Where Donald Trump Went Wrong

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“Donald Trump has no chance at being the next President of the United States.”

That was the consensus when Donald Trump started his campaign exactly one year ago, when he was polling around 2% nationally.

Today, Trump has outwitted, outlasted, and outmarketed (that’s the most important one) every other contestant in this year’s Presidential race. All but one of course: Hillary Clinton.

When polling began against Hillary Clinton, Trump was at 33%; Clinton at 53%. Today, Trump is at 38% and Clinton is at 44%. These numbers aren’t too important, especially when looking at the race a handful of months out.

However, Trump’s 38% is noteworthy. In the past 12 months, Trump has never gone below 38% in a national poll against Hillary Clinton, except at the height of Ted Cruz’s challenge to Trump in the Republican primary this past April. Take out Ted Cruz, and Trump hasn’t fallen below 38% nationally at all.

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Trump vs Clinton Polling; the biggest dip came during the height of the Republican Primary, where Ted Cruz started performing well. After, Trump began polling above Clinton. The most recent dip shows voter reaction to Trump’s Mexican judge’s comments and to his reaction to the Orlando shooting. RCP Average Through 6/18/16

This might be a bit opinionated, but listen to the division in everything Donald Trump says. He often explains that he does not agree with political correctness. It is a fact that racist, anti-women, anti-gay, and anti-American stonewalling is certainly not political correctness. Trump literally threw the “don’t say this while running for President” playbook out the door. The media called him out on it and as a result, Trump’s poll numbers rose.

Trump Leads Clinton

Hillary Clinton started sagging in the polls following Trump’s victory in the Republican Primary. Just five weeks ago, it was almost impossible to imagine Donald Trump not winning the White House in November. Grant it, Trump was only up a point or two over Clinton, but considering Clinton is widely disliked and Trump was doubted for almost the entire Presidential Election, things were definitely looking in his direction. 

Fast forward, and three incredibly important things happened:

  1. Bernie Sanders lost the Democratic Nomination – not officially, but almost as official until he concedes next month at the convention
  2. Trump’s racist comments about the Mexican judge seemed to be the first comments by Trump that actually produced negative poll numbers, rather than an increase in them
  3. Trump’s reaction to the Orlando shooting, coming off the judge’s comments, seemed to only drive his poll numbers down

First, Bernie Sanders losing the nomination might seem like an irrelevant thing to Donald Trump. But make no mistake, plenty of Sanders supporters did shop or will shop elsewhere for their Presidential candidate, and from the looks of it, Hillary Clinton is certainly not that candidate. That leaves Donald Trump. Just before the California primary, Trump was actually topping Clinton nationally for the first time this election cycle. In other words, he went from a 20% deficit to a nearly 1% excess. Impressive.

Hillary Clinton giving a speech

At the ultimate conclusion of the Democratic primary, the height of Trump’s comments about the Mexican judge was on top of everyone’s mind. Think Sanders supporters shopped here? Wrong. The third party also got a bit more of a boost, as evidenced by Hillary’s stable, but low, poll numbers and an expansive insight into the third party option by the media. 

Trump’s comments about the judge seemed to pass a bar that went beyond politics. Even if you agree with Donald Trump and hate all of the media bias, look at his poll numbers. They didn’t sink when he clinched the nomination. They didn’t sink when he professed his love for building walls or tearing people apart. They started to sink when his apparent racism was beyond reproach.

Heading into the Orlando shooting, Trump held at around 40%. Then Trump posted one of the most arrogant and, frankly, insensitive tweets in reaction to the shooting and tragedy. He reiterated his calls for more interventionism and his Roosevelt-ian “big stick” foreign policy, while blaming a whole religion – and Obama – for the attack. Coupled with calls in conjunction with Obama, Clinton, and Sanders to increase gun control, and Trump now sits at 38%.

Donald Trump’s tweet in response to the Orlando Shooting

Post-Orlando Shooting

Like mentioned before, Donald Trump would have undoubtedly won the White House in November just merely weeks ago. However, Trump’s ego, insensitivity, and lack of political correctness actually seems to have came back to bite him this time.

When it came to the second amendment, Donald Trump literally had one of the best positions – this is actually while he was running for President in this election cycle, not in his short-lived 2000 run or his 2000 book. Essentially, his website declares an all out protection on the 2nd Amendment with little to no restrictions on guns. But then he also held one of the worst positions, where he called for an assault weapons ban, expanded background checks, and limiting the 2nd amendment with regulation and restrictions placed on it by the federal government. Today, it sits right in line with Hillary Clinton (look here for proof too, or here), which if you ask anyone who’s read at least just the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution, is pitiful and scary.

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Trump’s poll numbers began to fall after his judge comments and after his response to the Orlando shooting. RCP Average through 6/18/16

Forever, Trump continued to push the boundary of political correctness in this country, which was probably a good strategy to play. But his comments the past three, four weeks crossed a line that Trump never had before. Instead of reversing his ill-conceived notion about racism in regards to the judge working on the Trump University case, Trump insisted that a mexican heritage was a precluding factor from performing the duty of upholding the United States Constitution and existing law, clearly showcasing his racist tendencies and desire for progressive fundamental transformation of the United States of America. Instead of trying to correct his previous stances on gun restrictions, Trump doubled down on pushing for banning guns for people on imaginary government lists, muddling the ground between an NRA endorsement and Hillary Clinton’s progressive view on guns. In other words, two progressive fundamentalists and candidates for President of the United States aim to transform the American way of life by expanding the role of the federal government with the aim of silencing certain groups of people and by disarming them. This is the America that has been born out of the Bush-Obama era of political entrapment; this is our choice that the progressive media is pushing on us. The question is: will we let them win?

CHARLESTON, SC - FEBRUARY 22: Reality TV host and New York real estate mogul Donald Trump holds up a replica flintlock rifle awarded him by cadets during the Republican Society Patriot Dinner at the Citadel Military College on February 22, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. Trump and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) were honored at the annual event. (Photo by Richard Ellis/Getty Images)
Trump holding a gun, while pandering to the audience about the importance of the 2nd amendment. Getty Images

Donald Trump: The Second Amendment on Ballot in November

To reiterate: when it comes to the 2nd amendment post-Orlando, Donald Trump often agrees with Hillary Clinton on the issue much more than he disagrees. While Clinton’s response to the Orlando tragedy was terrible, Trump’s was inflammatory and inspired division in an America that so desperately needed to come together. Quite frankly, Donald Trump is a coward for pandering to varying audiences and for suggesting that we limit our 2nd ammendment rights. Hillary Clinton is a coward for doing much of the same, but at least she doesn’t hide the fact that she wants to do it.

It is difficult to imagine Trump, even on the best of days, recovering from these actions to the extent that he defeats Hillary Clinton in November, especially when he isn’t the only non-Clinton option. Trump insisted that “the 2nd Amendment is on the ballot in November,” after getting the endorsement of the NRA in May. America agrees that it will be on the ballot too, and most of them will be looking for the option that doesn’t, never had, or never will infringe the right of all free men and women to bear arms and one that does not endorse a government lists that infringes upon due process.  

In a time where America needs to use the Constitution to limit government authority, Trump and Clinton advocate for the complete abonishmnet of the document itself while the American people suffer through the most tragic attack on American soil since 9/11. Given this alone, we should forever be precluded from voting for a single candidate who believes that the American people are the problem this country faces; we should instead be looking to the candidate that believes in the sanctity of the freedom and liberty the people of the United States have. For most of us, Trump and Clinton are not that option.

An aspiring filmmaker with a passion for liberty-minded politics, Charles Barr resides in Monmouth County, New Jersey and graduated Montclair State University with a double major in communication and political science. Charles has volunteered for various campaigns including Ron Paul for President in 2012, Steve Lonegan for US Senate, and Brian Goldberg for US Senate. In addition to politics, Charles was the assistant director for the feature length film, My Brother’s Girlfriend that was accepted to the 2015 New York Film Festival. He previously interned for Congressman Tom MacArthur and volunteered for Q Rim for State Assembly.

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