This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, August 17, 2016:
On Tuesday evening Donald Trump announced the addition of Stephen Bannon to his campaign and the promotion of Kellyanne Conway (above)to a position on his staff, explaining, “I want to win. That’s why I’m bringing on fantastic people who know how to win and love to win.”
Later he told the Associated Press, “I’ve known both of them for a long time. They’re terrific people, they’re winners, they’re champs, and we need to win it. I believe we’re adding some of the best talents in politics, with the experience and expertise needed to defeat Hillary Clinton in November.”
Taking on the role of CEO of Trump’s campaign, Bannon will work closely with Paul Manafort, who remains his campaign chairman. Conway, who has been serving as an advisor to the campaign, will become his campaign manager. Staffers said she’ll take an active role of managing Trump while he is on the road, advising him personally as he travels to make campaign presentations and hold press conferences.
Bannon, following a stint as an investment banker with Goldman Sachs, opened his own boutique investment firm Bannon & Co. which specialized in investing in media properties. He founded the Government Accountability Institute in 2012, its purpose “to investigate and expose crony capitalism, misuse of taxpayer monies, and other governmental corruption or malfeasance.” In keeping with that mission, the institute funded the book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, which was published in May of 2015. It became a New York Times Best Seller.
Bannon’s institute then turned Clinton Cash into a film a year later, releasing it just before the start of the Democratic National Convention.
Prior to accepting Trump’s invitation to join his team, Bannon was the executive chairman of Breitbart News, LLC, the parent company of the Breitbart News Network. He has taken a leave of absence in order to take on the role in Trump’s campaign.
Kellyanne Conway is the president and CEO of The Polling Company, which has served as a political advisor to the late Congressman Jack Kemp, former Vice President Dan Quayle, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former Senator Fred Thompson, and former Congressman and now Indiana’s governor as well as Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence.
Conway’s company has conducted demographic and attitudinal surveys for various trade associations and Fortune 500 companies, including American Express, ABC News, Major League Baseball, and the Ladies’ Home Journal magazine. She also heads up WomanTrend, a research and consulting firm that works to improve customer relationships between major American corporations and the female consumer.
The addition of this “firepower” (a term used by Trump himself) into the Trump campaign has been in the works for weeks, long before Trump’s recent decline in the polls. But the national media, including Yahoo.com and the Wall Street Journal, characterized the move as just short of a panic reshuffling of talent in order to stave off imminent disaster. Said Yahoo, “Trump brought in a new CEO and promoted a pollster … after a tumultuous few weeks that have seen the GOP contender’s poll numbers drop amid a series of controversies.” The Wall Street Journal called Trump’s moves an “overhaul” of his team “in a bid to recover ground he has lost in recent weeks.”
What’s likely happening is that Trump is turbocharging his campaign in advance of the unofficial election season kickoff following the Labor Day weekend the first week of September.
It also turns out that those poll numbers to which the MSM is referring are old news. On Tuesday, Zogby Analytics published poll results from last Friday and Saturday, showing that the race is now in a statistical dead heat, with Clinton at 38 percent, Trump at 36 percent, Gary Johnson at eight percent, Jill Stein at five percent, and the remaining 13 percent still unsure of whom they’ll vote for in November. As Zogby noted:
Trump has kept the race close by winning Independents. He is winning Independents 32% to 26% and has also closed the gap among older Millennials. Trump is tied with Clinton at 30% among 25-34 year old voters. Another interesting development is over the years we have tracked voting habits among NASCAR fans and Weekly Walmart shoppers. Ten years ago these groups tended to slant conservative and Republican. That trend has been reversed during the Obama Presidency, and these consumers tend to be more liberal and supporters of Democrats today. Trump has reversed this trend. Both NASCAR fans and Walmart shoppers favor Trump over Clinton. Donald Trump is winning NASCAR fans (44% to 36%) and weekly Walmart shoppers 41% to 36%.
Professor Helmut Norpoth, a political science professor at Stony Brook University in New York, prefers his election model to any of the current polls, holding that most polls “tend to be inaccurate until closer to the final election date.” His model has been back-tested to 1912 and it has predicted every presidential election winner but one (1960 when Kennedy beat Nixon), for a 96-percent accuracy rate. Based on data from the primaries leading up to the national election, Norpoth gives Trump an 87-percent chance of winning in November.
With the Clinton campaign bogged down over the e-mail scandal, the continuing flow of damaging evidence of invidious behavior from WikiLeaks, and increasing concerns over her health, Trump is ramping up his team for the unofficial launch in September. Rather than “reshuffling” it in response to allegedly poor recent poll numbers, he appears to be turbocharging it with remarkable talent, something Trump has repeatedly done successfully in private industry for years.