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Presidential Horse Race 2016: The new Donald Trump is all about the message

We begin today with several signs that Donald Trump’s campaign may finally be emerging from its multi-week self-imposed confinement in political purgatory.

Donald TrumpFirst off, some good polling news came through on Wednesday.

Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner reports, “The convention polling bumps for Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are over, and they are practically even, according to a new poll of likely voters.

“A Zogby Analytics survey provided to Secrets Tuesday shows:

“Hillary Clinton 38%
“Donald Trump 36%”

A couple notable things about the poll: first, its sample was taken online which eliminates the need for skittish voters to have to admit to a human voice over the phone that they actually support Trump; and two, Zogby filters for likely voters as opposed to the larger pool of registered voters.

The results also showed Libertarian Gary Johnson with 8 percent, Green Party candidate Jill Stein with 5 percent and 13 percent undecided.

Seeing as the Real Clear Politics average still shows Crooked Hillary with a little over six-point lead in the two-way contest, the Zogby survey could be seen as an outlier or more likely, a trend back towards the close race that existed prior to the party conventions.

Should it be the latter rationale, that’s extremely good news for Trump because the popular storyline has been all bad for him lately. The media’s fixation with Sharia law supporting Khizr Khan and then with Trump’s statements on Second Amendment voters and the candidate’s labeling of Obama and Crooked Hillary as the “founders” of ISIS have generated a swarm of negativity that’s only been aggravated by the eternally disgruntled forces of #NeverTrump and Hillary’s own band of establishment talking-head flame throwers.

But in addition to the positive poll results, Trump’s also making some internal improvements to his campaign that should reflect well on his effort to stick to his message and to start working on persuadable voters rather than merely practicing damage control on an hourly basis.

Matthew Nussbaum, Kenneth P. Vogel and Nick Gass of Politico report on the changes, “The Republican nominee tapped pollster Kellyanne Conway as campaign manager and Breitbart News Chairman Stephen Bannon as campaign chief executive…”

Concerning the new hires, Trump said in a statement, “I have known Steve and Kellyanne both for many years. They are extremely capable, highly qualified people who love to win and know how to win. I believe we’re adding some of the best talents in politics, with the experience and expertise needed to defeat Hillary Clinton in November and continue to share my message and vision to Make America Great Again. I am committed to doing whatever it takes to win this election, and ultimately become President because our country cannot afford four more years of the failed Obama-Clinton policies which have endangered our financial and physical security.”

The Politico journalists noted Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will be staying on in his present capacity, a move that makes the personnel additions seem less like a demotion for Manafort and more like an expansion of the campaign team.

I’m inclined to think Trump realized he needed a major shakeup in the campaign hierarchy in order to be able to concentrate more on ideology and message rather than just trying to run a traditional establishment led effort that tamps down the conservative elements in order to appeal to the center.

There are already signs conservatives approve of Trump’s bringing on of Conway and Bannon.

Conservative leader Richard Viguerie liked the move, saying yesterday, “Unlike the failed campaigns of John McCain and Mitt Romney, who took the advice of the GOP establishment consultants and the media and ‘moved to the center,’ Donald Trump has moved right to bring movement conservatives into partnership with the conservative populists who won him the Republican primaries. This is a winning coalition,’ observed Viguerie.”

Trump’s speeches of the past few days appear to indicate he’s steering back towards what got him so far in the first place – a message based on law and order and combatting terrorism through stringent immigration enforcement and eliminating political correctness.

In essence, he’s taking his “persona” out of the process and focusing on his ideas. Listen to the words, not just the guy who’s articulating them.

These are certainly steps in the right direction. For those of us unapologetically in the #NeverHillary faction, we can only hope he keeps it up.

Trump’s Wisconsin speech clearly indicates he’s going where no Republican has gone before in courting African-American voters

Poll numbers and personnel moves aren’t the only indicators that Trump’s changing course.

As his Tuesday night speech in Wisconsin suggests, Trump has also clearly decided to start shifting the battle back to Democrat held territory. Telling it like it is, Trump specifically argued black voters have suffered greatly under years of Democrat rule in America’s inner cities, formerly prosperous places that are now literally crumbling and crime riddled because government has failed to keep its promises to them or do its job of protecting them.

Byron York of the Washington Examiner reports, “Trump delivered a focused, powerful, and disciplined speech Tuesday night in West Bend, Wis., about 45 minutes north of Milwaukee. Trump focused largely on problems that disproportionately afflict black Americans, arguing that his proposals on crime, immigration, trade, jobs, education, and other issues will improve African-American lives more than Hillary Clinton's…

“In all, the speech lasted 38 minutes, which is about half an hour shorter than many Trump rally speeches. It covered a lot of ground, without the asides and diversions that can characterize Trump speeches. As it was being delivered, journalists listening in the room and beyond knew they were hearing something different.”

Quite frankly, this is the speech conservatives have been waiting years to hear from Republican candidates. Instead of spouting platitudes and offering roundabout ways of helping improve peoples’ lives through vague promises of economic growth and a better business climate, Trump spoke directly to the citizens in blighted communities all across the country, offering them an alternative if they’ll only give him a chance.

Most if not all major American cities are run by Democrats. Correspondingly, every major city in the country has problems directly attributable to liberal policies which basically trade welfare checks for votes. Or even worse, wipe out lives through government subsidized abortion.

In his own inimitable way, Trump is taking on the myths the Democrats have been pushing for decades and is proposing something different through immigration and trade reform as well as addressing the out-of-control crime issue.

Will people listen? Certainly not the hardcore left that depends on government for their power base and pocketbooks. But perhaps some voters will.

Somehow the Trump team had to find a way to change the “all doom all the time” media narrative, a monumental task for any Republican but particularly challenging for Trump because he’s already been defined in the minds of nearly all Americans.

No doubt the campaign’s fiercest critics will dismiss Trump’s latest moves as desperate and too little, too late, but I can’t help but think if The Donald sticks to these themes for the next two months he’ll not only stem the flow of daily bad news but also start convincing people to give him another look.

Americans know Donald Trump. They know him as the vibrant, brash and hopelessly rich celebrity who built skyscrapers and casinos to establish his brand, dabbled in beauty pageants and other extravagant, glittering endeavors. They see him as the man who became famous for “firing” people on a weekly basis on his own reality TV show.

But it’s safe to say people aren’t nearly as familiar with Trump the presidential candidate, with one persona heretofore being overshadowed by the other.

Trump’s success moving forward will depend on being able to help people see him as President of the United States, not some celebrity who’s taken advantage of his fame to wrestle a major party nomination away from a bunch of politicians.

It won’t be an easy task. But Americans also know Crooked Hillary Clinton – and her widespread unpopularity will no doubt force a lot of people who might be tepidly supporting her now to give Trump a second look if he can act like a president and look the part for weeks at a time.

Trump’s Pledge to America stomps on the media narrative that he’s a bigot

Yet another positive development for the Trump campaign that could already be the result of Kellyanne Conway’s and Steve Bannon’s leadership is a new “pledge to the American People” from Trump that speaks directly to voters and effectively condenses his cultural change message into just a few sentences.

As reported by Politico Staff, Trump said on his facebook page, “This is my pledge to the American people: as your President I will be your greatest champion. I will fight to ensure that every American is treated equally, protected equally, and honored equally. We will reject bigotry and hatred and oppression in all its forms, and seek a new future built on our common culture and values as one American people.”

I don’t think there’s any big secret why the word “equally” appears three times in the second sentence and why Trump talks about “common culture and values” in the last one. He’s trying to combat the media’s oft-repeated notion that he’s a bigot and face them head-on when it comes down to public perception of where the racism really lies in this year’s campaign.

Crooked Hillary panders to every ethnic group to try and secure votes. To African-American voters, she promises “justice”; to Hispanics, she promises to “keep families together”; to Muslims, she promises to leave them unmonitored and though not an ethnic group, to the so-called LGBTQ voters she promises “equality”…the list goes on and on.

Gone for Hillary is the concept of the good old American “melting pot” where everyone comes together to champion American traditions and principles in colorblind fashion as a celebration of our nation’s unique liberty-protecting Constitution and exceptionalism. She preaches “diversity” as if someone’s individual DNA is going to make him or her more inclined to rise above cultural divisions.

Instead of “diversity” Trump offers “unity,” a message that will resonate with a lot of people.

The more you foster “diversity” instead of unity, the more you’re setting yourself up for a fight. We’ve seen it for several decades now in the American public education system where civics and history have largely been supplanted by ethnic studies and politically correct social clubs. The Judeo-Christian foundation of the country has been chipped away in favor of a secular government that hides potential terrorist threats simply because it will not look for them.

In issuing a “pledge,” Trump also appears to be following in the footsteps of another famous Republican change-maker, Newt Gingrich. The “Contract with America” in 1994 was couched in simple, understandable terms that gave people something to vote for rather than just being against the Democrats who’d been in power for forty years.

Now Trump is providing an alternative to the establishments of both parties that have ruled since Reagan.

The question becomes whether Trump can stay on message and continue pounding these new themes in his campaign. Perhaps people like Conway and Bannon can get through to Trump and make the election about positive change for people instead of taking up the news cycles for days at a time explaining away comments he made in jest.

If it happens, it will be refreshing to see.

Trump’s Texas supporters overwhelmingly favor secession if Crooked Hillary wins

Finally today, there have already been a number of celebrities who’ve claimed they’re heading north to Canada should Donald Trump become president next year but now real citizens in the Lone Star State are saying they want to leave the union if Hillary beats Trump in November.

Mark Hensch of The Hill reports, “More than 3 in 5 of Donald Trump’s supporters in Texas say they would back secession if Hillary Clinton becomes president, according to a new poll.

“Sixty-one percent of Texans backing Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, want out of the U.S. if Clinton, the Democratic nominee, wins, according to the Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released Tuesday.”

Only 29 percent want to remain in the U.S. no matter what.

For what it’s worth, 54 percent of those opposing secession regardless are Hillary supporters. This must be the people who are on the federal dole.

Such surveys don’t really tell us a whole lot about who will win the election this year but they do provide an indication as to the level of anger the public feels about its government. Secession isn’t likely to happen in any case, but years down the road, if the U.S. government can’t get its act together, those percentage numbers will go up, particularly if the national debt grows so large that the treasury will default.

Think it could never happen? Think again. When government fails to be responsive to the basic needs and desires of the people, its legitimacy recedes and you have the seeds for revolution.

The unrest we’ve seen in recent years in Europe could only be the beginning. Governments everywhere are making an awful lot of promises that they’re going to have a hard time keeping. In this country, they’re called “unfunded liabilities.”

Something’s gotta give. Donald Trump may not have all the answers but at least he represents an alternative to the corruption and incompetence that we have now in both parties. That’s another part of his message that he needs to continue to emphasize as the days go on.

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African-Americans are Americans...right?

Something i could never understand was why the Republicans or any party would ever have to approach any race of Americans to ask for their vote. They are Americans, right? They are free to vote as they see fit as all Americans are. The thought of ''courting'' a race of people seems ridiculous for a presidential candidate, as he will be president of ALL, serving ALL. Maybe the democrats started all of this by pandering to the races of peoples to gain power and control of the government, and keep it. Maybe the races of people feel flattered and empowered by all the attention given them? They put their trust in the sly politician, and the sly politician strings them along with empty rhetoric that never delivers...but they keep on promising and giving little gifts along the way....and it works apparently because many races, despite the fact they are conservative, vote democrat. The races need to be psychologically set free from these political mind games. Perhaps Trump is just the beginning of that process, and the wakening of the Republicans to their blind spots of how their party is perceived by the races.