There doesn't seem to be much doubt that Republican Donald Trump did not help himself last week. The question now, at least according to Politico, is whether he can turn things around:
Barring a major shake-up coming out of Tuesday’s vice presidential debate between two low-wattage running mates and a mid-week Wikileaks release predicted by Trump confidant Roger Stone to be “the end of Clinton” actually coming to fruition, the Republican nominee’s next opportunity to dramatically change the race won’t come until the second presidential debate on Sunday night in St. Louis.
And Republicans, who had been buoyed by a narrowing contest until Trump’s poor showing in the first debate a week ago, are hardly optimistic that their advice-ignoring nominee will do the preparation needed to deliver a better performance in the second round. Plus, many say they are worried about what additional damage he might cause between now and then spending days spewing insults only to face a revelation that he might have avoided taxes for years.
“Donald Trump is facing a cascade of bad news and self-inflicted controversies at the worst possible moment for his candidacy,” said Ryan Williams, a GOP strategist in Washington. “He has been gaining ground in both national and battleground state polls for several weeks, but now his momentum has been blunted and undecided voters are souring on his campaign. There is even more pressure on him to turn things around by delivering a commanding performance at the second debate. He desperately needs it.”
Trump has had bad weeks before, and survived them all. So while it's too early to predict his demise, it's not to early to note that he has once again dug himself in a hole, and with less than 40 days until the election it will be a challenge for him to once again escape and repair the damage.