Monday, May 23, 2016

In the ring, Trump is relentless!

Weekly Opinion Editorial

by Steve Fair

     According to the latest RealClear Politics polling average, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are in a virtual statistical dead heat.  Just six weeks ago, Clinton led Trump by double digits, but the current average has them within .2% of each other.    The only poll that really counts is the one held on Election Day, but it is significant that Trump has surged against Clinton.  Here is why:
     First, Trump is the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party.  For the first time in recent memory, Republicans have a presumptive nominee before the Democrats.  That gives a definitive advantage to Trump.  Clinton is still battling Senator Sanders for the Democrat nomination.  Sanders has little or no chance of wrestling the nomination from Clinton, but so long as he stays in the race, Clinton is fighting battles on two fronts, while Trump is fighting only Clinton. 
     Second, Clinton is not an energy candidate.  Even her inner circle admits she struggles with engaging regular folks and prefers policy wonks.  Patti Solis Doyle, a former campaign aide, says this about Hillary’s attitude toward campaigning:  “You know, [Hillary Clinton is] tired. She gets tired. She does it. She does it dutifully. Is it her most fun thing to do? No,” Doyle said. “Would she rather be looking at policy and going through legislation and working with a bunch of experts on how to, you know, improve the Affordable Care Act? Absolutely.”   Trump has effectively attacked her as being ‘low energy,’ and said he doesn’t think she has the physical strength to be president.  It appears that has gained traction with voters.  You will recall that Trump was able to effectively tag Jeb Bush as a low energy candidate in the early GOP primaries. 
     Third, Trump doesn’t back off- ever.  Traditional politicos don’t attack their opponents on a personal level.  They back off a tad when backing off is more politically expedient than pressing forward.  Trump doubles down when his opponents attack him.  The Donald is the definition of politically incorrect.  He says what is on his mind- every time.  In a political environment where voters have been exploited, manipulated, and lied to, Trump’s real straight talk has appeal.    
     Fourth, Clinton’s track record is dismal.  For someone with an impressive resume- U.S. Senate, Secretary of State and First Lady- she has a poor record of accomplishments.  Experience doesn’t always translate to success.  Clinton has been on the wrong side of most major issues for years.  Hillary is more liberal than Bill Clinton.  She doesn’t work across the aisle well.  Her strength is that everyone knows her- her weakness is that everyone knows her.    
     Fifth, women don’t trust Hillary.  Women are 52% of registered voters and 41% of them identify themselves as Democrats.  For years, Republicans have lost the female vote, but with Hillary on the ticket, Trump could change that.  According to a CBC/New York Times poll, forty (40) percent of Democratic primary voters believe Clinton is politically calculating and someone they don’t trust with the presidency.  
    Clinton is the wrong fighter to put in the ring with Trump.  She has too many weaknesses, flaws and scandals to spar with a heavyweight.  A more ‘gentlemanly candidate’ might take the advice of political operatives and just dance around and play a little ‘rope a dope’ with her, but in Trump’s world everything about his opponent is relevant- personal and policy.  He thrives on attacking and never backs down- never ever.  Winston Churchill said, “Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”  Trump never gives in and that is an attribute to be admired.
     Like him or not, Donald Trump is the ultimate fighter.  In the political ring, Trump is landing significant blows on Clinton.  She continues to throw haymakers and not connect.  If that continues, Trump will knock her out in November.

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