With all due respect to my PJ Media colleague and friend Michael van der Galien, Donald Trump’s campaign is not a lost cause. At least, it’s far too early to make that claim.
On the surface, Trump’s recorded comments about women are very, very bad. In the last 24 hours, Republicans who never really liked Trump in the first place are running for cover, calling on him to step down.
Pardon me, but this is idiotic. A month before the election is no time to dump the nominee. It would be problematic anyway as many states have already printed millions of ballots and sent them to county registrars. To recall them and print up another several million ballots and get them to polling places on time might not be possible.
Can you imagine the tens of millions of flyers, mailers, yard signs, and other campaign paraphernalia that would have to be changed? It would be impossible, even if Trump agreed that if he stays on the ballot, he will get blown away.
But that’s not going to happen. This, too, will pass.
“Trump has said things that would have knocked other candidates out in a heartbeat,” said a Wisconsin Republican. “It is unlikely his hardcore supporters will turn on him, but Republicans and independents who were moving his way are now back in the confused and uncertain state. Trump won’t overcome the statements — he will just move on, and in 24 hours the media will have something else to talk about.”
“I was just coming around on Trump, and now this. I’m sure undecided female voters are now lost,” a Wisconsin Republican added. “On one hand, I don’t know how these comments are a surprise to anyone. He’s a slimy lothario. That [shouldn’t] be new information. At the same time, it certainly doesn’t disqualify him. They’re men — they think this way. It’s gross, but it’s reality.”
Democrats are more optimistic these disclosures will hurt Trump: 69 percent called it the “knockout blow,” while 31 percent said it wasn’t.
“How can a woman vote for him, let alone a college-educated suburban one which is where he is deficient right now?” asked a Pennsylvania Democrat. “How can a Christian conservative who has held their nose up to today continue to support him? But the knockout blow will be delivered by the downballot candidates who will use this tape as their cut-and-run moment.”
“It’s done,” a Florida Democrat said. “But moreover, the right spent eight years absolutely maligning the character of Barack Obama, and look what it got them: one of the most disgusting humans as their nominee. Hopefully this will be an inflection moment for the country.”
Other Democrats, in the immediate wake of the Trump audio’s release, didn’t see it as a a game-changing moment.
“At this stage, I don’t think it’s possible to knock this guy out. He’s a cockroach at the end of a nuclear winter,” said a New Hampshire Democrat. “But at least people now know he’s a cockroach after these comments. He’ll still lose, but 45 percent of people are so partisan that they won’t change their minds no matter what he’s said.”
The “X-Factor” will be the debate on Sunday night. How many questions will be asked of Trump about his lewd comments and how many questions will Clinton be asked about the recent email dump by Wikileaks that reveals her support for open borders, free trade, and cutting Social Security? Trump would do well to complain bitterly about media bias if no one is asking Clinton about her shocking comments to Wall Street bankers.
If Trump can weather the debate, there’s a good chance that the issue will disappear in a few days. That’s been the pattern followed by previous Trump outrages: he says something stupid, Republicans run for cover, Democrats rail against him, the media excoriates him — and then within a week, his poll numbers are back to where they were.
The next 48 hours will tell the tale.