August 18

Can Trump Turn It Around?

Donald Trump has built his campaign promising his loyal voters that he is a winner. If all he does is win, which he promises he does, then there’s no way he can lose to Hilary Clinton. After the Republican National Convention, Trump’s poll numbers showed that this might be true. In what is considered his most thought out, presidential speech yet, Trump’s poll numbers for the first time surpassed Clinton’s. And not just from far right pollsters, on the Real Clear Politics national average. It was all everyone could talk about leading up to the Democratic National Convention. And then Clinton was delivered another blow-the DNC email hack. This showed the DNC showing Clinton preferential treatment. While this could not be blamed on her, the Sanders supporters did anyway, and if there was any time Trump could have won them over-that would have been it.

Instead, Trump took the carefully placed bait of Khizr Khan, father of a killed Muslim US soldier, throwing hits at the presidential candidate. Instead of rising above and thanking Khan for his son’s service, Trump slipped up and compared his service to his creation of jobs. While circling back every hard question to the economy is normally a good plan that diverts the question- this time, it opened a can of worms. For many Republicans, this was the final straw.

Trump’s weeks just got worse. He took to Twitter to give out all of his statements, and watched his poll numbers continue to drop. Then, there were ties that Manafort was connected to the Russian government and some questionable business in Ukraine. While Manafort was the one who was supposed to be making Trump more presidential, this seemed like a scandal about to erupt. So this week, Trump changed his campaign around again. And now, he is faced with more bad criticism.

Trump hired Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster, to be his campaign manager. While she has never had experience in this field, many are left wondering what went behind this decision process. Next, you have Stephen Bannon, a chief executive of Breitbart News. The website Breitbart is an open supporter of Donald Trump. But to many, it rings more like a propaganda website than a credible news source.

This right now, as written, may seem like the final nail in Trump’s coffin. How could someone continue to break every campaign rule in the books and hire two individuals with no campaign resume?

Maybe, because Trump figures he has nothing left to lose. He hired the Republican insider, and his poll numbers sank. Trump has relied on his populist campaign style to win more Republican votes than any other candidate in history. And while those with the same beliefs hang out in the same circles, it is hard to imagine that so many Americans out there do not care who is on Trump’s campaign staff-they just care that he promises to make them rich. Just like on the Apprentice, his popular TV show, Trump is going to give Americans the chance to live like him. These other details-not so important.

And maybe they are right. Maybe Trump will break the precedence rules that have kept things seemingly stagnant in Washington, and shake things up in DC. And maybe, that is what the country needs. Maybe these two new additions to the team will bring a new perspective, and they will allow Trump to really hone in on what he does best- selling himself. Bannon will know how to push headlines, and Conway will know how to push polls- these are two things Trump is desperate for in order to turn his campaign around.

A lot can change in two months. While Trump seems down, he absolutely can make a come back. And the difference between Trump and other political candidates is that he is not afraid to try something new. While so many people think the move is crazy, like so many entrepreneurs who try something out of the ordinary, it will later be called genius. The status quo is not working anymore for numerous Americans, and Trump is breaking the status quo constantly throughout his campaign. As this is a huge risk- he will either shock us all on November 8th, or prove the political elite right. Only one way to find out.