Ivanka Trump
Credit: Marc Nozell

Picking up where I left off, I guess I’ll start with a donut. News has been percolating that Paul Manafort is unhappy, that he feels like he’s wasting his time trying to advise Donald Trump, and that he’s basically just “mailing it in.” If that was a cry for help, it has apparently been heard, because some folks are going to try to come to the rescue:

Key Republicans close to Donald Trump’s orbit are plotting an intervention with the candidate after a disastrous 48 hours led some influential voices in the party to question whether Trump can stay at the top of the Republican ticket without catastrophic consequences for his campaign and the GOP at large.

Republican National Committee head Reince Priebus, former Republican New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are among the Trump endorsers hoping to talk the real estate mogul into a dramatic reset of his campaign in the coming days, sources tell NBC News.

The group of GOP heavyweights hopes to enlist the help of Trump’s children – who comprise much of his innermost circle of influential advisers – to aid in the attempt to rescue his candidacy.

No one, so far, has been able to convince The Donald to stop landing haymakers on his own face, and there’s increasing talk that he’s on the verge of knocking himself out of the race. Consider this weak response to the speculation that Trump might just throw in the towel.

Adviser Kellyanne Conway disputed the notion that Trump would bolt the ticket, saying “I would push back on any formal report that the candidate is going to leave the race.”

That’s a very oddly constructed sentence, don’t you think?

To be sure, the polls do not look promising for Trump, but they are not yet so bad that they would ordinarily start a conversation about stopping the fight.

But that’s exactly what’s happening:

There’s absolutely no indication Trump is considering leaving the race, a move that would seem wildly out of character for a candidate who has prided himself on “winning” and grasped at any poll that shows him dominating an opponent. Still, some Republicans are quietly considering the arcane mechanics of what would happen to the party’s ticket if Trump was to leave the presidential race.

Yesterday, I wrote that the charade of Trump’s campaign “will not hold for another three months,” but I was talking about his relatively competitive standing in the polls.

What he’s done, though, in refusing to endorse Speaker Paul Ryan or John McCain’s reelection campaigns is to make enemies that he could not afford to make. At least, that’s clear in the case of Ryan who is the only force holding the House Republicans in any semblance of order.

People talk about there being a 40% floor or a 45% floor below which no Republican or Democratic presidential candidate can fall, but that floor is held up by joists and support beams that Trump has eaten through like an army of famished termites. Trump can absolutely fall below 40%, and possibly far below it. His support right now is around 41 percent and it’s eroding. The defections will continue and could easily become a stampede. It couldn’t be more obvious that this is the future that is anticipated by the Republicans who are plotting an intervention with Trump’s children.

For this reason, though, the Democrats don’t want Trump to drop out. So, maybe now is the time to ease up on him while he deals with the insurrection he’s caused?

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at ProgressPond.com