If multiple polls out Thursday are correct—showing the Democratic presidential ticket is leading Donald Trump in several key states by significant margins—do results reflect that voters have wised up to a professional conman like Trump trying to con the Khan family?
The parents of an Muslim Army captain killed in Iraq in 2004 took aim last week at the Donald for his ignorance of the U.S. Constitution and for living a privileged life with no sacrifices.
Three polls making headlines today show Donald Trump losing to Hillary Clinton by nine points in Michigan, 15 points in New Hampshire and 11 points in Pennsylvania. Mrs. Clinton and her running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, are whopping Trump and his ticket mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, 41 percent to 32 percent in a Detroit News poll of Michigan. While Trump won the GOP contest in Michigan, as did Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 60 percent of voters in Michigan say Trump is not qualified to be president.
In first-in-the-nation primary state New Hampshire, WBUR shows the Clinton, a former first lady and secretary of state, has opened up a 15 point lead [47 percent to 32 percent]. A Franklin and Marshall poll in Pennsylvania, one of three key battle ground states, shows Team Clinton enjoys an 11-point lead [49 percent to 38 percent].
In Ohio, maybe the biggest must-win state of them all, Trump and Clinton had been tied up until now, but it doesn’t take an election genius to envision those numbers breaking for the Democratic ticket in Ohio like polls showing what voters did in New Hampshire, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
As Trump impales himself on a nearly daily basis, the most recent being his non-endorsements of House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, and Vietnam war hero John McCain, an Arizona Republican, his top-of-the-ticket perch is causing great consternation with vulnerable GOP senators like Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.
Even though Sen. McCain said Wednesday that he intends to support the nominee of the party, Donald Trump, Sen. Portman has endorsed the New York billionaire and businessman folk hero while continuing to avoid any side-by-sides photo ops with the Donald. Portman distancing himself from Trump stands in stark contrast to his many clinging appearances with Mitt Romney in 2012.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich finds himself in a favorable position so far since he’s being perceived as “standing up to Trump.” Sen. Portman’s chief challenger, Ted Strickland, a former Democratic governor, has attacked Portman for his endorsement of Trump and for not following the lead of his political bosom buddy Kasich, who isn’t standing up for Trump for the same reasons Democrats are battering him.
“As long as Senator Portman is continuing to support Donald Trump for President his words are feeble, empty and meaningless.,” Strickland said in a statement on the Trump/Khan imbroglio. “Ohioans must be wondering which Portman to believe: the one who said just a week ago he was ‘all in’ for Trump, or the cowardly, calculated politician who — after 48 hours of silence — is trying to desperately distance himself from his own endorsement of the most toxic and divisive presidential nominee in modern history. If there is a shred of sincerity behind Portman’s statement, he would show the same kind of courage that Republican Gov. Kasich has and retract his endorsement of Trump today.” Strickland first called on Senator Portman to retract his endorsement of Trump in June.
Reports say House Democrats are launching a Twitter ad blitz against the Donald in 15 districts and D.C. Politico reported one Democratic Congressional Committee Campaign staffer saying Republicans will be attacked with ads for Trump’s attacks on the Khan family.
“The message behind the ad applies perfectly to the Gold Star Khan family issue that all GOPers are facing: If Trump is your standard-bearer, then what happened to your standards?,” Politico reported.
Trump has been embroiled in a nasty exchange with Khizr Khan, who spoke to the nation at the Democrat’s recently concluded nominating convention in Philadelphia.
Portman’s skittishness to be close to Trump only fans the story that Republicans are not united behind their presidential nominee. With vulnerable candidates like Portman opting out of full-throated endorsements of the Donald, Trump says his campaign “has never been more united.” At a rally in Daytona Beach, Florida, Trump said “the campaign is doing really well,” the AP reported. “I would say right now it’s the best we’ve been in terms of being united,” Trump said.
Now that Trump’s con didn’t con the Khan family, can he really be expected to successfully con the national voter base going forward? With fewer than 100 days to Election Day on November 8, can Sen. Portman continue to con voters that he’s both with and not with Donald Trump?