A summary of political aspects you might find of interest; but first a note that I’ve yet to see anyone bring up.
In an unusually respectful interview between CNN host Don Lemon and Donald Trump, there was a moment when Lemon paused and thoughtfully asked if Trump was prepared to lose a significant amount of his wealth over his ‘controversial’ Muslim policy statement to pause immigration.
The response from Trump was not covered nor discussed, but it speaks volumes to understanding the candidate. He simply replied: none of that matters, none of that money matters, what I’m doing is trying to make America Great again…
In essence, a literal modern version of putting his life, his fortune and his sacred honor all on the line – for us.
No candidate has worked harder in the past six months to earn support. No candidate has held as many campaign events; no candidate has held as many rallies; no candidate has drawn tens of thousands to each – day in, and day out, without pause, rest or concern.
Donald Trump is, quite simply, working his ass off for this.
And the American electorate are aware and appreciative. A Reuters/IPSOS poll today shows how strong the support for Donald Trump is:
Support that is unfailingly strong.
People can see how hard Trump is working. The electorate can feel the connection he is putting forth for the best interests of America above his own best interests.
This is a remarkable revolution; and I’ll be the first to admit I fully entered with skepticism of Trump’s motive – but those thoughts are completely gone. Watching how he is working day and night to put his message out, to build his coalition, to unite Americans around a very simple commonality of America First – it’s quite inspiring.
All reservations of Trump’s intent have entirely evaporated. He’s in this for one reason, and one reason only, To Make America Great Again.
And people all over have responded with the same level of intensity and severity. CBS hired political pollster Frank Luntz to try out various attack ads against Donald Trump. What he found was absolutely incredible.
After three hours of a constant barrage of negative ads, no-one flinched in their support for Trump. Heck, it actually GREW:
(Washington DC ) Through a one-way mirror, journalists observe a focus group of Donald Trump supporters in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday. The group was organized by political consultant and pollster Frank Luntz. (J. Lawler Duggan/for The Washington Post)
It was the most brutal attack ad run against Donald Trump, and it was tanking. Twenty-nine voters, all of whom supported or used to support Trump, watched retired Air Force Col. Tom Moe not so subtly compare the Republican front-runner to Adolf Hitler.
“You might not care if Donald Trump says he’s going to round up all the Hispanic immigrants, because you’re not one,” Moe said onscreen. “You might not care if Donald Trump wants to suppress journalists, because you’re not one. But think about this: If he keeps going, and he actually becomes president, he might just get around to you.”
Frank Luntz, the Republican media consultant who had put together this focus group, watched the dials turn down. On a scale of zero to 100, the ad’s effectiveness never got above 20. It did not help that the ad was produced for Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio), a presidential candidate no one in the group supported.
“It was too far over the top,” one voter said.
“They use every trick in the book to make him look like the ultimate bad guy,” said another.
“It tried to make Trump look like the new Mussolini,” said one more disgusted voter. “I mean, that ain’t gonna happen.”
The presidential campaign for Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) put out a new ad, lashing out directly at fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump with a harsher tone than any other candidate has taken thus far. (John Kasich)
Next up was a lengthy compilation of Trump’s attacks on his fellow Republicans, over a pumping, distracting drumbeat. “He sweats more than any young person I’ve ever seen,” Trump said of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Carly Fiorina talked like a “robot.” Ben Carson was “pathological.” Jeb Bush had “no money” and was “meeting with Mommy and Daddy” for support.
The dials turned higher — because the audience was laughing along with Trump.
Tiffany Alm, 43, who moved to the Washington area from Wisconsin, responds to a question. (J. Lawler Duggan/for The Washington Post)
“It was like his greatest hits,” said Tiffany Alm, 43, a stay-at-home mom who had moved to the D.C. area from Wisconsin. “It’s Donald Trump, and it’s entertaining.”
Over three hours Wednesday in Alexandria, Luntz lobbed dozens of Trump-seeking missiles. All 29 in the group had voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. All either supported Trump or had supported him earlier in the year. To Luntz’s amazement, hearing negative information about the candidate made the voters, only a few of whom gave their full names to the press, hug the candidate tighter.
“Normally, if I did this for a campaign, I’d have destroyed the candidate by this point,” Luntz told a group of reporters when the session ended. “After three hours of showing that stuff?
[…] “The Republican establishment just had a heart attack,” Luntz said.
[…] At 6:30 p.m., when the session began, all 29 participants were asked to rate their likelihood of voting for Trump, and just 10 people said they were at nine or 10. After one hour of mostly negative questions about Trump, six more people joined that confident group.
“I’ve been talking about negatives, and you’re up on him!” said an astounded Luntz. “That’s the story of Trump’s poll numbers.” (read more)
What I really believe is at the heart of what Frank Luntz and all those others who can’t understand: