The current state of not only Donald Trump’s campaign, but the entire Republican party at the moment is bleak. Here’s where we stand:
Friday night and into Saturday, an increasing number of elected Republican lawmakers bailed on Trump, the most high profile of which were probably John McCain and Rob Portman. Ted Cruz, meanwhile, is apparently pondering whether to unendorse Trump. Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio have yet to do so.
Morally, it’s an easy call: Ditch Trump, hang on to a tiny shred of your soul. Politically, it’s a complicated situation for Republicans, as a Politico survey reveals. Politico conducted a scientific survey of 1500 people yesterday, and the findings were both encouraging and discouraging for Republicans and Democrats alike.
The good news is, Hillary Clinton is up after the tape. The bad news: She’s still only up by four points, according to this poll. The good news is: 12 percent of Republicans believe that Trump should drop out. The bad news is: Only 12 percent of Republicans — and 13 percent of Republican women — think Trump should drop out.
Seventy-four percent of Republicans also think that other Republican lawmakers should stick with Trump, while 78 percent believe Trump should stay in the race.
Here’s where it gets complicated for all those down-ballot Republicans in close races (and I’m not saying they didn’t bring it upon themselves, I’m merely stating the complication): 28 percent of Republicans say they would be more likely to vote for a GOP candidate who renounced Trump, but 25 percent say they would be less likely to vote for a Republican if they bailed on Trump.
In other words, GOP candidates would be losing 25 percent of their vote either way. That’s why the approach of Ryan and Rubio — damn the behavior but not withdraw their support — may be the most politically savvy move for them at the point, cynical as it may be (the heckles Paul Ryan received at a rally he disinvited Trump to yesterday illustrates the problem). That may change if Trump bombs at the debate, which is probably something that most Republican candidates are hoping for, which would at least allow them to cut and run with less damage.
Meanwhile, there were rumors over the weekend that Mike Pence — who apparently told Trump that he was on his own this weekend — would drop out. That’s not true. Pence is sticking with Trump. (Some of those Republicans who have withdrawn their support for Trump, however, have said that they will write-in Pence).
The Republican party, however, is not sticking with Trump. They’re basically pulling their funding for Trump and moving it around in an attempt to salvage the campaigns of down-ballot candidates. At this point, according to one piece I read yesterday, there’s a chance Dems could even take back the House of Representatives, should Clinton beat Trump by six points or more.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump himself is feeling isolated and alone inside Trump Tower, according to the NYTimes. Chuck Todd also suggested last night that there’s a 50/50 chance Trump bails on the debate.
Speaking of Chuck Todd, Rudy Giuliani appeared on Meet the Press this morning. In fact, Giuliani appeared on all the morning shows this morning, because Kellyanne Conway and Chris Christie bailed on Trump, and Giuliani had to face the firing squad alone.
He did not do well. Here he is on This Week. He looks straight-up defeated.
Rudy Giuliani on whether Trump was describing sexual assault on 2005 audio: "That's what he was talking about" https://t.co/0xrtllD7rt— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) October 9, 2016
Meanwhile, on Meet the Press, Chuck Todd berated Giuliani. He went in for the kill, and Giuliani basically held out his neck and let Todd slash his throat. It was, uh, low energy, to say the least. At the six minute mark, Chuck Todd sticks his hand into Giuliani’s throat and pulls out his voice box.
Jake Tapper also obliterates Giuliani, who keeps trying to pivot to Bill Clinton’s indiscretions. But his heart is hardly in it.
If Giuliani wasn’t such a loathsome little man who brought all of this on himself, I’d almost feel sorry for him here.