The closer we get to July 18 and the Republican convention, the more Donald Trump’s popularity slumps. According to a study carried out by ABC News and the Washington Post, seven out of 10 Americans are opposed the election of the real estate magnate. On June 20, only 39.4 percent of those surveyed said they would vote for Trump, compared to 45 percent who said they would vote for his Democrat rival, Hillary Clinton. The previous month, the same institute placed the two candidates neck and neck at 43 percent. Donald Trump has gone back to his old mistakes.
An Under-Financed Presidential Campaign
Never has a Republican candidate running in the presidential election started off a campaign with so little funding. Trump has only $3 million in his war chest. Hillary Clinton has $42 million in total. Vincent Michelot, specialist in American political history and professor at the Institute of Political Studies in Lyon, explains to Libération that Donald Trump “did not develop a sufficient network of donors during the primaries. He is financing his own campaign and counting on the media to take care of his advertising campaign for free. He did not anticipate that he would have to finance a general election that is much more expensive than the primaries.”
The candidate is now counting on the Republican National Committee, which leads the party at the national level. Notably, he has entrusted the management of his campaign in the swing states, which are crucial in order to secure a win, to the committee. “Normally, it’s the opposite,” our specialist remarks. “It is down to Trump to provide the committee with the campaign funds for Republican candidates for the House of Representatives and the Senate.”
The Orlando Shooting: One Attack Too Many Against Muslims
From the day after the massacre in Orlando that saw 49 people killed in a gay bar, Donald Trump has reiterated his attacks on Muslims, cranking the violence up a notch. “When I’m elected I will suspend immigration from areas of the world where there’s a record of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies,” he promised in a speech, repeating his intention to prevent Muslims from being able to enter the United States.
It was a speech that cost him dearly in the polls. “Donald Trump has reverted to the same approach to his campaign that he took during the primaries. Now he has to convince the entire country. He can no longer make do with sweeping statements,” explains Soufian Alsabbagh, specialist in American politics and author of The New American Right.
Campaign Director ‘Not Up to the Task’
Trump’s strategy is to always be the center of attention. During the primaries, the Republican was constantly in meetings or doing television interviews, never hesitating to call the sets of political television shows directly and racking up shocking statements. Corey Lewandowski was at the helm of this communication campaign. In March, he was accused of assaulting a journalist during a meeting in Florida.
Lewandowski was a campaign director who had never directed a presidential campaign. He caused controversy within the party because he never tempered his candidate’s explosive character. In short, he was not “up to the task” according to Trump’s three children, who have had a significant presence in their father’s campaign. He was finally fired on Monday. In Soufian Alsabbagh’s opinion, this is proof that the billionaire is beginning to make his campaign more professional to give him presidential stature. “Making this decision shows that Donald Trump understands that he must target Americans as a collective, and not just Republicans.”
Judge Curiel, Accused of Partiality for Being ‘Mexican’
As of June 3, the candidate for the White House, often criticized for his racist and xenophobic statements, is now the subject of accusations from his own party. Accused by more than 5,000 students of scamming them through Trump University, he attacked federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was leading the prosecution, pointing out his Mexican origins.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he confirmed that there was an “absolute conflict of interest” in this trial due to the “Mexican origins” of the judge who would be against him because of his plan for a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. These proposals have outraged certain members of the Republican Party. However, the candidate is aware of the need to unify his party to beat Hillary Clinton. “In May, when he was sure of a win in the primaries, Trump promised to change, to repair his relationship with the Republicans who he had not hesitated to humiliate during the campaign,” recalls Vincent Michelot. “But his reaction when criticized has been ‘either you shut up, or I win on my own.’”