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.
I'm not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues.”
DONALD IN DISTRESS
After the IN primary six short weeks ago, Donald Trump was atop some national polls and riding a high wave of Republican endorsements on his way to unifying the party, while Hillary Clinton was left to battle an insurgent and struggling to unite her own party. After two tumultuous weeks of picking fights with everyone in his path, Trump has found himself alone and losing momentum faster than ever.
Republicans have had a knee jerk reactions to criticizing the nominee early and often in the past, but the frequency with which they’re doing it now is different and more problematic. With less than a month before the convention, he hasn’t won endorsements from many of his former primary opponents, has yet to put together a core finance team and is creating tension with the RNC - his only (and largest) organizational back up for the next five months. Does this guy really want to win?
Our nation’s gun laws have many Democrats up in arms and now Trump - who throughout his campaign has expressed his opposition to gun control - has been prompted to meet with the National Rifle Association over the issue in the wake of the Orlando massacre. Trump has backed a no-buy list for FBI watch list members and the NRA has opposed the measure concerned that Americans wrongfully placed on list were being stripped of their constitutional rights to due process.
Tensions have emerged on Capitol Hill after a 15-hour filibuster by Senate Democrats has forced Republicans to hold votes on two separate gun measures - with PA Senator Pat Toomey being one of few Republicans willing to cross party lines on the issue.
When Senator Marco Rubio launched his presidential campaign, he made the bold promise of winning the White House or bust - but a lot has changed since then especially with Trump at the top of the ticket. Holding onto the Senate was always going to be a challenge for Republicans given the number of seats they had to defend and now with the political winds changing, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his colleagues feel Rubio is their best hope to keep FL in the red column.
As the Democratic frontrunner, Rep. Patrick Murphy has been the beneficiary of the party’s growth in registration and fundraising in the state making him the early favorite…if Rubio doesn’t run. Rubio has exactly one week to decide if he’ll throw his hat in the ring.