Ed mentioned this in his post on the NBC poll earlier but I want to flag it as confirmation of what I wrote last night. The fact that 52 percent of Republicans “would have preferred” someone else as nominee doesn’t mean that 52 percent prefer someone else now.
In fact, knowing that 45 percent say they’re satisfied with Trump as nominee, we can guesstimate from the numbers below that something like an additional 20 percent of Republicans remain unsatisfied but nonetheless believe that nominating him is the least bad option that the party has at this late date.
If those numbers were pointing the other way, the RNC and reluctant Trump voters among the delegates would have something to think about in Cleveland next month. As it is, what’s left of the argument for dumping him? That he’s an “impetuous, vicious, ignorant and anti-constitutional man”? That’s the way Republican primary voters wanted it, bro.
In fact, in case it wasn’t already obvious that his nomination’s a cinch, the fact that former members of Team Cruz are now buying in should be the icing on the cake:
Jason Miller, who was the senior communications adviser for Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, will take the lead role over the Trump campaign’s message and interactions with the news media.
More hires are expected to be announced soon, including state directors, campaign aides told Bloomberg Politics. The news comes a week after Trump fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, creating a wave of upheaval at Trump headquarters.
Trump made that move to show wary Republicans that he’s ready finally to professionalize his team, just as Paul Manafort has been promising Republican leaders he would do — eventually. Another step in that direction is Trump quietly building out his digital operations, from online fundraising to exploring new hires related to data-harvesting and microtargeting, something the campaign barely made a pretense of doing when they were still following Corey Lewandowski’s “let Trump be Trump” playbook. Anti-Trumpers are planning to make two core arguments against Trump at the convention: (1) The polls already prove he can’t win, and (2) he’s not even interested in building a disciplined, professional, competitive campaign. Trump is now in the process of taking the second argument away from them and the fact that he remains close to Clinton in battleground state polls will go a long way towards taking away the first. If you’re a #NeverTrumper, the best you can hope for in Cleveland, I think, is a “minority report” from the Rules Committee that forces a floor vote of all the delegates on whether they should unbind themselves to vote their consciences. That vote will almost certainly fail but you’ll at least have the minor satisfaction of dissenters getting to register their objection formally.
Exit question: This same NBC poll has Clinton within eight points of Trump among white voters, a group Romney won by 20. Meanwhile, an ABC poll has Hillary leading Trump on various questions related to terrorism, including who handled the aftermath of the Orlando attack better. How can Trump possibly win an election, notwithstanding how close the battleground polls are, if he’s weak in his core demographic and on one of his core strongman issues?