I predict Trump will lose, lose the debate, lose the election.
I predict Trump will continue to embarrass himself.
I predict Trump will continue his failed attempt to focus NOT on his opponent Hillary but on still-popular former President Bill Clinton and President Obama.
I predict Trump will be consistently, persistently factually inaccurate to an extreme degree.
I predict Trump will continue to claim the election is rigged and to promote conspiracy theories, and to whine whine whine whine whine about how he is a victim. Trump is a victim of no one but himself.
I predict Trump will NOT be focusing on his 'proof' that his accuser of sexual assault in the first class of an airline, reported by the New York Times, was false. His proof turned out to be a proven serial liar and self-professed pedophile pimp from the UK, who does not appear to have been in the US at the time, who has never had the funds to fly first class, and who would have been only 17 or 18 when the attack occurred and who had no legitimate business or other purpose to be in the US at that time.
It is worth noting that President Obama may be the most popular president in history, as he concludes his second term. As of multiple polling from October 6 through October 17th , Real Clear Politics shows him with a polling average of 52.7 approval.
Breaking it down by individual polls listed over at RCP, the approval numbers are:
NBC/ WSJ 53
Fox News 57
GWU/ Battleground 53
During the previous election, it was harder to get a ticket to an event where Bill Clinton was appearing than it was to get in to see the President. There aren't a lot of current stats for Bill Clinton, but his second term average, per this Gallup poll, was 61% for his second term, with a high point of 73% approval. Polling Report.com had President Bubba's approval rating for early to mid-August of this year at 53%, with his prior recent approvals running 57% to 60%.
So, as a strategy, attacking EITHER Bill Clinton or Barack Obama is not a particularly clever idea, and the notion of attacking Bill's infidelities, from 20 years ago, when there haven't been any new scandals, and when he was hitting some of his highest approval ratings back during the Monica Lewinsky days..........again, not likely to result in helping Trump's declining numbers.
What it is likely to show is that Trump lacks substantive critical thinking and that he is weak on policy positions. He fails fact checks before he gets out of bed every morning, with his twitter wars.
His supporters are leaving him like rats leaving a slowly rather than rapidly sinking ship -- in stead numbers, if not in a rush to depart. His surrogates are meeting hostility because of the rubbish they are presenting. Now the surrogates are trying to criticize the first lady, who is arguably more popular than either president has been. Social media and prominent comedians are mocking Trump more than ever.
New sources continue to emerge - one of the latest being Penn Jillette, who asserts that the way Trump spoke on the Billy Bush bus was the same way he spoke on the set of the apprentice when he knew cameras were rolling, AND that the offensive language was NOT ONLY demeaning to women, but also demeaning to people of color, particularly blacks and Hispanics. The man who was the executive producer of the Apprentice has come out with a scathing repudiation of Trump as a potential president. Trump's replacement on the Apprentice, former Republican governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has similarly repudiated Trump, and announced he will vote for Hillary.
The Mark Burnett statement:
“Given all of the false media reports, I feel compelled to clarify a few points. I am not now and have never been a supporter of Donald Trump’s candidacy. I am NOT ‘Pro-Trump.’ Further, my wife and I reject the hatred, division and misogyny that has been a very unfortunate part of his campaign.”The Schwarzenegger statement:
For the first time since I became a citizen in 1983, I will not vote for the Republican candidate for President.And finally 700 Evangelical women have signed an open letter denouncing Trump, and taken a goodly swipe at the male Evangelicals who continue to support Trump also, per The Christian Post:
Like many Americans, I have been conflicted by this election – I still haven’t made up my mind about how exactly I will vote next month. I have been a proud Republican since I moved to the United States in 1968 and I heard Nixon’s words about getting government off our backs, free trade, and defending our liberty with a strong military. That day I joined the party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan.
But as proud as I am to label myself a Republican, there is one label that I hold above all else – American. So I want to take a moment today to remind my fellow Republicans that it is not only acceptable to choose your country over your party – it is your duty.
"As Christian women we are appalled by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's recorded remarks that disparage women and condone sexual assault," the statement, which was issued last week, states. "Such language cannot be dismissed as 'locker room talk.' Mr. Trump must offer public contrition that fully acknowledges the seriousness and depravity of his actions."Another 2,500 students at Liberty University signed an anti-Trump letter, and 75 prominent Evangelical leaders signed a rejection of Trump letter from Change.org:
"Donald Trump's campaign is the most recent and extreme version of a history of racialized politics that has been pursued and about which white evangelicals, in particular, have been silent," the Change.org declaration says. "The silence in previous times has set the environment for what we now see." "For this reason, we cannot ignore this bigotry, set it aside, just focus on other issues, or forget the things Mr. Trump has consistently said and done," the declaration continues. "No matter what other issues we also care about, we have to make it publicly clear that Mr. Trump's racial and religious bigotry and treatment of women is morally unacceptable to us as evangelical Christians, as we attempt to model Jesus' command to 'love your neighbors as yourself.'"It is also worth noting that while no major newspaper in the country has endorsed Trump, a number of prominent newspapers are coming out either in support of Hillary, or at the very least against Trump, including the two most prominent Christian newspapers.
THAT will be the context in which Trump does his pathetic little counter-punching shtick on Wednesday night. The one thing you can reliably expect he will NOT do is be either dignified or substantive, or that he will focus on either his real accomplishments which are few, or what he has to offer the nation.
I don't expect we will see anything more of Melania, since her efforts to defend Trump involved claiming he was like a little boy, but it is entirely possible if not before the debate, before too much longer that we will see more Trump scandal emerge, particularly something from the Apprentice of his appearances on Stern's radio show, and with new accusations from women coming forward.
Because the one sure bet is that there is much more scandal to come out from Trump's past and present, not less. And the other sure bet is that he will behave badly, sooner or later, if not during the debate.