It is surprisingly within view for Hillary in this massive Republican stronghold, really? That’s a supposed sure bet state Mr. Trump and three usually rock solid GOP electoral votes.
There are now 92 days to the General Election. Will we see the “new and improved” Donald J. Trump, or more red meat for Hillary’s handlers to feast upon? The campaign clock is ticking.