Let me assure you, Trump fanatics, that if The Donald's stupendous polling unfavorables, his thirty-point deficits with women and millennials, his sixty-point deficit with Hispanics, his ninety-point deficit with blacks, the fact that there is not one single solitary general electorate voter demographic with which he is not "underwater", including white men - comprehensive, wall-to-wall polling hell that is enormously too lopsided to blithely write off to "liberal bias" and set in concrete by the past thirty-plus years of "Trump being Trump" on the national pop culture stage - somehow, some way, by a divine intervention of Mosaic proportions....
....ever manage to significantly improve between now and July, much less November, I will dutifully acknowledge and report it. And then probably analyze it in such a way (i.e. objectively) that will cause y'all to exclaim, "THAT's BS!!!" Hey, it's what I do.
But I'm not counting on it, and I doubt the Republican National Committee is, either.
Let's preface this latest both-hands-shoveling excursion with some pro-Trump Kool Aid-swilling on MSNBC, of all lunacy outposts. Donny Deutsch on Morning Joe, um, this morning:
I can’t believe I’m gonna say it out loud. I think Trump can win the whole thing. He’s so flexible. He can go to the left or right of Hillary on this issue or that… He’ set himself up so he can go either way on any issue and it’s not even a flip flop. [emphases added]
Translation: "We've got our own Bill Clinton! Awesome!" Except that while Mr. Bill always put his own personal political interests before the leftwingnut Agenda, he was still a leftwingnut; just not as hardcore as his wife, or as his party has since become in the past quarter-century. For the parallel to fully hold, Trump would have to actually be a conservative at some subconscious level for tactical "flexibility" to be worth anything even to Trump supporters. But there's not the slightest speck of evidence from the entirety of his tenure as a public figure that this even might be the case, and a great deal of it to suggest that he is an instinctive leftist. Dems in the '90s never freaked out at Sick Willie's "flexibility" because they knew that it was harnessed to their cause, not just to running rings around the Republicans. Trump's "flexibility" isn't harnessed to anything and anybody except Trump.
Again I will tell you, Trumplicans, that your hero is using you, and once he has what he wants from you - the GOP nomination - he will discard you like an empty soda can. You are, to him, a means to an end, and nothing more.
But let's look at that other Deutsch comment: "He can go to the left or right of Hillary on this issue or that". I can't believe I'm having to point this out, but that is Hillary Clinton's bread and butter. She is every bit as "flexible" and "to the left or right" as Trump could ever be, and has been doing so in the political arena for decades longer than he has. She's not going to be a fixed target; she will be furiously bobbing and weaving as well.
AND - and I can't believe I'm having to point this out as well - she will have the media running interference for her and helping her do it, while they wage the usual full-scale war against the GOP nominee that they always do. Donny Deutsch may have convinced himself that Trump "flexibility" wouldn't constitute flip-flopping, but that isn't how the press would flog it. And in this case, they would be right.
So no, Trump cannot "win the whole thing," because he will be dragging around the polling anchor of his Trumpiness....
....at the same time that La Clinton Nostra will be "carpet-bombing the shit" out of his underfunded, disorganized, "winging it" campaign - remember that $2.5 billion warchest, the vast majority of which is still in the bank? Sorry, Trumpkeeds, but there's another reality check for you.
"Trump will wipe the floor with Hillary" (from the basement?) is a con that I don't think even the aforementioned forty-second POTUS could have pulled off, but as I gave the pompadoured prince his due credit for yesterday, the political pros he has brought in are giving it the schmoozing, hard-sell college try in Priebusland:
Donald Trump’s top brass addressed a skeptical audience of Republican National Committee members here Thursday evening, presenting a detailed case for why he’d be able to defeat Hillary Clinton in a general election.
During a more than one-hour meeting on the third floor of the Diplomat, a luxury resort overlooking the South Florida oceanfront where RNC members are gathered for their annual spring meeting, Trump strategists Paul Manafort and Rick Wiley argued that the New York businessman would expand the number of States in which Republicans would be competitive during the fall campaign. They also said that Trump would be able to add to the States the GOP carried in 2012....
The presentation was also geared toward convincing RNC members that Trump, who has spurned the traditional relationship-building within the party that most candidates partake in, is serious about building a substantial political apparatus and professionalizing his operation. Accompanying Manafort and Wiley were several other political veterans who’ve recently signed onto the Trump team, including Ed Brookover and Don McGahn. They told the group that they would soon be rolling out additional hires.
Or, again, what Trump should have been doing a year ago, not at the last frantic minute when his incompetence is being escalatingly exploited by the Cruz Crew.
Is there any evidence to substantiate this rather brazen claim that Trump could out-perform Mitt Romney in the Electoral College? No, not really.
Can Trump bring his home State of New York into play? The RCP average shows him down 56%-35% to Mrs. Clinton and a point below Romney's 36% in 2012. So nope.
Let's look at Trump's starting points - in essence, his high-water marks - in the "battleground" States:
COLORADO: Trump 48%, Rodham 37% (A mid-November 2015 poll; Romney lost 51%-46%)
FLORIDA: Rodham 46%, Trump 43% (Romney lost 50%-49%)
IOWA: Rodham 47%, Trump 42% (Romney lost 52%-46%)
MICHIGAN: Rodham 47%, Trump 38% (Romney lost 54%-45%)
MINNESOTA: Rodham 43%, Trump 41% (Romney lost 53%-45%)
NEVADA: [No RCP numbers available] (Romney lost 52%-46%)
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Rodham 47%, Trump 40% (Romney lost 52%-46%)
NORTH CAROLINA: Rodham 45%, Trump 43% (Romney WON 50%-48%)
OHIO: Rodham 46%, Trump 42% (Romney lost 51%-48%)
PENNSYLVANIA: Rodham 45%, Trump 39% (Romney lost 52%-47%)
VIRGINIA: Rodham 48%, Trump 35% (Romney lost 51%-47%)
WISCONSIN: Rodham 47%, Trump 36% (Romney lost 53%-46%)
Conclusions: Assuming Colorado is still leaning the same way, Trump flips the Centennial State (nine Electoral Votes) but loses North Carolina (fifteen Electoral Votes), meaning The Donald would start at a 338-200 deficit. He's overperforming Romney in Colorado (maybe) and Minnesota (but still behind), significantly underperforming Romney in North Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin, and at Romney's performance level everywhere else. Not exactly "floor-wiping," by any coherent definition.
No wonder the RNC was so "skeptical":
Clearly, Trump’s wins in primaries do not necessarily show evidence that his footprint will improve over that of Romney organically. Unless Trump plans to throw tons of resources into a turnout-model-changing ground game — the kind Priebus envisions with his network — it won’t change any other way, either. That makes the traditional swing States even more important, where the demographics tilt away from the white working-class vote that Trump is energizing. Victories in those States rely on expanding the Republican/conservative footprint in constituencies where a heavy reliance on national messaging and one-size-fits-all slogans have proven fatal to GOP hopes. [emphases added]
Aaaaaand now you know why Manafort and the boys were trying to scam the RNC today - to let them use Reince Priebus's turnkey GOTV operation since there's no way they're going to be able to slapdashedly throw one together this late in the game and on Trump's shoestrings.
And don't forget that this pitch was in the context of TrumpWorld's wishcasting of going over 1,400 delegates before the end of next month. Il Douche has the inside track to the GOP nomination - on the first ballot - but he's not inevitable. Not yet.
The GOP poobahs were justifiably skeptical of this Manafort whopper as well:
“When he’s out on the stage, when he’s talking about the kinds of things he’s talking about on the stump, he’s projecting an image that’s for that purpose,” Manafort said in a private briefing. [emphasis added]
An "image" he's been "projecting" every day for the past three decades. Old dog, new tricks, leopards, spots, etc.
“You’ll start to see more depth of the person, the real person. You’ll see a real different guy,” he said....
In other words, Ben Carson's BS.
“He gets it,” Manafort said of Trump’s need to moderate his personality. “The part that he’s been playing is evolving into the part that now you’ve been expecting, but he wasn’t ready for, because he had first to complete the first phase. The negatives will come down. The image is going to change.”
Aaaaaaand the RNC's collective eyes rolled so far back in their sockets that they were able to inspect their optic nerves.
I'll let AP shovel out this stable:
The best spin you can put on what Manafort said, I think, is that he’s scamming the RNC here, not Trump’s base. Trump won’t be a “real different guy” in the general election campaign because he can’t afford to be. He simply doesn’t have the policy chops to fill the enormous vacuum that would be left if he toned done his shtick. His core fans wouldn’t want him to tone it down anyway — they love him because “he fights!”, and they’re expecting plenty of street-fighting with the Clintons — and the fat-walleted establishmentarians who do won’t believe that a more subdued Trump is the “real” Trump after watching his tabloid exploits over the last thirty years. (It’s because there’s thirty years’ worth of material, in fact, that Trump’s negatives aren’t going to come down. He can try but Hillary’s ad people will try harder.) Even if he wanted to tone himself down, he’ll have no choice but to perform for the media to try to offset Hillary’s fundraising advantage. Manafort’s simply telling the RNC what they want to hear to make them a bit more amenable to the idea of nominating Trump in Cleveland. If I had to bet, I’d bet that Trump spends August trying to project a more “presidential” demeanor and then, when he sees his polls aren’t moving, he’ll give up and decide to let it rip again. If you’re going to lose, you might as well be yourself. [emphases added]
And the above presumes two things; (1) that Trump is capable of not "being Trump," which is preposterous, and (2) that Trump will even be the Republican nominee, which is still very much in doubt.
Who Trump is has gotten him this far in the GOP primaries; who Trump is has toe-tagged him for November if he makes it to the general campaign. It really is as simple as that.
Exit question: Would this Manafort presentation not constitute Trump trying to suck up to the "establishment"?