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.
“He serves his party best who serves the country best.”
–Rutherford B. Hayes
DONALD, THE DISCIPLINED
Donald Trump is pressing the reset button with the intention of setting a new tone for his campaign. In his first rebuttal speech to Hillary Clinton’s assault, Trump sharply hit Clinton with distinct blows – labeling her a status-quo candidate and sacking the Clinton Foundation, but also spent time emphasizing his path forward while looking composed, softening his tone, and showing early signs of change…for the most part.
There’s no assurance that this disciplined approach will last and we’ve all seen it before - although he did refrain from six scheduled interviews to avoid drowning out his message. But if he’s looking for a lasting way to right the ship, he’ll need to prove that this maneuver will last more than one day to major donors, elected party leaders across the country and the RNC and repair previous ruptures. The move comes in the nick of time as efforts by anti-Trump factions to disrupt the convention are picking up steam.
CAN CLINTON COMPETE COUNTRYWIDE?
To compete in all 50 states, Clinton will need all the help she can get – cue: meeting with House Dems. Her theme was simple - unity. Clinton emphasized the importance of her efforts to unify Democrats in ‘08 following her primary battle and loss to then-Senator Barack Obama, even though her supporters urged her to continue in opposition.
Clinton and the Democrats are nowhere close to the circling firing squad the Republicans are facing with Donald Trump, but she still must arduously work to pursue Sanders’ progressive wing of the party. While Sanders had only a fraction of Clinton's support among House Democrats, party leaders are well aware that they will all need Sanders’ supporters come November.
SANDERS SUPPORTERS STILL SEARCHING
While Bernie Sanders vowed to help Clinton defeat Trump in November, he has yet to endorse her - and more importantly - his supporters are still waiting on the sidelines. There is still a lingering distrust of Clinton among the Sanders crowd, viewing her as too establishment-friendly, hawkish, and concluding that she is beholden to too many special interests.
Clinton’s scant support among Sanders voters still has the opportunity for growth, but don’t expect it to be easy - many supporters still claim they could never support her - and a whopping 22% of them say they’ll support Trump according to Bloomberg.