Friday, 15 July 2016 13:39

With Hillary email-gate, polls, Pence, Trump on a Roll in time for RNC Convention

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trump campaignSeveral weeks ago, the media reported that Donald Trump's campaign was on life support. Polls showed him losing to Hillary Clinton by ever greater margins. He was blasted for his aggressive response to the terror attack in Orlando and he continued to receive criticism over his comments regarding the Hispanic judge handling the Trump University case. The media was also fixated on an anti-Hillary tweet that supposedly featured the Star of David with images of cash in the background. Trump denied the charge, but had to deal with the media fallout for weeks.

In the meantime, Hillary was castigated, but exonerated, by the FBI Director for her handling of classified and top secret emails. The Attorney General decided not to pursue charges against Hillary after a controversial tarmac meeting with former President Bill Clinton. This was viewed very negatively by the American people who rightly perceived that Hillary received preferential treatment because of her political influence. The decision reeked of a double standard of justice, which is anathema to Americans who care about fairness in our criminal justice system.

Not surprisingly, polls showed that a strong majority of Americans believe that Hillary should have been charged in the email caper and that her trustworthiness numbers continued to plummet. The result was that Hillary's national poll numbers versus Trump started to drop significantly. In the latest Rasmussen poll, Trump received a new high of 44%, with a strong 7% edge over Clinton. Also, recent Quinnipiac University polls placed Trump with a slight lead in the key swing states of Florida and Ohio and tied with Clinton in Pennsylvania, a state Republicans have not won 1988.

As his poll numbers have surged, Trump has been in the media spotlight making a very public decision on his vice presidential running mate. Today, it was finally officially announced that Indiana Governor Mike Pence would be selected. Pence is a safe choice, not flashy, but solidly conservative and considered an evangelical favorite. It will help Trump unify the party and bring aboard former Ted Cruz supporters who may still be upset with the presumptive nominee. While some people wanted Trump to pick former House Speaker Newt Gingrich or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Trump obviously viewed Pence as less of a risk and a dependable advocate who would be able to persuasively make the campaign's case to the American people.

Yesterday, there was more good news for Trump as the RNC Rules Committee overwhelmingly rejected the demands of the “Never Trump” contingent to unbind delegates and allow them to vote their conscience. If the unwise effort would have succeeded, it would have disenfranchised the almost 14 million voters, the most in GOP history, who voted for Trump in the primaries and caucuses throughout the country. If successful, the unbind movement would have destroyed the Republican Party and any chance the party had to ever win the White House again.

With Trump, the Republican Party has a real chance for victory in the fall. Hillary is a very flawed candidate, while Trump has the ability to appeal to working class and union voters who historically not voted for the GOP. Thus, unlike Romney or McCain, Trump has a real chance to win Pennsylvania and other states in the rust belt.

Hopefully, the voters will ignore the remaining Republican critics who have tried for so long to derail Trump's campaign. At this point, these critics can support Trump or help Hillary. Hopefully, the GOP will continue to consolidate behind a candidate that has a viable chance of winning and be given an opportunity to fulfill his mission to “Make America Great Again.

Jeff Crouere

Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on For more information, email him at [email protected]

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