Look closely at the screencap and you’ll see he listed the date mistakenly as “August 3, 2015,” which I believe makes this non-binding. TRUMP WINS AGAIN.

In all seriousness, I was kind of hoping he’d walk out to the podium, produce the pledge, then wipe himself with it. That’s how much it’s worth. Instead, this:

Statement from Donald J. Trump on Signing the RNC Pledge

It is my great honor to pledge my total support and loyalty to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stands. This is far and away the best way to secure victory against the Democrats in November 2016. I am leading in all local and national polls — my whole life has been about winning and this is what must be done in order to win the election and, most importantly, to Make America Great Again!

Joshua Green of Bloomberg argues that this may well amount to Trump signing his own political death warrant because, supposedly, all the grassroots righties who dig his indie cred will be disappointed that he’s sold out to the DC RINO hivemind. Eh. It’s certainly true that refusing to sign would have put a little more polish on his outlaw image, but no one expects him to take the pledge seriously. If he gets any in any trouble for it with Trump fans, all he needs to do is say that he’s committed to turning the Republican Party into the Trump Party instead of building the Trump Party from the ground up. It’s a hostile takeover of the GOP, he’ll say. He won’t lose a single vote for it. On the contrary, the only reason for Trump to play along with this dopey stunt is if he had reason to believe from his polling that his flirtation with an independent candidacy was holding him back with some GOP voters. That problem is (momentarily) solved. If anything, it’s the RNC that’s following strange logic here. Their one big talking point against Trump was that he wasn’t a committed Republican and might even screw all of conservative America next year by running third-party and enabling a Clinton win. Now that’s off the table, at least in theory. What’s their argument against him at this point?

Elsewhere in Trump news, a new poll from Monmouth has him cruising in the lead with 30 percent of the vote. Only Ben Carson, at 18 percent, cracks double digits among the rest of the field. When asked if they’d prefer someone from outside government who can bring a new approach to D.C. or someone with experience in government who knows how to get things done, Republicans split … 67/26. Trump may fade and Carson seems wildly implausible as nominee, but I don’t know how any of the professional pols in the field climb that mountain. Maybe Carly Fiorina, the most polished non-politician of the group, will break out once a big audience gets a look at her in the next debate. In the meantime, though, Trump is stomping everyone head to head — except the good doctor, who stomps him by nearly 20 points.

mm

Carson’s favorable rating is an astounding 67/6. Trump finally took a shot at him yesterday, telling the Daily Caller that Carson’s a wonderful guy but that doctors don’t know how to create jobs. That’s probably his best play against someone who’s so well liked — terrific man, but wrong skill set for this job. But then, the people backing Carson already know what he does for a living and have found that no obstacle for the job. Who’s going to dump Carson upon being reminded that he’s “merely” a world-famous neurosurgeon? Besides, Carson has an easy zinger available when he’s asked about what Trump said: “How hard can creating jobs be? It ain’t brain surgery.”

Here’s Trump pledging his allegiance to the Republican Party, an organization despised by pretty much everyone in the United States apart from its own leadership. He signed a second copy of the pledge with the correct date at some point this afternoon, so if you were hung up on the date thing that I mentioned up top, forget it. Oh, one other detail about that Monmouth poll: Scott Walker’s now down to … three percent. I looked back at McCain’s polling in the 2008 election, remembering that he had a terrible rough patch at one point, to see how low he fell before rebounding to win the nomination. Unless I missed something, McCain never dipped lower than seven percent in 2007. I wonder if any presidential candidate, widely acknowledged as a top-tier threat to win upon his entry into the race, has ever fallen as low as Walker and then come back to win the primaries.