The campaign of Republican Donald Trump has been having a rough time since being officially nominated just two weeks ago. FiveThirtyEight.com's analysts just published the transcript of a "chat" they recently held on the topic, and as the excerpt below indicates, a big part of his troubles appear to center on his response to the parents of an Army captain killed in Iraq:
micah: ...It feels like Trump’s incendiary comments about the Khan family have stuck in a way that other Trump controversies didn’t. And today, President Obama went further then he has before (maybe further than any recent incumbent president) in calling Trump unfit for the presidency, and urging Republican leaders to abandon him.
harry: The Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel controversy stuck, too, but Khan isn’t a federal judge — he can keep the story alive for days and weeks. I’d also argue that there is an increased urgency from folks like Obama because the polls showed Trump closing....
harry: As I wrote on our last live blog of the Democratic convention, I thought Khan’s speech was powerful, in part, because he was talking about his son, and not about anti-Muslim bigotry in the abstract. I also think that’s why Trump’s attacks on Judge Curiel were so widely rebuked. Trump has made many racially and religiously insensitive comments, but these were tied to someone specific — people viewed as a patriotic American.
micah: Yeah, that seems like the key differences, he’s attacking someone specific and they’re not a politician.
The article notes that it's difficult to disentangle the controversy over the Khan family and any "bounce" from the conventions or other factors, but seems indisputable that whatever the Trump campaign was hoping to be talking about at this moment, it was not this.