Despite mainstream media rumblings that the 2016 presidential race is virtually over, GOP nominee Donald Trump recently took hold of the ball and with his eye firmly on the goalpost is making a run for it.
In recent days Trump invited new people onboard his campaign team, made a series of policy related speeches, expressed regret for hurt he may previously have caused with ill-chosen words, started a dialogue with voters in communities of color, took a trip to flood-stricken Louisiana to comfort folks and provide much-needed supplies, and revved up his television ads in some key battleground states.
Any one of these actions could potentially have altered the electoral trajectory. However, the finely tuned effort, which was carried out within a condensed time frame, has had the effect of softening the negative narrative that the mainstream media had crafted and giving Trump an image boost in the process.
The GOP nominee was at his best when he journeyed to Louisiana with an 18-wheel truck loaded with provisions for the victims of the horrific floods that hit the Pelican State.
Large groups of locals spontaneously assembled to show their support and appreciation for the candidate.
But in what may turn out to be the most significant electoral tide-turner, the Trump campaign has launched its first general election television ads in the key battleground states of Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. The spots are slated to air through Aug. 29.
The foray into broadcast TV advertising marks a return for Trump to one of his defining issues, which actually jump started his initial entrée into politics; that being, the illegal immigration issue.
The first Trump ad successfully links the notion of ill-conceived immigration policies to national security and crime. The ad is reminiscent of the “Make America Safe Again” campaign slogan, which was introduced at last month’s Republican National Convention.
The commercial, “Two Americas: Immigration,” is a 30-second spot that paints the picture of a nation in which Hillary is in charge of U.S. immigration policy. The contrast is then made with what an America under a Trump administration would look like.
The difference between the two scenarios is stark, and the drama compelling. The messaging, too, is clear and pointed, as is the accompanying video footage.
Also emphasized in the ad is the need for a real outsider to step up and take hold of the reins of the executive branch. The fallout of the television ad has already made itself evident. The Hillary campaign has gone into defensive mode and is making the claim that the piece is “misleading.”
But in a brief 30 seconds, the commercial shines the spotlight on a part of Hillary's record that her campaign would most likely have preferred been kept sequestered.
The piece makes reference to the Syrian refugees that are flooding into the country. A graphic referencing a September 2015 CBS News interview appears in the ad. During the interview, Hillary had remarked that the United States should take in 65,000 refugees from Syria, a figure that is well beyond the Obama administration’s announcement of 10,000 refugees.
Time will tell whether aiming the camera at the flawed policy proposals of the Democratic nominee, while presenting the softer side of the GOP candidate in speeches and at rallies, will have the desired effect of getting folks, especially those typically disinclined to vote Republican, to take a second look.
With Trump being one of the most media savvy candidate’s ever to run for political office, the trend is currently his friend.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.
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