Sunday, October 16, 2016

The art of the feel: Trump gropes for credibility
on Twitter as polls plummet


IT'S GETTING ugly, and desperate, for Team Trump. As the cascade of sexual assault allegations against the Republican nominee for president slow down the Trump juggernaut, the Midnight Tweeter and his proxies have stepped up attacks on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, including claims of election “rigging” and a flat-out call for Frankenstein-mob anarchy in the U.S.A.

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows Clinton pulling away from The Donald, in no small part due to the 2005 Trump/Billy Bush tape in which Trump made insanely unsavory remarks about women. Never mind the numerous claims from former Trump employees and associates who allege Trump’s proclivity for unsolicited kissing, groping and fondling members of the opposite sex was never a one-time thing.

The poll, released Sunday, 23 days before the election, shows Clinton leading Trump by 11 points, with 47 percent among likely voters, compared to Trump’s 37 percent. The poll of 905 likely voters conducted between Oct. 10-13, reflects a big jump in Clinton support from a 6-point lead in a previous poll.

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The survey found that 64 percent of respondents were concerned about the tape — no doubt including some of the college-educated women voters still said to be undecided. About a third of the people responding to the poll said the 2005 tape’s contents should be grounds for Trump exiting the race.

Significantly, this poll didn’t break before or after a bout of bad news: Most of the bad news is baked into respondents’ beliefs, since it was released after the second presidential debate and release of the Trump/Bush tape. The rest of any nasty polling results could come with the next NBC/WSJ poll, when the full weight of the sexual assault allegations plays a part in poll respondents’ answers.

But it’s all led to twitterverse desperation from the Trump camp. First, on Saturday, David A. Clarke Jr., sheriff of Milwaukee County (Wisc.), one of Trump’s few visible African American supporters and a high-profile campaign water carrier who spoke at the Republican National Convention, tweeted a call to arms.


(Fans of fire safety might be advised to avoid Milwaukee County; there’s apparently no law against open flames in large public crowds.)

Clarke doubled down on his Saturday tweets with one on Sunday:



But Trump remains the winner and still champeen in Twitter posts. Pretty much as the NBC/WSJ poll went public, The Donald took to the twitterverse to claim that the election is “absolutely” being rigged “at many polling places.”


That followed his attack on Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of trump on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”: “Time to retire the boring and unfunny show. Alec Baldwin portrayal stinks. Media rigging election!”

We can expect this twitshow to continue the closer we get to Election Day; the public’s suspicions of Trump having long ago mastered the art of the feel over the 40 years of his public life aren’t going to stop now. Watch this space.

Image credits: Tweets by their respective creators. 

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