ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Hillary Clinton surged to a broad advantage against Donald Trump in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, capitalizing on Trump’s recent campaign missteps. Two-thirds of Americans see him as biased against groups such as women, minorities or Muslims, and a new high, 64 percent, call Trump unqualified to serve as president.
These and other doubts about Trump have produced a sharp 14-point swing in preferences among registered voters, from 2 points for Trump in mid-May, after he clinched the GOP nomination, to 12 points for Clinton now, 51-39 percent. That snaps the race essentially back to where it was in March.
Adding third-party candidates Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Jill Stein (Green) to the mix makes no substantive difference: a 10-point Clinton advantage, 47-37-7-3 percent among registered voters. Looking at those who say they’re certain to vote in November likewise produces a very similar result: 11 Clinton in the two-way matchup, 9 in the four-way.
The national poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds another apparent impact of Trump’s problems: Perhaps benefitting from comparison, Barack Obama’s job approval rating has gained 5 points, to 56 percent, matching its high since the early days of his presidency. That includes 55 percent approval specifically on handling the economy.
Trial heats are hypothetical; they ask which candidate people would support if the election were today – which it isn’t. At least as important are the underlying sentiments informing current preferences, and they show the extent of Trump’s troubles given his recent controversial comments. Among them:
• The public by 66-29 percent think he’s unfairly biased against groups such as women, minorities or Muslims.
• Americans by 68-28 percent think his comment about Judge Gonzalo Curiel was racist. Regardless of whether or not it was racist, 85 percent say it was inappropriate.
• While most Americans disapprove of Clinton’s handling of her email while secretary of state (34-56 percent, approve-disapprove), they’re equally disenchanted with Trump’s handling of questions about Trump University (19-59 percent, with more undecided).
• Most generally, the public by 56-36 percent, a 20-point margin, says Trump is standing against their beliefs as opposed to standing up for their beliefs.
Clinton, further, receives substantially better marks than Trump’s for her response to the lone-wolf terrorist attack June 12 in Orlando, Florida: Americans by an 18-point margin, 46-28 percent, say Clinton did a better job than Trump overall in responding to the attack.
Another result marks a rebuke to Trump in his own party. On June 15, referring to Republican leaders, he said, “Just please be quiet. Don’t talk.” In this survey, however, Republicans and GOP-leaning independents by a wide 62-35 percent say party leaders should speak out when they disagree with Trump, rather than avoid criticizing their likely nominee.
Indeed, Trump is supported by just 77 percent of Republican registered voters in the two-way test in this survey, compared with 85 percent in this group last month and, again, essentially back to his in-party support in March. In the four-way trial he’s at 74 percent among Republicans.
Results of this poll temper the notion that last week’s Brexit vote in the United Kingdom marks a broader dissatisfaction with the status quo that advantages Trump on this side of the Atlantic. On one hand, nativist sentiment, populism and economic anxiety clearly benefitted Trump in the race for the Republican nomination. On the other, his general election campaign requires broader support – and he’s had a dreadful few weeks. Qualifications, Temperament and Anxiety
Doubts about Trump are reflected in yet-sharper questions about his qualifications for office – perhaps the most basic hurdle for a candidate to clear – and continued widespread anxiety about a potential Trump presidency.
Sixty-four percent of Americans now see Trump as unqualified to serve as president, up 6 points from an already-high 58 percent last month. Thirty-four percent see him as qualified.
Clinton’s numbers are essentially the opposite, and unchanged: Sixty-one percent see her as qualified for the office, 37 percent as not qualified. Moreover, while 33 percent feel strongly that Clinton is not qualified, many more – 56 percent – feel strongly that Trump doesn’t pass this test.
Clinton also continues to surpass Trump easily in views of which candidate has the better personality and temperament to serve effectively. Clinton’s vast 61-28 percent lead on this question is essentially unchanged from last month’s 61-31 percent.
For all this, Clinton is hardly beloved. Fifty percent of Americans say they’re anxious about the idea of her as president (vs. 47 percent who are comfortable with it). When it comes to a Trump presidency, however, anxiety rises to 70 percent, with just 27 percent comfortable with the idea. These are about the same as when last asked in January, and the 70 percent anxiety number matches Trump’s unfavorability rating in an ABC/Post poll last week.
Dissatisfaction with Trump and Clinton alike raises the question of a third way – but partisanship is a strong anchor, and this poll indicates little traction to date for an alternative party. Just 18 percent of registered voters say there’s a third-party candidate they’re seriously considering – and when asked to name that candidate, a mere 2 percent offer Johnson’s name, and 1 percent mention Stein, a very low level of unaided recall.
When presented directly with Johnson and Stein as alternatives, they receive 7 and 3 percent support, respectively, as noted – drawing similarly from both major-party candidates. Johnson’s selected by 6 percent of Trump’s supporters and 5 percent of Clinton’s in a two-way matchup; Stein, by 4 percent of Clinton’s and 1 percent of Trump’s.
The president’s resurgent approval rating is particularly welcome for Clinton, given his reported eagerness to campaign for her.
His advance is broadly based, and political divisions remain high – 88 percent approval for Obama among Democrats, 50 percent among independents and just 18 percent among Republicans. Tellingly, 85 percent of Obama approvers support Clinton, vs. just 8 percent of Obama disapprovers.
Obama’s approval rating is similar to both Bill Clinton’s 57 percent and Ronald Reagan’s 56 percent at about this point in their presidencies, and far better than George W. Bush’s 29 percent.
That said, discontent with the status quo does remain, and poses some risk for Clinton as the incumbent party’s nominee. Registered voters by 56-39 percent say they’d rather see the next president set the nation in a new direction from Obama’s rather than continuing his course. “New direction” voters favor Trump over Clinton by a wide margin, 64-26 percent – but those who want to stay Obama’s course back Clinton even more widely, 87-6 percent.
It’s notable, too, that the number of Americans who prefer a new direction is about the same now as it was at this stage of Reagan’s presidency – when the nation went on, nonetheless, to elect Reagan’s vice president George H.W. Bush, to the top job.
Partisanship can follow political preferences, and in this poll Democrats account for 36 percent of all adults and 37 percent of registered voters – a non-significant ( 3) difference from last month. (The former is numerically its highest since 2009, the latter, since 2012.) Republicans account for 24 percent of all adults and 27 percent of registered voters, about their average in recent years, with the rest independents.
This accounts for little of the shift in voter preferences, however. Even using the same party divisions from last month’s ABC/Post survey, in which Trump was 2, he’d now be -8. The reason, mentioned above, is his comparatively weak performance among Republicans – 77 percent support – compared with Clinton’s support among Democrats, 90 percent.
Obama’s gain in approval, similarly, is not fundamentally based on any change in partisanship – last month’s partisan divisions would put him at 54-42 percent now, vs. his actual 56-41 percent in this poll.
There are notable shifts among groups in the latest vote preference results. Largest is a 16-point loss for Trump, and 17-point advance for Clinton, among white Catholics, a potentially key group that accounts for one in seven registered voters.
Clinton, further, is now leading among young adults, a group in which Trump was surprisingly competitive last month. Trump is -11, and Clinton 11, among registered voters who don’t have a college degree, as well as among liberals and conservatives alike. And Trump is -10, Clinton 11, among white men.
Clinton continues to prevail mightily among nonwhites – by 77-15 percent now, vs. 69-21 percent last month; that includes 90-8 percent among blacks and 69-20 percent among Hispanics. (For an adequate sample size, this combines results among blacks, and separately among Hispanics, from May and June.) Trump leads Clinton by 50-40 percent among whites, down from 57-33 percent last month.
In another division of potential interest, Clinton leads Trump by 57-33 percent in the states that Obama won in 2012 ( 24 points), while Trump leads more narrowly, by 51-41 percent ( 10), in the states Mitt Romney won four years ago.
This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone June 20-23, 2016, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults, including 836 registered voters. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect, for the full sample, and 4 points for registered voters. Partisan divisions are 36-24-33 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents, in the full sample, 37-27-30 among registered voters.
The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y. See details on the survey’s methodology here.
ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Hillary Clinton cautioned Sunday that the United Kingdom's "Brexit" decision to leave the European Union serves as a "reminder that what happens around the world has consequences that can hit home quickly and affects our lives and our livelihoods."
Without mentioning his name, the Democratic presidential candidate went on to hit Donald Trump for his "bombastic" reaction to the vote, which many world leaders and economists had warned against.
"We need leaders like yourselves, at the local and state and federal level, who understand how to work with other leaders to manage risks, who understand that bombastic comments in turbulent times can actually cause more turbulence, and who put the interests of the American people ahead of their personal business interests," Clinton told a group of mayors at the annual U.S. Mayors Conference in Indianapolis.
In April, Clinton’s senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan released a statement on behalf of the former secretary of state staying that she was in favor of the UK remaining in the EU.
During her remarks Sunday, Clinton also acknowledged what may be similarities between some parts of the electorate in the United Kingdom and the United States –- but didn't seem fazed.
"Just as we have seen, there are many frustrated people in Britain. We know there are frustrated people here at home, too. I've seen it, I've heard it, I know it," she said. "That's why I've worked hard to find solutions to the economic challenges we face. It's why I've put forward real plans to create good paying jobs, raise wages, reduce student debt. Bring down prescription drugs and so much else."
ABC News(NEW YORK) -- U.S. Labor Secretary and Hillary Clinton supporter Tom Perez railed against presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump on Sunday, calling him divisive and a “chaos candidate.”
“The differences between Secretary Clinton and Donald Trump in terms of temperament, in terms of values couldn’t be more stark,” Perez said Sunday in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on This Week.
“Hillary Clinton is about ‘we.’ Donald Trump is about ‘me,’” he continued, referencing Trump’s comments Friday that the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union would be good for his business ventures.
Perez also slammed Trump for his trip to his Scottish golf resorts and talking about “how great his sprinkler systems are” following the monumental "Brexit" vote.
The New York billionaire trails Clinton by double digits, according to a new ABC News-Washington Post poll released Sunday, which also found that two-thirds of Americans find Trump unqualified to be president.
The survey comes after several weeks of controversy for Trump, including his repeated criticism of a federal judge presiding over a Trump University lawsuit in California, and his comments following the Orlando shooting.
Perez, a potential Clinton running mate, has emerged as an effective surrogate for the presumptive Democratic nominee, appearing frequently with her on the campaign trail and on his own to criticize Trump.
“I’ve got 207 days until the weekend,” he joked when asked about his interest in joining Clinton’s ticket. “I want to make sure that Hillary Clinton is the next president of the United States.”
ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined Sunday to say if Donald Trump, his party's presumptive presidential candidate, is qualified to be president.
"Well, look, I think it's no question that he's made a number of mistakes over the last few weeks. I think they're beginning to right the ship. It's a long time until November. And the burden obviously will be on him to convince people that he can handle this job," McConnell said on ABC's This Week.
Pressed by ABC Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on whether he thinks Trump is qualified, McConnell replied, "I leave it up to the American people to decide."
A new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Sunday shows 64 percent of Americans, a new high, say Trump is unqualified to serve as president.
That could spell trouble for the presumptive Republican nominee in November, but the Majority Leader insists Trump won the Republican nomination fairly and that Republican primary voters have made their decision.
"He won the Republican nomination fair and square," McConnell said. "He got more votes than anybody else, against a whole lot of well-qualified candidates, and so our primary voters have made their decision as to who they want to be the nominee," he said. "The American people will be able to make that decision in the fall."
Conservative commentator and columnist George Will said Friday that he's leaving the Republican Party because of Donald Trump, and he urged other conservatives to do the same.
McConnell offered reassurance to Will, whom he called a friend: "The Republican Party is still going to be America's conservative party," McConnell told Stephanopoulos, adding that the party's platform will include basic principles Republicans believe in.
That means that proposals Trump has been touting throughout his campaign will not be included in the platform, including his proposed ban on Muslims entering the country.
"Our nominee may not agree with every single one of those, but the Republican Party, it will remain America's conservative party," he said. "The platform will be a traditional Republican platform...and I don't expect it to differ that much from the platform we had four years ago.
ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Hillary Clinton is heading to Broadway.
The Hillary Victory Fund -- a joint fundraising committee between the DNC and the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate's campaign -- will host a special matinee performance on July 12 of the Tony award-winning (and perpetually sold-out) musical Hamilton.
According to a Clinton aide, the campaign has rented out the Richard Rodgers Theatre and purchased every seat in the 1,300-seat venue. The campaign did not disclose the cost of such endevour.
While Broadway ticket prices have skyrocketed in recent years, the tickets for the fundraiser are high, even by Broadway standards: On sale now at HillaryClinton.com/Hamilton, tickets range from $2,700 to $100,000. Perks of the priciest tickets include premium seats, and a "wrap party" and photo session with Clinton.
Hamilton, a hip-hop-flavored biography about the first U.S. treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton, won 11 Tony Awards earlier this month, including best musical.
In conjunction with the fundraiser, the campaign has kicked off a contest where winners will snag tickets to the performance, and a chance to meet Clinton, who will also be attending the show. Travel and accommodations will also be covered.
Clinton texted supporters about the contest on Saturday. In a fundraising email sent to supporters, Clinton said her favorite song in the musical -- which she saw at the Off-Broadway Public Theater last year before it moved to Broadway -- is "Non-Stop."
"We should have more songs about the Federalist papers," Clinton wrote.
ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A new week, a new Hillary Clinton TV spot taking aim at Donald Trump.
Titled "Tested," the 30-second spot focuses on the presumptive GOP presidential nominee's response to Britons voting last week in favor of leaving the European Union.
"Every president is tested by world events, but Donald Trump thinks about how his golf resort can profit from them," says a monotone voiceover, referring to Trump visiting Trump Turnberry in Scotland a day after the Brexit vote, and expressing how an EU-free United Kingdom may benefit his businesses.
A clip from Trump's press conference at the luxury property follows, where he says, "When the pound goes down, more people are going to Turnberry."
The spot, which airs nationally this week, ends with an ominous-sounding voiceover: "In a volatile world, the last thing we need is a volatile president."
ABC News(ABERDEEN, Scotland) -- Donald Trump said Saturday it "wouldn't bother me" if Scottish Muslims came to the United States, seeming to move away from the temporary ban on all Muslims coming to the United States that he has called for throughout his presidential campaign.
In interviews at his golf course in Aberdeen, Scotland, Trump went further, saying that the ban would be focused on "terrorist" countries, shifting from his previous proposal of "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."
The campaign says his comments are consistent with his foreign policy speech after the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida. However, in the speech the campaign is referring to, Trump did not indicate he was shifting away from his blanket ban, nor did he specifically say his ban would only apply to Muslims in terrorist countries.
In that speech Trump also said he would "suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States."
"Although the pause is temporary, we must find out what is going on," he said. "We have to do it. It will be lifted, this ban, when and as a nation we're in a position to properly and perfectly screen these people coming into our country."
ABC News has requested specifics regarding whether Trump still supports a blanket ban on all Muslims, and how he plans to distinguish "terrorist" countries from safer locales.
ABC News(ABERDEEN, Scotland) -- Donald Trump had dinner with British media mogul Rupert Murdoch Saturday, following a visit to his golf course in Aberdeen, Scotland, one day after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.
Trump earlier chastised Hillary Clinton for failing to appear on camera to talk about the vote, and maintained confidence the vote wouldn't drastically impact the global economy.
"She was 100 percent wrong and she doesn't want to go on camera because she is embarrassed," Trump told reporters on the visit to his golf course.
Trump had tweeted similar sentiments Saturday morning:
So funny, Crooked Hillary called BREXIT so incorrectly, and now she says that she is the one to deal with the U.K. All talk, no action!
Clinton released a statement after the vote stating that she respects the choices of the UK and wants to protect both American families from potential economic turmoil and the United States' special relationship with Britain.
After the British vote to leave the European Union, the stock market had its biggest tumble in 10 months.
Trump, however, said there is always turmoil in the markets and that there are ways to protect the American people from such effects from the Brexit vote.
"This shouldn't even affect Americans if done properly," he said of the economic implications of Britain's decision to secede.
The real problem, Trump maintained, was President Obama "doubling" the national debt.
"We’re now going to be very soon at 21 trillion in debt. That’s the big problem the U.S. has," he said. "We have to do something about it quickly."
When asked how he would react if a state in the U.S., such as Texas, decided to secede, Trump waved away such an idea. "Texas will never do that because Texas loves me," he said.
The White House(NEW YORK) -- Gilmore Girls fans can't wait until the premiere of the Netflix revival.
To ease the wait, the series released a more than two-minute teaser that may hold them over until Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life begins.
The teaser shows Rory Gilmore, played by actress Alexis Bledel, helping first lady Michelle Obama find "a great book to read on the plane" ahead of her trip to Liberia to promote her latest initiative to promote girls' education. In true Rory fashion, she goes a bit overboard, bringing stacks and stacks of books.
ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(TURNBERRY, Scotland) -- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is on his two-day business trip to Scotland and so far has spent his time getting in touch with his Scottish roots, giving his two-cents on Brexit, and celebrating the reopening of his luxury resort and golf course Trump Turnberry.
But the trip, which is turning out to be something of an infomercial for the real estate mogul’s properties overseas, has not been without controversy.
Trump’s news conference on the golf course in Ayrshire, with the lighthouse and green hills in the backdrop, got off to a slightly rocky start. Just as Trump positioned himself at the podium, he was interrupted by British comedian, Lee Nelson, who pretended to work at the golf course.
“Sorry Donald, these are the new balls you ordered. Here for you sir, these are the new balls available from the clubhouse as part of the new Trump Turnberry range,” Nelson said joking, and holding up red golf balls with a swastika on them.
The real estate mogul has also angered some locals for suggesting a ban to Muslim immigrants traveling to the U.S. and for trying to expand his Aberdeen golf course, which he plans on visiting tomorrow, by attempting to force the neighbors from their homes.
As reported by the Washington Post, Trump failed to deliver on jobs he promised to bring to the area with the building of his golf course. Trump also fought to stop a wind farm for being built -- even going as far as to sue the government -- because he didn’t want it to block the view from his golf course.
But both properties have special sentiment to Trump, because his mother was born in Scotland.
“She would come to Turnberry with her friends and they'd have dinner at Turnberry. She didn't play golf, but they'd have dinner at Turnberry. So having taken this hotel and done the job that we've done with it is just an honor that I was given the opportunity,” Trump said Thursday.
Trump and his children, along with their families, were able to enjoy Trump Turnberry with a stroll to the 9th tee of the iconic Ailsa course, where he held the news conference, followed by bagpipers.
iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Hoping to cut through the gridlock around gun control, a bipartisan group of House members introduced a gun control compromise Friday identical to the measure proposed by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, after the Orlando nightclub shooting.
The proposal from Reps. Seth Moulton, D-Massachusetts, Carlos Curbelo, R-Florida, Scott Rigell, R-Virginia, and Bob Dold, R-Illinois, would prevent people on the federal government's no-fly and Selectee lists from buying guns, and provide a mechanism to appeal a denial.
"Simple reforms like this are demanded by the American people," Moulton said in a news conference.
But the lawmakers started working on the proposal before Democrats waged a 25-hour sit-in on the House floor for gun control votes, a tactic that exasperated Republicans and emboldened Democrats.
Now, both sides appear further apart on guns than ever before. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, called the protest a "political stunt," and recessed the House two days early. Democrats left town promising more brazen disruptions when they return on July 5th.
The House members admitted Friday that they don't have the buy-in from leadership to bring the compromise to the floor -- one day after a vote in the Senate effectively left Collins' proposal in legislative purgatory.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's office did not return a request to comment on the measure.
"We are going to be pressing the Speaker's office when we get back in session. The pressure will be continuous but respectful," said Rigell, an NRA member who owns several guns, including an AR-15.
Curbelo said it was incumbent on the members to sell the measure to colleagues -- a tall task for a highly-charged issue in an election year.
"If we do nothing, I think we have failed," Rigell said. "It will be a moral failure of this institution."
ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Hours after praising Britain’s vote to leave the European Union as “purely historic,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is fundraising off the vote.
“The voters stood up for their nation – they put the United Kingdom first, and they took their country back,” Trump wrote in an email to supporters praising the United Kingdom referendum vote, dubbed “Brexit.” “Let’s send another shockwave around the world. Let’s take back our country from the corrupt career politicians and put Americans first. Let’s re-declare our independence.”
Trump sent his first fundraising email on Tuesday and told ABC News in Scotland that he doesn’t like asking supporters for money.
“I don’t like doing it. I don’t like doing it Tom. I’m an honest politician, probably one of the few,” Trump said Friday. “I’m raising money for the Republican Party, something I have never done. I have always contributed money to lots of people. A lot of campaign contributions over the years.”
Trump, who is in Scotland for a two-day business trip celebrating the grand reopening of his recently renovated Trump Turnberry resort, hammered President Obama, Hillary Clinton and outgoing British Prime Minister David Cameron, accusing them all of “misreading” the electorate amid the push toward Brexit.
Trump even suggested that Obama doomed the pro-Remain camp with his vocal support of Britain’s staying in the European Union.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama on Friday reaffirmed the ties between the U.S and the United Kingdom, after its vote to leave the European Union, stressing "one thing that will not change is the special relationship between our two nations -- that will endure."
Obama said that earlier Friday morning he spoke with British Prime Minister David Cameron, who has announced his resignation in the wake of the referendum, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“David has been an outstanding friend and partner on the global stage and based on our conversation I’m confident that the U.K.’s committed to an orderly transition out of the E.U.,” Obama said. “We agreed that our economic and financial teams will remain in close contact as we stay focused on ensuring economic growth and financial stability.”
The president said he and Merkel “agreed that the United States and our European allies will work closely together in the weeks and months ahead.”
Obama said the U.K.’s vote to leave the E.U. “speaks to the ongoing changes and challenges that are raised by globalization.
“The EU will remain one of our indispensable partners,” Obama promised. “The NATO alliance will remain a cornerstone of global security.”
“Our shared values including our commitment to democracy and pluralism, and opportunity for all people in a globalized world -- that will continue to unite all of us,” he added.
ABC News(NEW YORK) — Bernie Sanders said in an interview with MSNBC Friday morning that he will vote for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in November.
“Yes. Yeah, I think the issue right here is, I'm going to do everything I can to defeat Donald Trump," Sanders said. "I think Trump in so many ways will be a disaster for this country, if he were to be elected president."
Still, Sanders said he is not dropping out of the race.
“I haven't heard her say the things I think should be said,” he told CBS Friday morning when asked why he isn’t endorsing her. “To my mind, she has not brought forth the proposals that I think the American people need to hear.”
Sanders explained that he has been in touch with the Clinton campaign about an endorsement, but he’s not clear on a timeline.
“I would hope that that would happen, or it may not happen,” he said when asked if he would endorse Clinton before the Democratic National Convention in July.
ABC News(NEW YORK) — There remain deep rumblings inside the establishment of the Republican Party about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. This week’s episode of ABC’s "Powerhouse Politics" podcast paints a picture in which the Republican National Committee may focus its efforts on down-ticket races to hedge the risk of losing the White House in November to presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, leaving a Trump operation with little infrastructure of its own scrambling to catch up.
Noting the frustration that has endured in several Republican circles with the party’s presumptive nominee, Stuart Stevens, a former adviser to Mitt Romney and an outspoken member of the Never Trump movement, said that there is "still a possibility that the convention could go in a different direction." Stevens noted, "Until Donald Trump has the nomination, one thing we've learned with Donald Trump is that all things are possible."
Stevens said that this sort of political frustration exists in the Democratic Party as well. "There's clearly a desire for an alternative in both parties," Stevens said while referring to recent poll numbers. Speaking of a possible third-party alternative to Donald Trump, Stevens said, "I think choice is good...If someone’s there and he’s credible, or she’s credible...“I think that would be positive.”
Stevens shared his take on the effect of the Trump campaign on the American electorate, saying that “The underlying reality of Donald Trump’s campaign is his continual appeal not to the best of us, but in many ways the worst of us. He’s the anti-Ronald Reagan, the anti-John Kennedy.” “He’s a grievance monger,” Stevens continued. “His appeal I think is he’s the guy who’s gonna settle the score.”
Mark Leibovich of the New York Times Magazine also joined the podcast, discussing his upcoming cover story on Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Leibovich discussed the emerging tensions between the Trump campaign and the Republican Party. "Trump needs the RNC pretty badly right now," Leibovich said. He's "outsourced a great deal of his campaign to them." As a result, Leibovich noted that the RNC "has a fair amount of leverage now." If the party and the Trump campaign do not get along, Leibovich noted, the party could shift its time and energy to winning down-ticket races.
Leibovich also shared insight from his conversations with Republican insiders who seem to be preparing for a loss at the top of the ticket. “What I sense now is not so much soul searching as almost a pre-autopsy," Leibovich said. Leibovich said that he has spoken with several Republicans "expecting to lose, or sort of looking, what could happen after Trump loses if he loses."
ABC News Political Director Rick Klein and Deputy Political Director Shushannah Walshe also discussed some of the week's political headlines, including House Democrats’ recent sit-in and the chaos inside the Trump campaign wrought by the termination of former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and a poor showing from the campaign according to recent FEC filings.