Following a disastrous week in which Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton appeared to widen her lead in nationwide polls, allies of New York real estate mogul Donald Trump are petitioning the GOP nominee to ignore superfluous distractions, return to campaign issues and focus attention on his rival’s flaws.
Last week Trump respond to criticism from the father of Army Captain Humayun Khan who was killed in Iraq in 2004 and refused to endorse the re-election bids of House Speaker Paul Ryan and Republican Sens. Kelly Ayotte and John McCain.
“This election is Donald’s to lose and so far the Democrats have been clever about baiting him and he generally has bitten,” wrote Wilbur Ross, a Trump supporter, in an email to Reuters.
Some recent polls reveal states that have consistently supported the Republican candidate in recent presidential elections, Arizona and Georgia particularly, are leaning toward Clinton.
Although polls vary, some uncovering Clinton with as much as a 15-point advantage over the New York businessman, many illustrate Trump trailing by three-to-five points.
Encouraging the GOP nominee to stay fixated on his opponent, Speaker Ryan told WTAQ radio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Trump needs to make Clinton the focal point of his campaign.
“You would think we ought to be focusing on Hillary Clinton, on all of her deficiencies. She is such a weak candidate that one would think we’d be on offense against Hillary Clinton, and it is distressing that that’s not what we’re talking about these days.”
Although many are frustrated Trump appears to easily be drawn into disagreements unrelated to the election, some express room for optimism:
“Staying on message is absolutely key. After 30 years of speaking his mind, Mr. Trump has to understand that the general election for president of the United States is all about staying on message,” said ex-Trump aide Michael Caputo to Reuters.
[Reuters] [International Business Times] [RealClear Politics]