Editor's Note: Below is a brief excerpt from Hedgeye Potomac Chief Political Strategist JT Taylor's Capital Brief sent to institutional clients each morning. For more information on how you can access our institutional research please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRUMP’S TRIPLE THREAT
It’s been exactly one year since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president and through many highs and more lows than anyone ever expected, he finds himself on the ropes again. Seven out of ten Americans give Trump unfavorable marks beating out Hillary Clinton’s high negatives by a healthy margin - and Clinton is now up 8-12 points over Trump in the general election.
Negative views of Trump are rising among a number of groups, jumping by double digits among liberals and conservatives, and among both Republican women and Democratic men. Even Republican leadership is scratching their heads and dodging questions regarding the presumptive nominee as the Republican party image faces historic lows.
Trump faces major challenges on three fronts: Clinton and the Dems, the media, and his fellow Republicans. He now has one month left to win over the Republicans and stanch the bleeding as the threat of a three-headed monster will be too difficult to overcome this fall.
In the beginning, few believed Bernie Sanders was a serious challenger to Clinton, but when the dust settled, Sanders won 23 primaries and more than 12 million votes, all while energizing progressives with calls for a political uprising. Sanders, who has spent most of his political career on the sidelines, is now a major symbol and is expected to play a feature role at July’s convention. He’s vowed to help Clinton defeat Trump and shepherd his supporters her way - but don’t forget to read the terms and conditions. Sanders will take his time before endorsing while aggressively pushing his leftist policy agenda to Clinton, party leaders and convention power brokers.
CLINTON’S COMFORT ZONE
Despite her success, Clinton ran a rather uneven primary failing to understand and then extinguish the Sanders threat from the onset. Her victory speech after CA marked a turning point and now, on top of an multi-million dollar advertising assault, robust voter turnout, and her prudent response to the tragedy in Orlando, Clinton is becoming more comfortable with her message and her measured attacks on Trump. She’s engaging the people and opening up more on the trail - but still needs to inject much-needed confidence back into party, win over Independents and doubtful voters.