Donald Trump’s allies are pushing for the president to make major changes to his reelection campaign, including a staff shake-up, as he continues to trail in the polls and has failed to find his footing for a message like he did successfully in 2016.
‘If the election was today, we are in big trouble,’ a person close to Trump told The Washington Post in a report published Monday.
‘Thankfully, it is not,’ the individual continued.
The campaign has made some serious staff changes recently in hiring and promoting operatives who worked on Trump’s campaign four years ago.
This effort included adding Trump’s embattled 2016 campaign’s senior adviser Jason Miller to the team. The aide found himself embroiled in controversy in the last election when his wife and mistress became pregnant at the same time.
Allies and advisers are also encouraging the president to deploy a more disciplined message and demeanor, including targeting his rhetoric toward distinguishing himself from presumed Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Donald Trump’s aides, advisers and allies are encouraging him to make major campaign changes, including a staff shake-up and honing his messaging against Joe Biden
The effort included adding embattled 2016 campaign senior adviser Jason Miller to the team
Advisers want Trump to focus on three main pillars: That he will create more jobs than Biden, will be tougher on China than Biden and keep Americans safer than Biden
Mostly, aides want the president to hone his message on three main targets before November – that he will create more jobs than Biden, will be tougher on China than Biden and will keep Americans safer than Biden.
Recent poll numbers, including Trump campaign internal polling, show the president trailing Biden and losing traction in some key battleground states that he won in 2016.
Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign adviser, rejected public polling as ‘fake.’
‘We know we are in solid shape in all of our key states, and no amount of fake, narrative-setting media polls can ever change that,’ Parscale said in an email to the Post.
Several Trump allies are skeptical of the public polling, and referenced polls in key states he ended up winning that underestimated his support in 2016.
They also claim internal polling the president is seeing is less grim than the public surveys.
‘Over the past four months, the president’s support among Republican voters has ranged between 90 and 94 percent consistently,’ Tony Fabrizio, the campaign’s chief pollster, said in referencing the campaign’s internal polls.
‘As of our most recent polling, it stands at 94 percent,’ he continued, asserting that they have seen no erosion in the president’s political base.
Trump lauded his party’s approval rating on Monday morning, claiming the 5 per cent of Republicans who do not support him are so called ‘RINOS,’ which stands for Republicans In Name Only, or ‘stupid people.’
‘95% Approval Rating of President Trump in the Republican Party. I would imagine the 5% are the RINOS’ and stupid people who don’t want to see great Judges & Supreme Court Justice’s, a new & powerful Military, Choice for Vets, 2A Protection, big RegulationCuts, Life, & much more!’ Trump tweeted.
The efforts also come as Trump continues to slip in the polls, with even some internal polling showing him losing to Biden
Trump lauded his approval among those in his own party, claiming the 5 per cent of Republicans who do no approve of him are ‘stupid’
Trump also claimed his internal poll numbers are ‘very good’
Longtime Trump confidant and Chief Executive of NewsMax Chris Ruddy said, ‘The campaign is hyper-focused on playing to the base — I think it’s a mistake.’
‘Politics are about addition, not subtraction,’ he continued. ‘In this environment, the president has to do a lot of plus plus plus addition signs right now with every group that he possibly can.’
The president also asserted Monday morning that his internal poll numbers are actually ‘very good.’
‘Sorry to inform the Do Nothing Democrats, but I am getting VERY GOOD internal Polling Numbers,’ he tweeted. ‘Just like 2016, the @nytimes Polls are Fake! The @FoxNews Polls are a JOKE!’
‘Do you think they will apologize to me & their subscribers AGAIN when I WIN?’ the president asked of his former favorite news network. ‘People want LAW, ORDER & SAFETY!’
Several White House and campaign officials told the Post that Trump has surveyed his advisers on whether he should make changes to the campaign – and claims there are ongoing discussions on how to improve the president’s political standing.
Advisers claim that Trump and his campaign team have made it his priority to find a new way to negatively define his Democratic competitor.
The president has been floating new nicknames for Biden, rather than the tried and true ‘Sleep Joe,’ which Trump feels so far is the most damaging and has been urged to stop using.
Trump also has wondered to advisers if he should test out ‘Swampy Joe,’ in reference to him calling the Washington, D.C. political establishment ‘the swamp,’ or switch back to ‘Creepy Joe.’
On Sunday, Trump referred to the unofficial Democrat candidate as ‘Corrupt Joe’ in a tweet.
Campaign officials are struggling on how to best focus attacks on Biden, 77, as the president often attacks his mental capacity – a strategy some say could alienate older voters, which are some of his most loyal supporters, even though the president is a senior himself at 74-years-old.
Executive director of the Florida Democratic Party Juan Peñalosa told the Post that seniors say they are worried about the economy and angry about the coronavirus response.
‘They are angry because they feel as if they are prisoners in their own home and they can’t see their grandchildren,’ Peñalosa said. ‘And they blame Trump for this.’
Trump has also been warned not to play the victim card or display self-pity publicly.
Biden took aim at Trump during a Thursday trip to Pennsylvania, claiming he is handling the coronavirus ‘like a child who can’t believe this has happened to him.’
‘All his whining and self-pity,’ Biden complained. ‘This pandemic didn’t happen to him. It happened to all of us. And his job isn’t to whine about it. His job is to do something about it, to lead.’