August, 2016

Trump Doubles Down on Immigration Policies

Donald Trump “made his immigration policies clear: Mexico will fund an impenetrable, beautiful border wall, and the Republican presidential nominee’s administration will begin its construction on the first day of his presidency,” Politico reports.

Said Trump: “On Day One, we will begin working on an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful southern border wall. We will use the best technology, including above and below ground sensors. That’s the tunnels. Remember that. Above and below. Above and below ground sensors. Towers. Aerial surveillance and manpower to supplement the wall. Find and dislocate tunnels and keep out criminal cartels and Mexico will work with us. I really believe it. Mexico will work with us. I absolutely believe it.”

“Trump outlined other planks of his policy position, including a promise to return all detained undocumented people to their home countries and zero tolerance for immigrants who commit crimes. It amounted to a massive deportation program.”

He noted: “You can call it deported if you want. The press doesn’t like that term. You can call it whatever the hell you want. They’re gone.”

Trump Had Been Planning Mexico Trip for Weeks

“Donald Trump’s visit to Mexico was not hastily put together, but the result of a couple of weeks of closely guarded work,” sources close to the campaign told NBC News.

“Trump insiders quietly reached out to officials in Mexico with the goal being to prompt an invitation from President Enrique Peña Nieto to meet Trump in person… Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner led the effort to secure a meeting, the sources said. With receptive signals coming back from Mexico, Team Trump waited for the formal invitation they had set in motion.”

Trump Still Has No Ground Game In Florida

“How many of the 24 field offices that Team Trump said in early August they’d open this month in Florida are now up and running? None yet, according to Republican officials in the state.”

“The Republican presidential nominee has one of his campaign’s weakest ground games in his most crucial swing state, several political insiders and donors told Bloomberg Politics. Now, some Republicans are worried it’s getting too late to recover, with vote-by-mail ballots going out starting in late September and Democrats pledging a big push in early voting.”

Mexican President Contradicts Trump

“Donald Trump swept into Mexico City on a politically perilous mission to prove his mettle as a negotiator by facing a nation that he has repeatedly denigrated and has promised to compel to pay for a border wall,” the New York Times reports.

“But Mr. Trump’s efforts at diplomacy in a meeting with Mexico’s leader, Enrique Peña Nieto, quickly backfired: Mr. Trump said that the two men did not discuss financing for the wall, one of his signature immigration issues, while Mr. Pena Nieto said later on Twitter that at the start of their meeting, ‘I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall.'”

Clinton Holds Small Edge Nationally

A new Fox News poll shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump in the presidential race nationally by just two points, 41% to 39%, with Gary Johnson at 9% and Jill Stein at 4%.

The third-party candidates take more from Clinton than Trump, as she holds a six-point lead in the two-way matchup, 48% to 42%.

For comparison, the HuffPost Pollster national average shows Clinton still leading by six points, 47% to 41%.

Mexico Trip a Big Win for Trump

“Donald Trump met in Mexico with President Enrique Peña Nieto, who is being criticized by many Mexicans for holding the meeting. In a subdued joint appearance before the press in Mexico City, the two men described the meeting as warm, despite significant disagreements on issues of trade and immigration,” the New York Times reports.

Byron York: “Indeed, it was a big win — a very big win — for Trump. Going into a meeting with the potential for disaster — who knew how Pena Nieto would receive the world’s most controversial presidential candidate or what embarrassments might lie ahead? — Trump came out of the meeting looking very much like a potential President of the United States. Standing beside the Mexican leader in front of a green-gray granite wall reminiscent of the United Nations, Trump presented the picture of a statesman.”

Supreme Court Blocks Voting Rules In North Carolina

“A divided Supreme Court rejected an emergency appeal by North Carolina seeking to revive stricter state voting rules, which reduced the number of days for early voting and required photo identification at the polls,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The high court, in a brief written order, declined to stay an appeals-court ruling from July that struck down North Carolina’s Republican-backed voting rules. The appeals court found state lawmakers enacted the rules with the intent to discriminate against black voters.”

Rick Hasen: “The fact that this petition got four votes should be very depressing to those who have been hoping that perhaps Justice Kennedy and the Chief Justice would have had a change of heart on voter ID laws.”

Will Trump Get His Labor Day Reset?

Rick Klein: “Welcome to the most important day of Donald Trump’s campaign, at least going back to his convention. Twenty-four hours from now, Trump will (presumably) have a revised and revamped immigration policy. He will also have made a foreign trip to visit the government he’s tangled most with publicly. He’s seeking to look and act presidential, to signal that he’s listening, trying, and evolving.”

“At least in theory, it’s a sort of real-time display of the management approach he’s looking to bring to the nation’s highest office. It all comes at a moment of vulnerability for Hillary Clinton – see those new poll numbers that show trust in her eroding – that she’s chosen to spend almost exclusively with donors. If Trump needs a reset race before Labor Day, he’s doing what he can to get it. The master of optics and television imagery is getting some potentially valuable takeaways from the last day of August.”

Trump Probably Won’t Perform Much Worse Than Romney

Josh Kraushaar: “Here’s a sober­ing sign of the state of our polit­ics: It’s be­com­ing very plaus­ible that Don­ald Trump, des­pite run­ning one of the worst pres­id­en­tial cam­paigns in mod­ern his­tory, could lose the pres­id­en­tial race by the same Elect­or­al Col­lege vote mar­gin as Mitt Rom­ney. A cam­paign that doesn’t be­lieve in tele­vi­sion ads, of­fers in­sults in­stead of policies, and lacks a full-fledged cam­paign staff, could end up per­form­ing nearly as well as a high-char­ac­ter can­did­ate who ran a re­spect­able los­ing cam­paign against Pres­id­ent Obama.”

Focus Group Finds It’s Too Late for Trump to Change

Amy Walter: “At the very end of the two-plus hour session Hart asked these Wisconsinites who they thought would ultimately win the race. All but one picked Clinton. Why? They think that Trump can’t change and won’t change…”

“The bottom line: voters know that neither candidate is likely to change, but that is a bigger problem for Trump than Clinton. My impression from listening to these voters is that they want to see a more professional and even-tempered Trump – two even specifically pointed to the debates as important markers. Yet, even if Trump were to suddenly become ‘more presidential’ and perform in a professional way during the debates, these voters aren’t convinced that it will stick. They are grudgingly accepting a Clinton candidacy, but not enthusiastically embracing it.”