Politico reports that top Republican officials are "accelerating their plans to distance themselves from Donald Trump" and that they "may soon concede, if only implicitly, his defeat" in an attempt to stabilize their down-ticket candidate’s faltering political fortunes as opponents continue to latch House and Senate politicians to the presidential nominee’s incendiary rhetoric.
The pitfalls for Donald Trump in his bid to the White House are perhaps too many to name, but perhaps his most controversial statement came the day he announced his candidacy referring to Mexicans as "murderers and rapists" who are bringing drugs and crime across the border – a measure that left many political analysts to conclude early on that his candidacy was dead on arrival having alienated some 17% of the US electorate who are of Latino heritage.
The situation for Trump cascaded further, in recent weeks, following his public feud with the Gold Star family of Humayun Khan who died tragically rushing in front of a terrorist vehicle to prevent it from breaching the perimeter of an American military base – an act some say may have saved the lives of hundreds of other soldiers.
Donald Trump blasted Khan’s father for his "vicious attack" arguing that as a billionaire real estate mogul turned reality television star that he has also made so many sacrifices. The controversy really exploded, however, when he opined that perhaps Khan’s mother was not speaking because she was not allowed to due to her Islamic faith. She could speak and she did most powerfully in denouncing Trump’s candidacy.
In the litany of provocative statements this campaign season, Trump has also called for a "total and complete ban on Muslims," allegedly mocked a disabled reporter, said that he preferred soldiers who do not get captured, making dozens of comments deemed sexist and unbecoming of an American President, and has been linked with the practice of discriminating on apartment applications for minorities along with his father. Trump has, in short, alienated most of the country.
This is captured in the candidate’s historically bad public approval rating viewed unfavorably by 61.8% of the population compared to Hillary Clinton who, until recently, boasted the second worst public approval rating in US polling history with 53.5% of the country viewing her unfavorably.
Although Clinton’s own scandal ridden campaign has for a long-time kept Donald Trump’s electoral ambitions viable, recent polling shows the bombastic billionaire may have dug a hole too deep to climb his way out of with University of Virginia’s electoral analyst Larry Sabato estimating that Hillary Clinton will secure 348 electoral votes to Donald Trump’s 190 – the largest margin of victory in modern history.
Chris Wilson, a prominent Republican pollster, is already making the call for the cavalcade of GOP down-ticket candidates to head for the door. "It’s getting close to the point where we would start recommending our candidates pursue more of a midterm strategy and treat Clinton like a de facto incumbent," said Wilson. "The fact that we’re considering this counsel is another sign of how sadly strange this cycle is."