For a long time it seemed that nothing Donald Trump said or did could hurt him, or put a dent in his polls.
But now that seems to be changing.
Because after a very bad month, his campaign is now starting to look like a slow motion train wreck.
Or plane crash.
He's now trailing Hillary Clinton by a growing margin.
Trump's numbers shot up in the wake of his victory in the May 3 Indiana primary, a win that effectively sealed his nomination. But as May wore on, Trump's poll numbers not only hit a wall, they began to collapse.
And not because Americans are falling in love with Hillary, but because a lot of Americans have apparently decided that they just don't like HIM....
What's fascinating in the chart above is that Clinton's appeal hasn't surged as Trump's has dipped badly. These aren't people deciding to be for Clinton; it's people deciding they aren't for Trump. The more Trump is exposed to a general electorate — at least in the early days of his time as the presumptive Republican nominee — the less that electorate likes him.
And what once looked like a historic success story is now looking more like a historic disaster.
Not only are Trump's poll numbers slipping, they are at a low that no one, Republican or Democrat, has seen in the past three election cycles. Looking at the window of time between 200 and 100 days before each of those elections, you can see that Trump has consistently polled worse than George W. Bush in 2004, John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.
And for very good reason. He's still running a low budget campaign. He doesn't have enough staff...
The current gap in ad spending exists because Trump can't or won't spend money on ads, just as he can't or won't spend money on staff. He will probably trail Clinton in fundraising even if he were to focus on it, and he has said in the past that he didn't need to spend because he got so much free media.
And his dependence on the MSM for free publicity is turning out to be another mistake. As the media start adjusting their coverage to the more balanced reporting of a general election campaign. And are reducing their live coverage of his rallies.
And then of course, there is the way that he has been putting his foot in his mouth. By attacking that distinguished Mexican-American judge, or suggesting that a popular President had something to do with the Orlando massacre.
And I like to think, as Paul Wells suggests, that the way he reacted to that tragedy may have helped seal his fate. By opening America's eyes to Trump's empty heart.
Trump clearly spent part of Sunday viewing the tragedy in Florida as his vindication. By the end of the week his erstwhile allies were shunning him and Americans were telling pollsters that whatever he’s peddling, they weren’t buying it.
I think this will turn out to have been a watershed moment in this election campaign — the moment it became clear that Trump’s bravado, so effective in the GOP primaries, won’t work with the broader electorate.
What’s missing for Trump? In short, it’s that feeling of shared humanity that thousands sought in downtown Orlando on Monday night. Simple empathy.
He lacked the empathy and the class to behave like Americans expect a President to behave in a time of tragedy...
By so doing he may have a convinced a lot of people that he is not fit to occupy the White House.
And most fatally, allowed Hillary Clinton to soften her hard image, by portraying herself as more human than he is...
While portraying Trump as an absolute monster...
Hard to believe it's only been a year since Trump announced his candidacy for president. https://t.co/fYf3Kep3Qe— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 17, 2016
At a moment of historic grief and distress for the American people, Donald Trump seemed uninterested in their basic humanity: the way they mourn, worry, trust, hope. That emptiness at the heart of him will be his downfall.
And should that prove to be the case, couldn't be for me a better ending to this American horror story.
A horrible tragedy revealed Donald Trump to be an absolute beast.
And all those poor gay people didn't die for nothing...
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