On Monday, at a rally in Estero, Florida, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump read ‘The Snake’ poem in order to make a point about Syrian refugees.
The reading was reminiscent of a speech he gave in January where he read the exact same poem also to slam Syrian refugees.
The poem is the latest in a series of apparently ill-advised moves that Trump has made, a sign that his campaign management may not be as strategically savvy as they are touted to be.
While such attacks typically fire up his base, they have been very ineffective when it comes to independent voters, and even moderate republicans. Additionally, by painting entire groups with a single brush — such as calling all Syrian refugees snakes — he may be walking into his Democratic opponent’s claims about his ‘deplorable’ conduct.
While Hillary Clinton received some criticism, mostly from Trump and his supporters, regarding her comment that half of Trump supporters fall into a ‘basket of deplorables,’ she only walked back quantifying the number of Trump supporters that fall into her ‘basket.’ Later, both Clinton, personally, and her campaign challenged Trump to engage regarding Clinton’s comment. Clinton’s challenge along with the virtual silence from Republican leaders regarding Clinton’s comment may be a sign that this is a fight Trump is very likely to lose.
Calling all Syrian refugees snakes is very unlikely to have advanced Trump’s cause. While such comments ignite his supporters, they likely also ignite the voters he needs for a victory in November to walk away from him.
After nearly two months at the helm, the new management of the Trump campaign has a sufficient track record to demonstrate its ineptitude. As much as they have been able to have Trump be scripted continuously, and despite the fact that Hillary Clinton has had some of the worst weeks of her entire campaign, they have failed to put together a message that garners much needed new support for their candidate. Quite to the contrary, Trump’s support has remained virtually the same, meaning that even when voters walk away from Clinton, they cannot bring themselves to support Trump. Instead, these voters seem to be throwing their support behind third parties.
This news is certainly not good for Hillary Clinton. However, it is even more ominous for Trump. These voters have made it clear that they are wavering between a third party and Clinton. However, they have also made it clear that they are ‘Never Trump’ people as they have clearly decided that they would rather support third parties instead of Trump. Besides the obvious, the reason this is particularly bad news for Trump is that historically, support for third parties drops as the election gets closer because many voters ultimately decide that they do not want to vote for a ticket that is obviously going to lose. This will likely be a significant boost to Clinton if she runs a smart campaign.
With the numbers being what they are, and Trump either trailing or running neck and neck in states that are must wins for him, any tilting of the electorate toward Clinton can spell disaster for Trump.
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Slant.