Suddenly, the stars are aligning for the Donald J. Trump Campaign for President. The Republican nominee is rising in the polls. According to the most recent LA Times/USC poll released September 9, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is only leading Trump by one point 45% to 44%. In addition, the most recent CNN/ORC poll released earlier this week actually has Trump leading Clinton by 1 point 49 to 48%. The CNN/ORC poll also showed that Trump is leading Clinton among Independents 49% to 29%, a 20-point advantage.
Support for Trump is also on the rise in the key battleground states. According to the Quinnipiac University Poll released September 8, Trump and Clinton are in a dead heat in Ohio where Trump leads Clinton 46 to 45% and in Florida where the two candidates are tied at 47%. Clinton currently has a five-point advantage over Trump in North Carolina where she is leading Trump 47% to 42% and in Pennsylvania where she is leading Trump 48 to 43%. Trump is also gaining support among key demographic groups. According to the Franklin Pierce University and Boston Herald Poll conducted between August 31 and September 4, “one- in-four African-Americans and one-in-three Latinos” favor Trump over Clinton. Trump’s rise in the polls coincides with the emergence of more scandals surrounding Hillary Clinton’s email server.
Newly released emails suggest that Hillary Clinton’s aide Philippe Reines staged Clinton’s first hearing in January 2013 on the Benghazi terrorist attack in 2012 by feeding specific topics Clinton wanted to address to Democratic Senator Robert Menendez (NJ) who was at the time acting chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
Donald Trump also benefited this week from several successful high profile communication forums. On Wednesday, Trump and Clinton participated in the Commander-in-Chief forum where they both separately fielded tough questions from NBC moderator Matt Lauer in a front of largely military audience. Following the event, most pundits declared that Trump more effectively responded to the questions than Clinton did. In a bizarre twist, Matt Lauer who is known for having liberal views, came under fire from the main stream media for being hard on Clinton and soft on Trump. Trump also received the support of 88 retired former military leaders this week.
Donald Trump delivered a detailed education policy speech on Thursday at The Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy, a charter school run by Accel Schools, an Arizona-based for-profit operator of charter schools. Trump introduced a plan that would award $20 million in block grants for low income children so that they can attend the school of their choice. Under Trump’s education proposal, the states would receive a block grant of funding to allocate to impoverished children, with the states responsible for determining the formula for the qualification threshold. Trump also proposed that the states contribute additional funding to the federal funding so that each student at the poverty level would receive up to $12,000 to put towards their education. All states would be encouraged to participate, but participation would be voluntary.
Trump also talked about making the existing federal funding which goes to impoverished students portable. Under current education laws, schools which have a significant percentage of students living at or below the poverty line receive what is known as “Title I” funding. The federal government currently spends about $14 billion or about $500 per student on Title I. Under Trump’s plan the existing “Title I” funds would also follow the student.
Donald Trump capped his week off Friday with a visit to the 11th Annual Voters Values Summit in Washington, the annual gathering of social and religious conservative organizations. Trump currently enjoys strong support among evangelical Christians. According to the most recent, CNN/ORC, Trump is supported by 73% of White evangelicals. At this event, Trump delivered a speech where he reiterated his position on repealing The Johnson Amendment, a change in the U.S. Tax code which was named for President Lyndon B. Johnson which prohibited tax-exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates. The Johnson Amendment has kept clergy people from publicly supporting political candidates because of fears that they might lose their organization’s tax exempt status. Trump told the Values Summit crowd, that repealing the Johnson Amendment “is the only way I am getting into heaven.”
Trump also had a good moment this week when he maintained his dignity following Hillary Clinton’s insulting Trump supporters at a fundraiser on Friday. “To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables,” Clinton said. “Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.” Clinton went onto say that these supporters were “irredeemable” and “Not America”. While Clinton eventually expressed regret for “being grossly generalistic” in her comments, she didn’t completely take back her statement. Trump essentially took the high road with a tweet. “While Hillary said horrible things about my supporters, and while many of her supporters will never vote for me, I still respect them all!” Trump said.
It clearly has been a great week for Donald Trump. He is rising in the polls, staying on message, delivering detailed policy proposals and appearing increasingly more presidential each day.