Donald Trump can, and will, beat Hillary Clinton and become President of the United States.
As much as the media and political elite have already written off Trump, the evidence shows that Trump is on track to win this fall because of his popular message, his record of victory in the Republican primaries, and Hillary’s unpopularity.
First of all, don’t believe the media spin. This race is tight.
The pundits and the media elites can’t fathom the idea that a guy like Donald Trump could be our next President. They are presented on a daily basis dishonesty from Hillary Clinton, and they can see that Hillary Clinton has a difficult time connecting with average Americans. They prefer to give disproportional weight to the Clinton campaign cash advantage and the post Democratic National Convention bounce.
Yet this election is far from over.
In 1988, Michael Dukakis rolled out of his convention with a bigger lead than Hillary Clinton. However, history tells us that Dukakis never made it to the White House.
New polls conducted by Emerson College show Trump closing the gap in the “Rust Belt” states of Michigan and Pennsylvania, with him tied in the swing state of Ohio. The L.A. Times tracking poll has Trump with a very small national lead over Clinton and a recent UPI poll has Trump leading Clinton. The polls indicate that this race is now close both nationally and in swing states.
And what about the possibility that the polling models are under-reporting Trump’s level of support. Hillary Clinton has rolled out arguments linking Trump to racist elements in society. Is it possible that people are scared to tell a pollster that they support Trump for fear of being tagged a racist?
Trump’s anti-establishment message has successfully tapped into the American public’s distrust of Washington elites. You can quibble with many of his controversial statements that have hurt his campaign and some of his perceived policy wobbles, but his overarching message that the American middle class is being hurt by government policies that favor the Washington elites has struck a chord. As he hammers leaders of both parties in Washington for incompetence and self-dealing, the American people applaud. And they can see Hillary Clinton as the embodiment of all that they hate about the federal government.
The anti-establishment message helped Trump to defeat the best and brightest that the Republican Party had to offer. Trump used debates to dispatch them one-by-one. Let’s not forget that, although we are already worn out by this election cycle, the American people will be watching the debates in record numbers.
Debates can be a game changer. There are three presidential debates to go, with the first not happening until late September. Let’s not forget the last election cycle when Mitt Romney won the first debate in Denver, CO, in the fall of 2012. President Obama was off his game and it almost cost him the election. Gallup reported that Romney went from a 5% deficit to a tie in the three days after that debate.
Trump is an excellent debater and much more of a scrapper than Romney. Trump beat Jeb Bush, both the son and brother of Presidents, in debates. Trump beat three very strong anti-establishment Senators vying for the nomination. We tend to forget that Trump gathered up the most votes of any Republican primary candidate in history, with over 13 million votes against a strong lineup of candidates. Trump’s debate performance and his ability to dispatch some very skilled politicians should not be underestimated.
Then there is the biggest factor in favor of Donald Trump — he is not Hillary Clinton.
If he can make the focus of the campaign a referendum on Hillary Clinton’s record of failure, he will win. The electorate is concerned with Hillary Clinton’s alleged “pay-to-play” scandal where Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been accused of granting special access to the State Department to big donors of the Clinton Foundation. Clinton has been accused of telling different stories about the cause of Benghazi and the reasons why she set up a personal server while Secretary of State. The American people recognize that Hillary has trouble telling the truth.
A glance at her favorability ratings will make most Democratic pollsters shudder. Hillary’s favorable v. unfavorable numbers are abysmal. Clinton is 15% more unfavorable than favorable in Gallup, 14% in Monmouth, 12% in Quinnipiac, and 17% in Bloomberg according to Real Clear Politics collected data. Hillary’s trust deficit may be too much to overcome.
Trump’s anti-establishment message, his romp in the Republican primaries, and Hillary’s multiple scandals all point to a Donald Trump victory this fall.
Brian Darling is a former Sr. Communications Director and Counsel for Sen. Rand Paul. Follow him on Twitter @BrianHDarling.