Post-Orlando, Donald Trump’s media coverage has been negative.
Three times this week I needed to visit Real Clear Politics (RCP) to see the latest poll results and the selection of articles they posted in order to get the truth. Trump is still immensely popular.
The week began with the billionaire banning The Washington Post (WaPo) from his press conferences because of a headline suggesting that he said Obama was ‘involved’ in the Orlando shooting. The paper later changed the headline, replacing ‘involved’ with ‘seems to connect’. Trump stated on Facebook:
Based on the incredibly inaccurate coverage and reporting of the record setting Trump campaign, we are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post.
It is true that Trump’s poll results are slightly less buoyant than they were a week ago at this time. As with Brexit, all it takes is a tragedy for people to favour the status quo. However, unlike Brexit, Trump has until November.
As of Sunday, June 19, according to RCP, Trump’s biggest poll gap is in New Hampshire, where Hillary Clinton is 6.5 points ahead. Clinton leads him by 4 points in both Pennsylvania and Virginia. Elsewhere — Florida, Ohio and North Carolina — she is only ahead by 1+ points.
On Pennsylvania, an RCP article stated:
Not since 1988 have Republicans won the four Philly suburban counties (Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester). Together with the Lehigh Valley, winning there is the key to winning the state’s 20 electoral votes. Trump cannot ignore them.
The great opportunity for Trump, however, is western Pennsylvania, more specifically the dozen or so rust belt counties surrounding Pittsburgh. In 2012, Obama, while winning Pennsylvania by five points, lost every one of these rust belt counties except for Allegheny. In 2016 the real question is not whether the Republican trending southwest will vote Republican, but by how much and whether it will make a difference.
For Trump, this is do-or-die. He must outperform Romney in this part of the state. Auspiciously for him he already carried these counties in the Republican primary on April 26, as he did in every other county in the state, besting his rivals by 35 points.
Elsewhere, Trump leads Clinton by 4.2 points in Georgia and by 1 point in North Carolina.
Nationally, Clinton is up by nearly 6 points.
Let’s remember that both are still the presumptive nominees right now. Much can happen during the next few weeks prior to both conventions.
Speaking of conventions and WaPo, Ed O’Keefe wrote a hit piece on Republicans out to get Trump at the GOP convention. Plots are being hatched:
“This literally is an ‘Anybody but Trump’ movement,” said Kendal Unruh, a Republican delegate from Colorado who is leading the campaign. “Nobody has any idea who is going to step in and be the nominee, but we’re not worried about that. We’re just doing that job to make sure that he’s not the face of our party.”
O’Keefe had a list of Republicans opposing Trump. Of his defenders, the reporter wrote:
Some of Trump’s top surrogates, including Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-Calif.), have struggled to explain Trump’s policy positions and defend his statements and proposals in the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando.
The article attracted several hundred comments. One reader wisely noted:
Of course, there is a movement to stop Hillary Clinton, but that doesn’t get media coverage. The media is in her pocket. She lies, deceives, and is being investigated. Her hands are covered in blood. Those who had real evidence against her or Bill of any wrongdoing are dead, but who cares, right?
Clinton’s path to the White House is far from assured. Former CBS Evening News presenter Dan Rather said that, whilst he hoped Trump would become more ‘presidential’, he:
can win the presidency, and Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton should be “very, very afraid.”
“I’m not predicting [Trump] will win, but I will say he’s capable of winning in November. He has a path,” Rather told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” …
Trump remains confident he can win with Republicans and the nation. Politico reported his reaction to the delegate drama, which he called it a ‘hoax … made up by the press’:
“Who are they going to pick? I beat everybody,” Trump said. “I beat the hell out of them. And we’re going to beat Hillary.”
Trump continued: “And it’d be helpful if the Republicans could help us a little bit.”
He is also willing to continue to fund his own campaign:
“I’d love to do that.”
Continuing to fund his own campaign, Trump said, would be “the easy way” to go about raising money.
“I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing,” he said.
NBC News asked Trump strategists about the story:
“All of our surveying — in the general sense of the word, not in the particular sense of the word — of the delegate situation tells me there’s no real appetite in changing the rules, or opposing Mr. Trump,” the adviser said.
And as recently as last weekend, another strategist who had been involved in the delegate efforts said during their meetings the previous week, “the prospect of a contested convention didn’t come up once.”
The ‘Trump can’t win’ meme must continue.
So must the #NeverTrump movement. A senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University seems to be in this camp. In an article for RCP, Peter Berkowitz wrote of the:
absence of a candidate still standing who is not only capable of responding to widespread anger about the economy, immigration, criminal justice, terrorism, America’s standing in the world, and establishment arrogance but also willing and able to defend the cause of limited, constitutional government.
Several readers wrote in to say that there is indeed a candidate who will address these issues: Donald Trump.
Other than that, Berkowitz’s article, which reviews Kimberly Strassel’s book The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech, discusses how the Left has increasingly intimidated Americans through restrictive laws in the 20th and 21st centuries and is worth reading.
On that topic, Suzanne Fields penned a piece for RCP which criticises Obama’s verbiage about Orlando. Trump said we must start using the term ‘radical Islam’ and Obama’s narrative turned against the billionaire, thereby conveniently evading the threat that America faces. Fields concluded:
Donald Trump scored a point with his observation that the president seemed to get angrier talking about him than he did talking about Omar Mateen, who went down shouting praise for Allah and ISIL. Obama’s evasion and euphemism give Trump his strongest card.
On Monday, Trump spoke about Orlando to an audience at St Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. In addition to setting out his national security plans, he warned the audience that Clinton planned to admit many more refugees than Obama. The latter wants a 500% increase. Clinton wants a 550% increase. Trump received a standing ovation after the speech.
Tuesday, June 14, was not only Flag Day and the 241st birthday of the US Army but also the day that Trump turned 70. He didn’t take the day off, either. He held a rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, at which two black conservatives spoke beforehand. The Revd Mark Burris encouraged everyone in the audience to be actively involved in Trump’s campaign. Physician Dr Ava M Fisher, a re-elected Republican in the state, said that 300 black Republicans have been elected to office in North Carolina since the 19th century. Trump’s focus was on how well the GOP primary season went: 14 million votes with 70% turnout.
On June 16, he spoke at Trump Tower in New York to celebrate the first anniversary of his presidential campaign. He said, in part:
The support of many wonderful Americans, led to resounding victories in the Republican Primary race, in which we beat the rigged political system and biased media with landslide victories …
While we are thankful for the phenomenal success we have enjoyed in the past year, we are just beginning! I could not be more thrilled as your presumptive Republican Presidential Nominee and to officially accept the GOP Nomination at the Convention in July. We must continue to strive towards beating Crooked Hillary in November and Making ALL of America Great Again!
It’s true that Trump is increasing his appeal with various groups of Americans. One of those is the LGBT community. However, social and mainstream media don’t want you to know that. In fact, Facebook suspended the account of a transgender Trump supporter, Rachel Francon. She was suspended before for posting a photo of her and Milo Yiannopoulos accompanied by an frank photo caption about their sexual orientation and their support for him.
Meanwhile, Facebook allows two ‘assassinate Donald Trump’ groups to remain online, no questions asked. If it were anyone else, the authorities would investigate. Calling for such things for a presidential candidate can lead to felony charges.
Trump was busy holding rallies all week long. There are too many to watch. I did see the one he held in Houston on June 17. The queue was so long not everyone got in, despite arriving early. An Asian, the Revd Johnson Joy, introduced the event with an evangelistic prayer. A Texan, retired Marine Andy Valadez, led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance and the Pledge to the Republic of Texas. Trump spoke about national security, IS, the wall, Clinton, jobs and added:
I didn’t have to do this… this is work.
This is a man who loves America and her people. Millions already know that. Millions more will board the Trump Train in the coming months.