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Eye On Candidates
August 17, 2016

Another Trump campaign shakeup

Republican nominee Donald Trump has once again rearranged his campaign's top leadership, presumably in response to his falling poll numbers. The Washington Post offers its thoughts on what it means:

What Trump’s latest shakeup says about his flailing campaign

In a 5:38 a.m. press release, Trump announced that Stephen Bannon, who got rich on Wall Street but has never worked on a race before, will take a leave of absence from running to become the campaign’s “chief executive.” Pollster Kellyanne Conway, who worked for Ted Cruz’s super PAC during the primaries but has been friendly with Trump for years, will become campaign manager....

During the primaries, when Trump was winning, then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski always said "let Trump be Trump." He now wants to get back to that type of campaign culture. The moves send “a signal, perhaps more clear than ever, that the real-estate mogul intends to finish this race on his own terms, with friends who share his instincts at his side,” [reporter Robert] Costa writes....

The Post's conclusion, if accurate, does not bode well for the Trump campaign:

This is another proof point that Trump is not trying to run the kind of serious campaign that can actually win the presidency. That’s why it will frighten the GOP establishment, scare off some mainstream donors who have been playing footsie with the billionaire and push congressional leaders like Mitch McConnell a little closer to cutting Trump loose – maybe even before Labor Day.

The Post could be wrong, of course - 2016 has not been kind to conventional wisdom. But for those hoping the Trump campaign might begin to look like a more conventional presidential bid, this shakeup is probably not welcome.