Written by Dennis Michael Lynch
Trump’s campaign went into last night dangling on a thread. For days, Republican lawmakers and governors were dropping their endorsements. There were reports of volunteers leaving the Trump camps from around the country. The media was digging his grave by running a constant loop of his 2005 video tape. They backed it up with commentary from anti-Trump pundits who declared, “he’s finished.”
Trump went into last night knowing he had three scenarios.
One: if he had a bad debate it was over. More Republicans would bail out — perhaps even his running mate.
Two: If he had a great debate he could change the narrative. He could leave the video behind and get back to driving the message about making America great again.
Three: Have a good debate and live another day.
It turned out to be the third scenario. Trump had a good debate. Despite what online polls read, having watched the debate for a second time the debate was a draw. Trump had his weak spots, but he also had some incredibly strong moments. But the strong moments were digs on Hillary and Bill. He needs to have strong moments that shine a light on himself. Either way, a draw for Trump last night was a win for Trump. He moves on.
But make no mistake, if another damaging video surfaces, or if in the weeks to come he makes new lewd remarks coupled with asinine Tweets, the election is over — victory will go to Hillary Clinton.
Yes, his loyal supporters will vote for him on Election Day regardless of any negative Tweets and videos, but it’s not about the loyal supporters here on out. It’s about the undecided voters and those on his train who are barely holding on.
I really hope Trump spends his last 30-days focusing less on Hillary and more on jobs, immigration, and national safety. The swing voters have been hearing about Hillary’s emails for more than a year and it doesn’t seem to make any difference to them. The swing voter cares about the amount of money he or she earns, and the bills they have to pay, and the safety of their neighborhoods. Trump must focus on those things. That’s where he can win this battle. Trying to go blow for blow with Hillary won’t result in a victory.
Make no mistake, Trump is a winner. He can still win this thing without changing who he is. But he can’t wing it — he needs to be laser sharp in his messaging. And his message can’t be all about Bill Clinton and email servers. He has to make it about the American people. He has to have an amazing last debate. If not, Hillary is in the White House.
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