How Much Bad Press Can Trump’s Campaign Take Before It Implodes?

There are only so many things one can say about Trump’s unprecedented disaster of a presidential campaign before tedium sets in. “Trump just said something awful” is a near daily occurrence, and “Trump surrogate said something worse” could fill endless posts from now until election day.

Even so, what’s amazing is that the sheer weight of the embarrassments seems to be helping Trump because no one can remember the outrages of the past week because of the new ones that trickle in every day. Consider just today’s headlines, taken without cherrypicking from the non-partisan major news aggregator Memeorandum:

Trump Doctor Wrote Health Letter in Just 5 Minutes as Limo Waited

Donald Trump cancels Phoenix event

Anti-Semitic Trump campaign CEO Stephen Bannon not a big fan of ‘whiny brat’ Jews, ex-wife says

As Donald Trump Repels Minority Voters, G.O.P. Fears Its Future in the West

Ben Carson to Donald Trump: Stop Calling Hillary Clinton a ‘Bigot’

Donald Trump’s ‘Apprentices’ Had to Agree to Go Nude

Those are the top stories as of early this morning. I mean, seriously? This is insane. Any one of these stories would be enough to cause a normal campaign a week’s worth of bad press alone. That Trump’s doctor wrote an patently fraudulent note about his health even as his own campaign is spreading malicious rumors about that of his opponent is a crazy level of hubris. Trump’s cancellation of his Phoenix event seems anodyne until you realize that 1) he’s doing an even in Arizona, a state he shouldn’t be spending time in, and 2) it’s a desperate attempt to walk back his own walkback on immigration. His campaign says he’s moving the event to a larger venue, which seems doubtful–but even if it were true, that would mean Trump is sacrificing valuable time in order to have a bigger rally, proving that he doesn’t know the first thing about how to win votes.

His Alt-Right campaign CEO is an openly racist and anti-semitic lunatic who has never run a campaign before. His own surrogates are trying to stage an intervention against his childish “I know you are but what am I” responses to Clinton. His contestant contracts on The Apprentice confirm everything we already know about his sadism and sexual aggression.  He’s badly hurting the GOP now and into the future.

And yet, according to the latest polling he’s only down by 5 points nationally. That’s nothing short of terrifying not just on the merits, but because it means there’s almost no bad press a Republican could possibly receive to allow them to lose by a landslide. Conservative voters are so locked into their hatred of anything “liberal” that even a man as openly vile and dangerous as Trump will probably manage to at least make it close on election day.

David Atkins

David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.