3. Pass the threshold test. My theory is that 2016 wants to be a change election. As stated above, the American public are hesitant to give any political party three consecutive presidential terms. What is more, many Americans feel unhappy about the direction of the nation. These factors should all favor an outsider candidate who is a change agent. And yet, Donald Trump has failed to fully capitalize on this. Instead of this election being a referendum on Hillary Clinton (who, for all practical purposes, should be seen as the “incumbent”), it has become a referendum on Trump. The reason is that he has not passed the threshold test, whereby he becomes minimally acceptable. He seems thin-skinned, irrational, and chaotic.
Most Americans are not yet comfortable with the idea of him as president. This has everything to do with his temperament. This point only reinforces everything I have written above: Between now and Election Day, Trump must run a disciplined campaign that eschews rants and cheap shots, and focuses like a laser on Clinton’s very real weaknesses.
… The amazing thing here is that Donald Trump is still in this game. But to pull it off, he would have to make significant changes. The challenge is that it’s very hard for someone who has been wildly successful using one playbook to admit that he must change in order to advance to the next level.