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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Donald Trump’s debate performance proves the establishment is finished

Did Donald Trump win Sunday night’s debate? If he did, by how much? Did Trump just save himself in the presidential race?

Did he even need to save himself?

These are just a few of the subjects being deliberated in the news more than a day after the fascinating second She should be in jailpresidential forum, a 90-minute event that some are calling the most unique debate in history.

Dan Balz writes in the Washington Post, “Put aside the effect of the debate on the campaign. There is time enough to assess that, but in many ways that was a secondary consideration. Instead, the larger implication of what unfolded was a debate unlike any ever seen in modern American politics, two candidates who have the utmost disrespect for the other hurling allegations, accusations, insults and criticism at each other…

“Trump is a battered, bruised and angry candidate, and therefore more unpredictable than ever. What he staged before the debate even took place, assembling women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault or Hillary Clinton of misconduct in the defense of her husband to appear before a group of reporters and photographers, was as audacious as it was unprecedented. And then he brought them into the debate hall.”

I watched the debate in its entirety on Sunday night. I didn’t see a “bruised” and “angry” candidate in Donald Trump. I saw a man who is earnestly fighting back against the establishments of both parties and the repulsive status quo that is strangling the life force out of America right now.

It’s clear that “correspondents” like Balz have very little interest in objective reporting of what’s really taking place in the presidential race. He’s right that this is an election like no other – but it isn’t Trump that’s pushed all of America to the brink. It’s the “leaders” such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and their non-stop barrage of lies and cover-ups and pandering to their pet constituencies that has folks wanting to burn down the barn with the goats still in it.

And these forgotten Americans have found their champion in Donald J. Trump, warts and all.

After once again apologizing for the comments he made eleven years ago on the recently released audio tape, Trump dismissed it as “locker room talk” and rightfully began steering the conversation away from the “words” that were spoken and back towards the real issues at hand in 2016.

Naturally, the sensationalized media as represented by Balz doesn’t want to let go of the controversial personal hype in the campaign and the soap opera qualities of the two major party candidates. To do so wouldn’t sell nearly as many newspapers or maintain the Post’s dwindling subscriber base.

We probably could just as easily swap the Washington Post or New York Times with the National Enquirer and few would notice the difference. Such is life in twenty-first century journalism.

I’m sure the media would much rather go back to the relatively staid days of yesteryear where the plastic but polite Mitt Romney would refrain from directly challenging Barack Obama’s character and Obama could look cool by saying things like, “The 1980s just called and they want their foreign policy back.”

Obama finished that famous quote by accusing Romney of wanting to “import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s.” The scare tactics are just astonishing, but if the Democrats can’t frighten their mind-numbed supporters into voting, what else do they have to offer?

Hillary’s used a similar line of “scary” arguments in the first two debates. After talking about all the economic prosperity that the country has experienced under Obama, she says things like “we can’t go back to the policies that got us in trouble in the first place,” neglecting to mention that the Democrats were in full control of Congress when the 2007 financial crisis hit.

Hillary also hilariously takes credit for all of the economic growth of the 1990’s, forgetting to mention that it was a newly elected Republican Congress that sent the bills to her husband to sign.

And, as a side note, isn’t it funny how the Democrats were so dismissive of Mitt Romney’s warnings about Russia but they’re all onboard Hillary’s Russia bashing bandwagon now that they think they can tie it to Trump?

Despite Balz’s and the mainstream media’s lukewarm take on Trump’s Sunday night performance, there are others who saw things a little more objectively.

Byron York of the Washington Examiner wrote, “You can make a good argument that Donald Trump won the second presidential debate with Hillary Clinton. You could also argue that no one won. But it's probably beyond dispute that Trump's performance will shut down Republican defections from his struggling campaign, at least for now.

“Say you were a Republican lawmaker contemplating breaking with Trump. You didn't do it Saturday, when several GOP officials jumped, because you wanted to see how Trump would do in the debate Sunday night. Now you've seen it — a more aggressive, hard-hitting and focused effort than Trump's losing performance in Debate One — and you're probably not going to abandon Trump now.”

During the post-debate comments on the cable channels I heard a lot of people saying “Trump has a pretty low bar, so it’s not hard to say he crossed over it.”

Such explanations are too simple to be given much credence. As I’ve argued many times, Donald Trump is not a conventional politician and can’t be measured by the same evaluation criteria as you would apply to other office-seekers.

Trump is not going to wow Americans with his detailed and intricately explained plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a market-oriented system. If asked in casual conversation, I’m guessing he would provide a ten second answer on what he intended to do on the subject. But ten seconds wouldn’t go over well in a nationally televised debate with moderators who expect to have candidates drone on for two minutes or longer about policy minutiae.

If we were in the real world the question would be posed to a room full of policy advisors with Trump seated in the middle, listening to different ideas and proposals.

In the past Trump has been too focused on answering the questions directly – and it’s led him to veer off track on many an occasion. He veered away from the verbal wandering on Sunday night and it paid off. York called it a “pivot.”

Whatever Trump did during his second go around with Hillary Clinton seemed to work. Her phony grin tried to cloak many instances of outright surprise that Trump would dare to bring up such things.

Trump isn’t your typical politician; Americans seem to like that fact just fine.

Removing Donald Trump at this point would not only be foolish, it’s not possible

It could easily be said that in the wake of the most recent “scandal” over Donald Trump’s improper comments on the audio tape from 2005 that Trump was only being himself in defiantly refusing to bow out of the presidential race.

After all, Trump’s final answer in Sunday night’s debate involved him praising Hillary Clinton for “never quitting,” right? Trump’s was a perfect answer to a rather gratuitous question (Can you name one thing you respect about your opponent?), but I think what he said was just as much directed at his critics as it was a compliment to Hillary.

Even with the whole Republican world calling for him to quit, Trump wouldn’t do it. I doubt there’s anything in his entire life’s history that Trump gave up on before seeing it out. And if Trump did “quit” at some point it would never be because someone told him to do it.

It turns out that leaving the race is basically a practical impossibility at this point in any case.

John Fund writes in National Review, “[O]ne reason that any replacement of Trump on state ballots would be so difficult is that our Election Day has transformed into Election Month. The Census Bureau tells us that as recently as 1996 nearly 90 percent of voters went to their polling places on Election Day, This year, some 40 percent are expected to vote before Election Day by early or absentee mail-in ballot. Lots of people love ‘convenience voting,’ but it comes at a real cost we should consider in the middle of this latest Trump controversy.”

Yes indeed, we should be considering it, but not necessarily because we’re contemplating replacing the nominee. Trump is where he is in the first place because the voters wanted him to be there.

That’s what gets lost in much of this “Trump is unfit to serve” mumbo jumbo. As far as I know, Trump is constitutionally eligible to be president, went through the Republican Party primary process and garnered enough votes to secure the necessary number of delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot at the party convention.

In my mind, to remove him now would guarantee a Republican loss in four weeks.

And besides, there are those who believe Trump will win – and by a lot. David P. Goldman writes at PJ Media, “There has never been anything like this in the past century and a half of American history, and it is thankless to predict the outcome. Nonetheless I will: Trump will crush it. Clinton, the major media, the pollsters, and the mainstream Republican Party have badly misread the insurrectionist mood of the electorate.”

I agree with Goldman. One part of me wants to believe the polls because they are so consistent and the pollsters are professionals who get paid to correctly sample public opinion. But the less logical side is also tugging heavily on the notion that Americans will follow on the heels of their brethren in Great Britain and turn out in waves against the status quo.

And if it happens, immigration will be a big reason why. Trump was right on the issue before the campaign really got started, and although he’s fluctuated some on his initial position, the gist of it is still there. America needs to protect its borders for so many reasons.

Hillary represents the status quo and even proposes to increase immigration from potentially volatile parts of the world. Most Americans don’t agree. Trump will reap the benefits on Election Day.

Those people who called for him to leave the race will ultimately be the sorry ones.

It’s only one sample of voters, but Luntz focus group puts Trump right back in the race

We won’t know how or if the polls will change based on Tuesday night’s debate, but there are anecdotal clues that Donald Trump made headway with voters due to his renewed focus on Hillary Clinton’s email scandal while also emphasizing his promises to appoint conservative Supreme Court Justices and fight to improve the lives of inner city residents.

One of those bits of evidence that I’ve seen referred to quite a bit is the results of a focus group impaneled by pollster Frank Luntz on Sunday night.

Tim Hains of Real Clear Politics reports, “Focus group attendees described Trump's performance as ‘much improved,’ ‘calm and strong,’ ‘more presidential,’ and ‘more researched.’

“They described Hillary Clinton's performance as ‘disingenuous,’ ‘not worthy of my vote,’ same-old,’ ‘typical,’ and ‘frustrated.’”

If you haven’t seen the video of Luntz’s group, I highly recommend you click on the link and watch as the host went around the room asking for individuals’ opinions. The scene was remarkable, indeed.

It’s not even that Trump did so well; it’s that Americans are starting to see Hillary Clinton for what she is, a tired, truth-challenged embodiment of the political old guard that’s fallen far out of favor (see Goldman’s prediction above).

Luntz tweeted the results, too:

Focus Group: Who are you willing to vote for?

• Hillary: 8
• Trump: 9

• Hillary: 4
• Trump: 18

Think of this the next time you hear some media pundit say Trump can’t win, or that he’s double-digits behind in some poll.

If nothing else, these types of informal public opinion surveys show there’s still a great deal of volatility in the race that can change within the span of a few days. It’s not indicated here, but Luntz found his panelists were much more concerned about the ramifications from Hillary’s emails than they were about Trump’s locker room sexual braggadocio.

One can only pray common sense prevails with the American electorate. Trump isn’t perfect; he may not even be great. But his administration would be vastly superior to anything Hillary serves up. Simply put, Trump represents a chance to put in place policies that can restore growth and accountability to government.

Let’s hope there are more people out there like Luntz’s focus group who are open to changing their opinions before Election Day.

Ted Cruz still supports Trump, doesn’t fall for the media hysteria

Finally today, the news media was beside itself in reporting a number of Republicans had renounced their endorsements of Donald Trump over the weekend, usually with flattering coverage of how these “principled” individuals had made the “difficult” decision to part ways with their own party nominee because of some sort of higher integrity.

Well, don’t add Ted Cruz to the media’s list. He’s still supporting Trump and explained why on Monday.

Jordain Carney of The Hill reports, “Sen. Ted Cruz is pushing back against speculation that he could drop his endorsement of Donald Trump amid the political fallout from the GOP nominee's explicit comments on women.

“’I am supporting the Republican nominee because I think Hillary Clinton is an absolute disaster,’ the Texas Republican said during a stop in Muleshoe, Texas, as part of a three-day agriculture tour.

“He added that ‘this is an election unlike any other but I’ll tell you, Hillary Clinton, I think, is manifestly unfit to be president. The policies she’s advancing are the continuation of eight years of Barack Obama.’”

Cruz pretty much sums it up. I’m not sure what’s so difficult about the notion of keeping Hillary Clinton away from the presidency is the ultimate goal here.

No one knows Trump the politician better than Ted Cruz and the Texas senator’s made a decision and sticking by it. 

I can understand how people would be taken aback by the contents of the audio tape. I was at first, but then hearing Bush snickering in the background it became clear that this truly was “locker room talk” as Trump said in the debate.

And “locker room talk” isn’t justification enough to allow Hillary Clinton to finish off America. Like with Cruz, Americans need to make the choice and stick with it.

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Trump versus the unthinkable

I have made my choice. It is still Trump for all the reasons noted on this article.

The trash talk is just that, locker room garbage by a few men. I am also a woman and have heard this talk, etc. my whole life. Women too talk and some make choices to accept these encounters or initiate them. This was not a rape situation and though Trump thought it was his move, that is not necessarily true. Many of the types of women Trump and his ilk may encounter are themselves predators. Far too many women comply or aggressively initiate it themselves. Those who enable this type of behavior and leave their moral compass behind have not only harmed the populace of women but encouraged the trash locker room talk and actions.

I liked the way Trump and his family responded, his wife has much to forgive if he was married to her then. I think it was Marla's time. And she was obviously a predator herself during his first marriage. I remember. But I still have always supported Trump since he decided to run.

As a retired CPA and BSA who has been around since Reagan did the first amnesty, I have been protesting it vigorously. Not because I am a racist but because I saw this trend in our congress and our government to allow illegal aliens to step up to the public coffers and partake in benefits that were for our needy citizens not illegal aliens. I also realized the taxes paid by all the workers of this country were supporting the additional benefits big business was not paying for these illegal alien workers. Big business was dumping this cost on WE THE PEOPLE of this country while giving our jobs away to this needy class of illegal alien labor and allowing big business even more profits at our expense. This class of workers will be decades out if ever of supporting themselves free of welfare and entitlements.

This is the road to socialism or worse, and I truly suspect much worse. As proved by the Chinese and the Russians in a large population this type of government leads to tyrants and starving masses. Look at Valenzuela for some more proof of socialism for all. Look at Greece in the bank and government taking their accounts over. And then look at our own economy with this purported recovery! How many businesses survived Obama's recovery? How many businesses does everyone recognize as gone with the empty stores to back it up? How much money are any of the middle class workers making today compared to 2008 or 2007? What do your benefits look like these days? Is Obamacare affordable? And what increases if any has your employer given in this time?

What has congress or this administration done to protect WE THE PEOPLE from the terrorist attacks, the jobs being taken by the HB visa holders, the illegal alien invaders? NOTHING, they are voting as I post this to have more HB visa holders brought in. Since Reagan promised to close the border with his first amnesty, how has that progressed? Where there is a will there is a way. Does congress and the administrations since Reagan show the will or the way? NO because they are going along with the agenda of the NWO elites. It is so obvious, do you not remember Jeb Bush admitting his family is for the influx of illegal aliens and open borders of the elites behind this source of cheap labor who will bring down the wages of the working middle class? I remember his response during the campaign to that question. Welfare rolls are now approaching 50% of the population in this country. That does include the illegal aliens, the HB visa holders and the unvetted muslims that have been admitted during Obama's administration. And because jobs are fewer and legal citizens are being replaced with all of the noted new public welfare dependents, our own citizens are forced into joining the welfare rolls.

Does congress or the president care? Obviously not and Hillary is promising much more of these invaders if she is elected. Anyone who believes they will not be impacted is a fool much like the people of EU now. Britain bailed on this economic mess. They were not unscathed by it but we need to follow their path. Vote Trump and be prepared for a bumpy ride. Obama is leaving our economy in a mess and worse. From my four decades long accounting career I can guarantee the stock market, the housing market and the world economy will suffer what is coming but at least with Trump I do NOT see a communist or socialst future with Hillary and her ilk creating their dream of one world order via the UN managing the world with her or someone like her at the top. With Trump I see a return to capitalism and our constitution and the borders being closed as they are in Mexico and points south on this hemisphere sooner than later with him as our president. And the invaders will leave one way or another as in enforcing current laws, mandating E-verify, and shutting down the public welfare spigot.

There will be a price to pay for turning this economy around but a financial person needs to be at the helm not a politician and or liar like Hillary. And congress had better comply, WE THE PEOPLE are behind the turning of this boat or we had better be prepared to go down with the constitution and learn to bow to our rulers!