For the next month the Republican Party, the media, and the Trump campaign are going to engage in a charade. It’s a farce that pretends the race for the White House is still winnable. It isn’t, and they know it. And the final act of the electoral play isn’t due to the devastating discovery of the now famous Trump Tapes. Although they certainly didn’t help. And it isn’t due to his creepy debate performance either.
The best evidence of the fact that this long nightmare is over was unveiled in a little noticed news item last week. It’s significance was more profound than the attention it got would suggest. Not surprisingly, it was pushed from the headlines when more salacious news about Trump emerged. The report reveals the way Trump’s campaign is handling its own media strategy for the remainder of the campaign:
“Just weeks before Election Day, the Trump campaign has cancelled ad reservations in markets in several crucial battleground states.”
The startling thing about this disclosure is that the states where Trump is canceling their ads tells a tale of woe. They are not states where he has a comfortable lead and doesn’t need to waste the money. Nor are they states where he is trailing badly with no chance of success. Those are the usual explanations for media budget shifts in the waning days of a campaign.
However, the states where Trump is pulling back are swing states where polls show that either candidate could prevail. What’s more, they are states without which Trump cannot possibly build a path to a November victory. Here is a breakdown of the ad funding cancellations:
There are only two possible reasons for removing ad funds from these states:
1) The campaign is out of money. That seems unlikely because there has been little evidence that they have spent very much. Also, Trump has bragged for months that he would self-finance his campaign and provide as much money as necessary to win.
2) There is no plausible path to victory. That is a scenario that was becoming more evident in every new poll that’s been released for the past few weeks. And now with the revelations of Trump’s vulgarity and admission of sexual assault it is even more likely. Consequently, Trump might want to save these funds so he can reimburse himself for the loans he made to the campaign.
There are still some campaign events that could have an impact on the eventual outcome, including the final debate on October 19. However, debates are not generally regarded as opportunities for Trump to endear himself to anyone other than his current basket of deplorables. There is little time left now for either candidate to manufacture a large swing in voter preference. But when it’s all over we may very well be able to look back at this reallocation of funds as the moment that Trump conceded.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.