segunda-feira, 17 de outubro de 2016
Nicola Sturgeon to Americans: Don’t vote for Donald Trump / Donald Trump faces his fate
Donald Trump faces his fate
With three weeks to go, the Republican nominee stokes anger, conspiracy theories and chaos.
By ELI STOKOLS 10/17/16, 2:33 PM CET Updated 10/17/16, 7:11 PM CET
Donald Trump just had his worst week of his presidential campaign. Again.
With only 22 days until Election Day and early voting already underway in many places, Hillary Clinton has one last major hurdle to clear — the third debate on Wednesday in Las Vegas. Given Trump’s stunning and unmitigated three-week freefall since the first debate last month, it would likely take an almost unimaginable mistake by the over-prepared and risk-averse Clinton to give her opponent an opening to get back into contention.
“The race for the White House is over,” said Sarah Isgur-Flores, the deputy campaign manager for former GOP candidate Carly Fiorina. “Now, it’s just a question of the collateral damage.”
Factoring in new surveys released on Sunday, Clinton’s national lead over Trump now sits at 5.5 percentage points. And Trump’s already significant problems with female voters have only deepened after a week that saw nearly 10 women come forward with strikingly similar stories of Trump making unwanted sexual advances without consent—the very behavior he was recorded bragging about in a 2005 videotape that emerged 10 days ago and led many endangered Republicans to disavow their nominee. This, following a week in which Trump, taking Clinton’s bait from the first debate, attacked a former Miss Universe for gaining weight.
Now Trump enters the final three weeks down with more than 60 percent of voters viewing him unfavorably. Clinton, whose team is trying hard to just run out the clock, has a 20-point edge with women and has coalesced her party behind her while Trump’s percentage of support from Republicans dipped below the 80 percent mark. His disastrous October is giving Democrats late hopes of an electoral wave that could return their bygone majorities and even turn red states like Arizona, Georgia and Utah blue.
Indeed, the bigger question at this point is not whether Trump will lose but whether down-ballot Republicans can escape the blast radius come November. In the midst of Trump’s tailspin, Democrats are shifting resources and surrogates to swing states where they hope to pick up congressional seats. Michelle Obama admonished Trump for his alleged shameful behavior last week in New Hampshire, where Democrats are optimistic about ousting GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte. Next week, President Obama will rally supporters in Nevada, where Democrats are desperate to keep the Senate seat held by outgoing Minority Leader Harry Reid.
Even more consequential, however, is the open question facing the country itself that centers not on which party wins the White House and control of Congress but on the damage Trump appears intent on doing to the democratic process.
On Saturday, Trump escalated his months-long effort to undermine the legitimacy of the election itself—to plant the seeds of a narrative that would explain how a self-declared winner might lose big in the most public and consequential venture of his entire career.
Campaigning throughout New Hampshire and Maine, he spouted the same unsubstantiated claim that the election is “rigged” against him. “The election is being rigged by corrupt media pushing completely false allegations and outright lies in an effort to elect her president,” Trump said, referencing the numerous women who have come forward in recent days to say that Trump had groped or sexually assaulted them.
Trump, whose denial of such behavior in the second debate likely prompted his alleged victims to come forward, has continued to deny the claims on the stump, calling the women liars and even insinuating that their insufficient level of attractiveness by his measure should be taken as an air-tight alibi.
On Sunday, after lashing out at Saturday Night Live and Alec Baldwin’s over-the-top lampooning of the GOP nominee, Trump blamed the media for his drop in the polls: “Polls close, but can you believe I lost large numbers of women voters based on made up events THAT NEVER HAPPENED. Media rigging election!” he tweeted at 7:36 a.m. Sunday morning.
“If he never calls to concede, he’ll go down as one of the sorest of sore losers,” Ari Fleischer said of Donald Trump
Nearly an hour later, he followed with this: “Election is being rigged by the media, in a coordinated effort with the Clinton campaign, by putting stories that never happened into news!”
This vitriol toward the media has sparked new levels of hostility and invective from his supporters. While crowds engaged in roaring chants of “CNN sucks!” at events last week, others cursed and spat at reporters traveling with the candidate, even forcing police to escort the traveling press corps as it exited a rally in Cincinnati
“There’s no historical precedent for where we’re actually going here,” said Charlie Sykes, the long-time conservative radio host in Milwaukee who has been vociferously anti-Trump from the start. “The peaceful transfer of power in this country has always been taken for granted: look at Richard Nixon in 1960 or Al Gore in 2000. Donald Trump doesn’t care what he damages and I don’t know if we fully grasp how much long-term damage does he may do if the end goal is to alienate his core supporters from the American democratic process.”
Trump’s running mate, relegated again to clean-up duty, insisted Sunday that the GOP ticket would not challenge the legitimacy of the electoral result.
“We’ll respect the outcome of this election,” Mike Pence told CBS News’ John Dickerson on Face The Nation. “Let me be very clear. Donald Trump said in the first debate that we’ll respect the will of the American people in this election. The peaceful transfer of power is a hallmark of—of American history.”
Trump responded with another tweet attempting to concur with Pence’s explanation that the “rigging” claims stem from frustration with what they believe to be a biased news media, but his refusal to ditch the claim of fraud undercut Pence’s reassurance that the 2016 Republican ticket would not be the first since the Civil War to deny the electoral vote.
“This election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary – but also at many polling places – SAD,” Trump tweeted.
Trump’s manic turn shows no sign of abating over the final three weeks of the campaign, which will allow Clinton to continue running out the clock with a “four corners” offense and likely force already beleaguered Republicans to take shelter from his stream-of-consciousness rants and speeches guided by Breitbat publisher and current campaign CEO Steve Bannon.
After asserting in a speech Saturday that Clinton should be in jail and suggesting with no evidence that his 68-year-old opponent took performance-enhancing drugs ahead of the second debate, Trump heads Monday to Wisconsin, the home state of Speaker Paul Ryan, who has drawn the nominee’s ire for his partial disavowal; and he is likely to leave only more scorched earth in his wake.
“Many people predicted this, that he represented a systemic threat to the party and there’s no longer any denying that that’s exactly what has played out,” said Kevin Madden, a GOP communications guru who advised Mitt Romney’s campaign four years ago. “He has already had an impact on the profile of the Republican Party with voters. We just have to get through the next few weeks and then assess the damage. It’s going to be pretty severe.”