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 email@example.com.
“History and experience tell us that moral progress comes not in comfortable and complacent times, but out of trial and confusion.”
-Gerald R. Ford
HILLARY’S HOPE FOR CHANGE
With Hillary Clinton’s growing lead and clearer path forward, the Clinton camp is beginning to refine policy plans - and Republicans are already expressing aversion to them. Though rumors are swirling that Clinton, Speaker Paul Ryan and wannabe Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are open-minded to a package to build on infrastructure spending and reform corporate taxes, nothing is set in stone. Some Republicans say they could go along with it, while others keep their distance. But remember - even if Clinton wins the White House, and the Senate turns Democrat, the House is likely to stay in Republican hands, and is likely to become more conservative.
REPUBLICANS ON THE RISE
Trump has watched his poll standings in battleground states plummet in the past few weeks, but he can point to at least one glimmer of hope for a possible turnaround – Republicans are gaining ground in voter registration in FL, PA, NC, and IA. Sure, Clinton is ahead by an average of six points nationally, and Trump is losing ground with millennials, women, and minorities, but registration increases in eastern and midwestern battleground states are welcome news for Trump, who is coming off his first controversy-free week since the convention. The RNC has done a lot of the legwork on voter registration, and they’re stepping in to fill other voids within the Trump orbit as he’s almost completely ignored a ground operation instead relying on earned media and, of course, his rowdy rallies to win over supporters.
Last month, Trump looked to be even with Clinton’s fundraising efforts (mostly), but August isn’t shaping up to be as positive. To make matters worse, of the cash that was raised, he’s barely spent any of it, forcing the RNC to step up and step in (see above). The lack of staff, dearth of advertising, and frugal spending is worrisome for the RNC and can only get better. To add to that, Clinton is a campaigning machine – she’s recently reserved over $80 million in advertising for the fall season, while Trump has fallen short on future ad buys. Trump and his camp should be deeply concerned about the inequity and needs to prioritize outreach to pro-Trump groups, because without additional resources, Trump’s chances in November will not improve.