“Trump 2.0” can’t just be better speeches

In a pair of posts, John has praised a pair of speeches by Donald Trump — one in Wisconsin and the other in North Carolina. And rightly so; they are good speeches.

John says the Wisconsin speech contains the message that will win Trump the presidency if voters hear it. The proviso is important because, as John points out, the Democratic Party media will do everything possible to prevent Trump’s message from being heard.

Will Trump win if his core message gets through? Or has the electorate already made up its mind that Trump should not be elected president?

I don’t know.

But it’s clear to me if John’s view is to be tested, Trump will need to get his message out via massive advertising on television. The mainstream media was happy to give Trump a forum when he was knocking out potential GOP candidates who posed a strong threat to Hillary Clinton. Now that Trump is the Republican candidate, the media isn’t interested in airing Trump’s message. It can exploit Trump for ratings just as well or better by treating his campaign as a soap opera (which it is, to some extent) rather than a substantive endeavor (which it also is, to some extent).

Does Team Trump recognize this reality? It seems to. The candidate regularly complains about the coverage he gets and the obvious bias of the mainstream media.

But where is independent effort to get Trump’s message out? By this stage of presidential campaign, I usually see constant television advertising (e.g., during the Olympics and other sports events) in an effort to woo voters in Northern Virginia.

This year, nothing.

A friend who was recently in North Carolina told me he neither saw nor heard a Trump ad. It’s nice that Trump delivered one of the two speeches John praised in Charlotte. But how many North Carolina voters heard it?

Maybe Trump is advertising on the air to a significant degree in certain other states. However, he trails Clinton in Virginia and (narrowly) in North Carolina, both of which are, or recently have been, battleground states. I don’t see Trump losing both states and winning the presidency.

Trump’s poll numbers seem to have improved ever so slightly in recent days. Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight says that Clinton doesn’t have the race locked up. But it seems to me that if Trump is to make a race of it, needs to get on the airwaves and do so soon.

Responses