It is day 3 of the Democratic National Convention and polls show Trump continues to surge. He has now led in most of the lastest national polls, and recent surveys out of rock red states like Missouri, Kansas and Idaho show he is in no danger of losing their electoral votes.
Most pundits and analysts have chalked this up to a post-Convention bounce. This is funny considering that few even thought Trump would get a bounce. The media fell over themselves not comprehending his anti-elitist Convention speech and that his dark message reflected the dark mood of the nation. However, even more important than all of that, was that Trump’s campaign theme of law and order as well as stability and safety matched what many Americans crave.
Just look at what is happening in the world. ISIS is carrying out attacks left and right (France, Syria, Florida). Racial tensions are bleeding out into dozens of attacks on police officers. The economy remains in the crapper with few Americans feeling financially secure.
No wonder Trump would make his speech and the entire theme of the RNC about how he can keep Americans safe and stable in these uncertain times. To the elitists in the media it struck them as messianic and arrogant but to the average American it spoke of a candidate who believes in his ability to right the ship of state.
In contrast, Hillary Clinton’s campaign theme is the status quo. Sure, she can talk about change. But when you are campaigning on a third Obama term just how convincing can you be? Indeed, running through the list of issues; immigration reform, taxes, abortion, guns, etc. Clinton is a carbon copy of Obama.
The President’s approval ratings might have bounced up as of late but that is hardly an accurate sign of true popularity. If it was, Clinton should be cruising while running for Obama’s 3rd term.
So far, we have watched 3 days of the DNC and not seen a single speech talk about how things would change under a Clinton Presidency. Instead of reflecting the anger and anxiety of many Americans it seems almost every speech has reflected how rosy things are.
In contrast to the GOP Convention, the Democrats have tried to make the theme of this campaign about social issues. The social issues few Americans are probably going to vote on (abortion, gay marriage, bathroom laws). This might make the hearts of Millennial women swoon but it does nothing to attract the Rust Belt voter struggling in small town Ohio.
This is the crucial distinction between the 2 campaigns. The Clinton campaign is banking on this election being routine. They are expecting the same old litany of issues to carry the day for them. You would think after the Sanders uprising the Clinton camp would have gotten the memo, but that does not seem to be the case.
Trump is banking on these Clinton assumptions. He knows that Hillary cannot run on the Obama record. It stinks! It is one of fostering racial animosity, making the rich even richer, promoting big banks, letting the world go to hell in a hand-basket and more. This means Clinton has to run on old issues that don’t win a majority. If Trump were more appealing and less self-destructive he would have this election in the bag.
Clinton cannot even run on being herself. Her glass ceiling shattering campaign has run into a wall. Most Americans simply do not trust her. In her 25 years of being in the national spotlight she has angered both the Left and the Right. She has been embroiled in scandal after scandal and taken hypocritical stance after hypocritical stance. She’s bent the rules to benefit herself countless times (what difference does it make, email server). Trump has stuck with a theme that may define Hillary more than anything else, “Crooked Hillary.”
The media and Left may be oblivious to it but Trump has tapped into a sentiment of anxiety and fear many Americans feel. The media pines for hope, change, and a continuation of Obama’s policies via Clinton, but clearly a majority of Americans do not.