It looks very much like Donald Trump’s run at the White House is over.
In the fortnight since he was demolished in the first Presidential debate Trump polling has dropped and his rhetoric has flopped. Women, non white and independent voters are flocking to Clinton and the swing states are looking locked toward the Democrats. That should also help the party win control of the senate, giving President Clinton a smoother ride in power.
Overnight Trump’s team has pulled hundreds of thousands of dollars of TV ads in crucial states, including must wins Florida and Ohio. Not for the first time in his life, it seems Trump is broke.
The revelation that he pays no tax has tarnished his political image and made the man himself look cheap and chiselling. He can no longer be seen as the establishment outsider. He is, of course, establishment to the core and has been since birth. But the failure to pay tax puts him firmly in the dry right end of neo liberalism.
Bernie Sanders gained huge support emphasising ‘we the people’. Donald Trump is all about the baser instincts, a selfish life of me me me.
To make things worse for the candidate of the 1%ers, he has just switched his position on black America. A few weeks ago, Trump was asking for black votes, saying “What have you got to lose?”. Today it turns out Black Lives Don’t Matter and what they’ve got to lose under President Trump is their lives.
In an astonishing outburst Trump has rekindled an old debate about the guilt or innocence of 5 black and Latino men accused of a killing in Central park, New York. At the time, Trump demanded they get the death penalty. Problem is, they were innocent. Not good enough for the Donald and he has this week raised the issue again, claiming they were guilty even though the real criminal has confessed and has been verified as the killer by DNA evidence.
To add to his misery, a recording has surfaced of an interview in which Trump shows himself to be a misogynist who thinks of women only in terms of his sexual needs. It’s ugly stuff.
“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful women – I just start kissing them, it’s like a magnet. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything… Grab ’em by the pussy.”
This approach to women is echoed by the renewed claims that he sexually assaulted makeup artist Jill Harth. She’s not going away till he apologises for the attempted rape.
On Monday evening, our time, Trump faces the second debate against Hillary Clinton. It has the potential to be the knockout blow. It’s a town hall style public meeting, with questions from the audience. This should suit Hillary Clinton perfectly. She’s great with one on one encounters and appears to love talking with people. Trump prefers talking at people.
To help set the tone for the debate, the Clinton campaign has released a new ad. It’s a rerun of the Daisy ad used by Lyndon Johnson in the sixties. LBJ scared the bejeesus out of America by asking who they rather trust with nuclear button, a savvy, experienced and calm candidate like himself or a rambling republican rube. It’s doubly clever stuff from the Clinton team.
Not only does it play to fears about Trump’s mental stability, it echoes cold war fears from an era we thought the world had moved on from. It effectively taints Trump as being soft on Russia.
That impression is being helped by the Russians themselves, who have overreached themselves by interfering in the election, first hacking the Democrat’s computer systems, now bizarrely complaining that Trump isn’t getting a fair go.
Back off, Boris! You’re not helping your man one iota.
I’m beginning to wonder whether Trump will quit before the election. Better to bow out now and claim it wasn’t a defeat, than go to the polls and be proven a loser. There’s no precedent for that to happen in modern times, but, then, there’s no precedent for Trump.