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Takeaway: Foundation Damage; Immigration Transformation; Shoring Up The Base

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 sales@hedgeye.com.

Capital Brief: A Crack In Clinton's Foundation?  - JT   Potomac under 1 mb

"In the time of darkest defeat, victory may be nearest."

-William McKinley

FOUNDATION DAMAGE

The never-ending saga continues with a new batch of emails showing Hillary Clinton and her lieutenants consistently coordinated with State Department officials and Clinton Foundation aides to reward major donors with access to the powers-that-be at State. The situation poses an extraordinary risk for ethics challenges if elected president, though Clinton continues to brush off the release as politically motivated. We don’t expect the mess to go away without answers, and the longer she lets it go, the more damage is done.

Democrats may think they have November in the bag, but they shouldn’t underestimate the fickleness of the American voter. Donald Trump and Republicans, who grab much of the media’s attention, are happy to let this be the gift that keeps on giving.  

IMMIGRATION TRANSFORMATION

Trump’s bid for presidency was built on a promise to build a "great, great wall" along the Mexican border, have them pay for it, and deport 11 million undocumented immigrants from U.S. soil - all while portraying Mexican immigrants, as criminals and rapists. Trump is now scheduled to hold his second meeting with his new Hispanic advisory board, leaving little doubt that he will shift his longstanding views, and his hard-nosed supporters are embracing it so far, calling it a more feasible approach to deportation without undermining his mainstay position.

His softening tone may be an appeal to minorities and moderates, but the message hasn’t resonated just yet. It’s still hard to see them throwing their weight behind Trump after the past 14 months of heated rhetoric.

SHORING UP THE BASE?

Trump may be massaging his message, but he hasn’t adjusted his campaign strategy just yet - he’s spending valuable time in states that will not provide him the votes he needs on Election Day. After canceling campaign stops in CO, NV, and OR, Trump stumped in TX and MS – two reliably red states that support him and the past nine Republican nominees. There’s money to be made in these states, but at a time when he needs to extend his reach to everyone, he’s focusing on shoring up the base.

Trump craves high energy rallies and feeds off the enthusiasm, but the aforementioned stops will not put him over the top in the Electoral College and propel him into the White House. Once Labor Day hits, expect to see his camp refocus on battleground states like OH, PA, NC, and FL…but it may prove to be too late.