Pollsters Dumbfounded by Trump

“Polling experts agree on one thing when it comes to Donald Trump’s presidential run: They’ve never seen anything like it. The billionaire businessman’s dominance of the Republican presidential race is forcing experienced political hands to question whether everything they know about winning the White House is wrong,” The Hill reports.

“The shocks have come in quick succession, with Trump first rocketing to the top of national polls, and then taking double-digit leads in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.”

“In another act of political magic, Trump managed to flip his favorability rating from negative to positive in one poll during the span of a month — a feat that Monmouth University’s Patrick Murray called ‘astounding.’ Trump’s favorability rose from 20 percent to 52 percent among Republican voters between July and August, Monmouth found.”

Kasich Is Bigger Threat to Bush Than Trump

Caitlin Huey-Burns: “Over the past month, John Kasich has been moving in on Bush’s turf, gaining ground in the must-win state of New Hampshire. The Ohio governor is positioning himself as moderate Republicans’ viable alternative to Bush, with a more current resume and less baggage, while refraining from going after his Florida rival.”

“Bush and Trump aren’t really going after the same voters, but he and Kasich are definitely doing so.  In a field this crowded, the true threat comes not from the polar opposite candidate, but the one trying to be most like you.”

Fiorina Fights for Place in 2nd GOP Debate

Carly Fiorina “is waging a public war with both CNN, which is hosting the debate, and the Republican National Committee, which her campaign accused on Wednesday of ‘rigging the game’ to keep her out of the prime-time event,” the New York Times reports.

“Recognizing that Mrs. Fiorina may be excluded from the debate, costing her crucial exposure and dampening fund-raising efforts, her campaign has sought to turn the likely snub into a public relations victory in an effort to win her sympathy and attract support from anti-establishment Republicans.”

Democratic Insiders Grow Concerned About Clinton

“As Democratic Party insiders gather for their summer meeting, there is a growing undercurrent of concern whether Hillary Clinton would be the party’s strongest candidate to keep the White House next year,” McClatchy reports.

“They still like and mostly support her. But many are increasingly questioning her handling of official emails while Secretary of State and her response to the furor over it. Some worry about her ability to connect with voters. And all this is aggravated by Vice President Joe Biden and his supporters stepping up their soundings on whether to mount a challenge.”

New Trump Aide Used to Scorn Him

“Leaked emails show that the Iowan who is Donald Trump’s new national co-chairman was throwing bombs at him as recently as last month, expressing grave misgivings about the authenticity of Trump’s religious faith and his conservatism,” the Des Moines Register reports.

Sam Clovis defected from Rick Perry’s team “at a time when the former Texas governor has been struggling to cover his campaign aides’ salaries. Iowa Republicans said Wednesday that Clovis’ move raises questions about how he reconciles endorsing Trump with his previous stances and statements, and whether he was motivated less by ideology and more by the promise of a big paycheck from a business mogul who has said he is willing to spend as much as a billion dollars to get elected.”

Trump Plans Iran Deal Protest with Cruz

Donald Trump revealed that “he’s been coordinating with Ted Cruz for a joint appearance at an event opposing the Iran deal in Washington,” the Washington Post reports.

Said Trump: “We are talking to Ted Cruz, who is a friend of mine and a good guy, about doing something very big over the next two weeks in Washington. It’s essentially a protest against the totally incompetent deal that we’re making with Iran.”

Trump’s Lean Campaign Breaks the Mold

“Not only is Donald Trump an unconventional candidate, he’s got a campaign operation that turns the conventional wisdom of electoral politics on its head. While Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton boasts an army of more than 350 paid staffers, Trump’s operation fields less than a tenth that number,” U.S. News reports.

“It includes a coterie of about a dozen paid staffers operating out of the campaign headquarters at Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue — the same building where Trump lives and runs his real estate empire. His team has no pollster, fundraisers or media consultant and only announced its first full time, big-name policy adviser this week. The rest of the 25 or so paid members of the Trump campaign are mostly in the early- voting states of New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina.”

Hillary Clinton’s Wobbly Summer

Joe Klein: “Clinton has seemed rather wobbly this summer to a new generation of journalists—and citizens—who know only the myth of the Clintons: a brilliant, undefeatable political juggernaut. But the Clintons have always been a high-wire act. There have always been press conferences like the one in Las Vegas; there have always been crises like the server…. The Clintons, in essence, were the Donald Trumps of their time: you just didn’t say, or do, the things they said and did, and survive in American politics.”

“So if you’re Hillary and you’re fretting through a hostile press conference in Vegas, here’s what’s going through your mind: here we go again. Another cycle of dust and blather to be endured…. Smart politicians have a different sense of chronology than journalists. They are not concerned with ‘winning the day’ or the week. They know that the memory of the public is an eyelash in the wash of time…. Hillary Clinton is a tough politician but not an especially artful one…. There have been too few fine moments, and a new stage of the campaign begins now.”

Trump’s Insults Shock Even Seasoned Politicians

Donald Trump “is turning the schoolyard taunt into a political art form,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“These aren’t gaffes or off-script asides. They are part of a strategy, people close to Mr. Trump say, of knocking his Republican presidential rivals off their game. That, at least for now, is getting him the attention and poll ratings he wants among voters looking for an antidote to the artifice of U.S. politics.”

“But the intensely personal nature of Mr. Trump’s insults, sometimes mocking his rivals by mimicking them, is startling even to those who have grown accustomed to the sometimes low levels of civility in politics today.”

Sanders Plans Next Phase of Campaign

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) “huddled with advisers at his home here Wednesday to chart what he describes as the second phase of a campaign that has exceeded all expectations but still lacks the infrastructure and support from the party elites that could help him compete with Clinton on a national level,” the Washington Post reports.

“He said he will issue a slew of detailed policy proposals, including for a tax system under which corporations and the wealthy would pay significantly more for initiatives that would benefit the poor and middle class, and will pour resources into voter outreach in early nominating states.”

Trump Would Raise Taxes on the Wealthy

Donald Trump told Bloomberg that his economic vision for America includes raising taxes on the wealthy.

Said Trump: “I would change it. I would simplify it.”

He would also tax hedge fund managers: “I would take carried interest out, and I would let people making hundreds of millions of dollars-a-year pay some tax, because right now they are paying very little tax and I think it’s outrageous. I want to lower taxes for the middle class.”