Bannon compared this point in the midterm re-election to August 2016, when Trump trailed Hillary Clinton by double digits and everyone expected him to be trounced. Except this time he’s effectively running against Nancy Pelosi, the former (and perhaps future) House Speaker, who would lead a hypothetical impeachment crusade. “She’s the Hillary,” Bannon said. “She’s got some of the same tendencies!” That’s where the specter of impeachment comes into place. “You want her program? Impeach Trump and you got her,” Bannon explained. “When you focus on impeachment, it’s a game changer. It’s an emotional issue that raises the stakes.” To hold on to the House and Senate in November, Bannon said, Trump needs to follow the same strategy he employed in the home stretch of 2016: drive hard toward his base. “This is a ‘deplorable-plus electorate.’ What I mean is, it’s deplorables plus Reagan Democrats and guys who voted for Trump who vote never. You bring them out in an off year.” I asked Bannon about the risk of losing suburban women. He shrugged off the voting bloc as immaterial, a thing of the past. “The Republican college-educated woman is done,” he said. “They’re gone. They were going anyway at some point in time. Trump triggers them. This is now the Trump movement.” Bannon said that Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court will help win back some suburban Republicans. “Republicans will come home. Dude, you got Gorsuch and Kavanaugh back to back,” he told me. At a minimum, Kavanaugh’s nomination will “ensure they don’t vote for Democrats.”
The day after his speech in Phoenix, Trump made his first presidential visit to Nevada (a swing state) for an American Legion event in Reno. Unlike during the previous night's rally, Trump did not attack Governor Brian Sandoval and Senator Dean Heller, two Republican politicians in attendance who have stood in opposition to some of the healthcare proposals championed by the president.
But a closer look at conservative rhetoric in recent years reveals that “Make America Great Again” was not Trump’s invention. It evolved from a phrase that became central to the Republican establishment during the Obama years: “American exceptionalism.” People often equate the expression with the notion that God made America “a city upon a hill,” in the words of the Puritan colonist John Winthrop. However, as University of California-Berkeley sociology professor Jerome Karabel noted in a 2011 article, this usage only came into vogue after Barack Obama became president. Previously it was mainly used by academics to mean that America is an exception compared with other Western democracies, for better or worse, as illustrated by its top-notch universities or its bare-bones gun control.
Mr. Booker, a New Jersey senator, has seemingly been running for president since he was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford in the ’90s. But some of the well-heeled backers he picked up along the way — including Big Pharma and Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump — are now political poison in a Democratic primary. He may end up spending as much time distancing himself from his old supporters as cultivating new ones.
Trump is a Presbyterian. His ancestors were Lutheran on his paternal grandfather's side in Germany and Presbyterian on his mother's side in Scotland. His parents married in a Manhattan Presbyterian church in 1936. As a child, he attended the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens, where he had his confirmation. In the 1970s, his parents joined the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan, part of the Reformed Church. The pastor at Marble, Norman Vincent Peale, ministered to Trump's family and mentored him until Peale's death in 1993. Trump has cited Peale and his works during interviews when asked about the role of religion in his personal life. In August 2015 Trump told reporters, "I am Presbyterian Protestant. I go to Marble Collegiate Church," adding that he attends many different churches because he travels a lot. The Marble Collegiate Church then issued a statement noting that Trump and his family have a "longstanding history" with the church, but that he "is not an active member".
Pence’s political brain is a 36-year-old operative named Nick Ayers. During his meteoric rise to the top echelon of Republican strategists, Ayers developed a reputation as something of a Georgia-born Sammy Glick that left him with powerful enemies, including his colleagues in the West Wing. “Everybody knows Nick is not loyal to the president,” an administration official told me. “Trump thinks Nick is a backstabber. He does not trust him at all.” In August 2017, the Times reported that Ayers and Pence adviser Marty Obst were privately courting G.O.P. donors for a possible Pence run in 2020. Trump became furious this past April when he learned that Ayers had persuaded Pence to recruit a pollster named Jon Lerner to join the V.P.’s staff. According to a source briefed on the conversations, Kellyanne Conway told Trump that Lerner was a Never Trumper who’d once worked for Paul Singer, the G.O.P. mega-donor who funded the conservative politics website Free Beacon, which commissioned the oppo research firm that later produced the infamous Christopher Steele dossier. “Why would Mike do that?” Trump reportedly asked advisers. Lerner backed out of the job.
“The Most Important Election of Our Lives.” That's my new column, and you hear it every time, but this year really is the most important contest in decades (or at least since 2016). Truth and accountability are on the ballot, and since that's the driving force for all of us at MoJo, I am going to make an ask: Will you pitch in $5 a month to support our kick-ass and uncompromising journalism today?
Trump's supporters have some legitimate grievances. Wages for low-skilled work are depressed, and no longer can a man with a high school education or less expect to work in a factory his entire life and still support his family and retire with dignity. While much of the country is living longer, working-class white men without college degrees are now dying sooner than they used to. The promise of upward mobility is shrinking.
But instead of blaming the political forces that cut holes in the social safety net (if such a safety net was even built in the first place) and that prioritized the desires of the wealthiest segments of American society while the working class withered — those "political forces" would be the Republican Party — Trump supporters blame the long-oppressed groups who have finally gotten a toehold on the American dream. Trump promises his supporters that if he's elected, he will put them back on top. The problem is that "back on top" means stepping over those who don't share their race and gender.
Trump has often referred to the press as "fake news media" and "the enemy of the people". He has privately and publicly mused about taking away critical reporters' White House press credentials (despite, during his campaign, promising not to do so once he became president). On his first day in office, Trump falsely accused journalists of understating the size of the crowd at his inauguration, and called the media "among the most dishonest human beings on earth".
The data tell conflicting stories. Mueller’s approval rating has indeed sunk under the weight of Trump’s withering Twitter barrage, but some analyses suggest that Stepien and DeStefano are engaged in magical thinking. An NBC News poll in late June reported that only a third of voters in the swing states of Arizona, Ohio, and Florida felt Trump deserved to be re-elected. Trump’s immigration crackdown also sent his numbers crashing, if perhaps only temporarily. A Gallup survey conducted days after the Duluth speech recorded a four-point drop in his approval rating, to 41 percent; while his disapproval numbers spiked five points. Seventy-five percent of voters said immigration was a “good thing.” Trump’s siding with Putin over America’s intelligence agencies at the Helsinki summit had the rare effect of bringing Democrats and Republicans together against him. But one lesson of 2016 is that numbers like that may not mean very much when it comes to Trump. Everyone knows unicorns aren’t real, and yet, there it was.
Trump held his eighth campaign rally on August 22 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. The rally was the campaign's first event in the Western United States. Before attending the rally, Trump toured a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility. In addition to the president, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson also spoke at the rally, with Carson's appearance being criticized as possibly in violation of the Hatch Act of 1939 due to his status as current HUD secretary. Phoenix's Mayor Greg Stanton had repeatedly asked that Trump postpone the event after the protests in Charlottesville.
A caravan of more than 1,500 Honduran migrants moves north after crossing the border from Honduras into Guatemala on Oct. 15, 2018 in Esquipulas, Guatemala. The caravan, the second of 2018, began Friday in San Pedro Sula, Honduras with plans to march north through Guatemala and Mexico en route to the United States. Honduras has some of the highest crime and poverty rates in Latin America. Moises Castillo, AP