Media hyperventilating over the horribleness of “extreme vetting” aside, it has been a good week for Donald Trump. Aside from the polls, which everybody seems to react to in shock that Trump is behind, the candidate seems to have finally found his groove.
Let’s start with his Trump’s visit to Abingdon, Virginia, where the candidate actually delivered an on message campaign speech. While a bit stilted in delivery, the candidate did not go off message or onto tangents about beating opponents. Instead, he delivered an economic message strong on details (for once).
On Thursday, in Charlotte, North Carolina, the candidate delivered a major mea culpa when he apologized for the past comments he had made towards the Khans, women and a whole host of others. Somewhere, Republicans are breathing a sigh of relief. Even if it may prove to be temporary.
Friday’s Trump rally in Dimondale, Michigan, was probably his best to date. Not only did he deliver an economic message of recovery and hope he also made an actual plea to win over black voters. It would have been nice if he had realized he needed to do this sooner.
The Trump pivot has all the signs of being engineered by Kellyanne Conway. A former pollster for Mitt Romney’s campaign and Fox News regular, she and Trump’s family seem to have convinced the candidate you can only be unpolitical to a point.
The question is whether the Trump pivot comes too late or not? A recent Pew survey found Trump down by 4 points nationally (one of his better results of late. But, the survey also found only 8 percent of Clinton, Johnson or undecided voters would consider supporting Trump. If only 45 percent of the electorate will consider voting for Trump the race is already over.
Fortunately, it is only one survey and no other survey has found such a small pool of potential Trump voters. However, Trump’s weakness in the polls is obvious. If not for Johnson and Stein he might be down 5-10 points in every swing state.
But, he is not and that gives Trump his opening. If he can keep this kind of consistent, on-point campaigning up he may ride high into the debate (even if the polls have not moved much yet). Then, if Trump can capitalize on the drip, drip, drip of Clinton scandals at the debate in September, the race might actually flip.
Of course, this assumes Trump keeps his pivot up. We have not really seen a strong, concerted attack on his campaign (like the Democrats orchestrated with the Khans). Combined with the first debate, if Trump can handle that attack and keep on rolling then we will have finally seen the Presidential Trump many voters have been expecting.