GOP insiders: Trump’s overhaul won’t succeed – Politico

Donald Trump says this week’s dramatic campaign overhaul will put his presidential bid on the right path, but GOP leaders in key battleground states aren’t buying it.

Fewer than a third of Republican members of The POLITICO Caucus — a panel of activists, strategists and operatives in 11 key battleground states — believe Trump’s reshuffling will move the campaign in the right direction. Just as many, 31 percent, say the installation of Breitbart News executive Stephen Bannon as campaign CEO and pollster Kellyanne Conway as campaign manager, represent a turn for the worse.

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“There is no way to right this ship,” said one New Hampshire Republican — who, like all respondents, completed the survey anonymously. “Changes in top staff this late in the game are always a sign that the campaign and candidate recognize that they are lost. In this case, they have gone from bad to worse. Campaigns do not need ‘CEOs,’ and pollsters are not qualified to manage presidential efforts. He is in a constant cycle of moving from one set of ‘yes men’ to another.”

Nearly a half-dozen GOP insiders compared the changes to “rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic” — a reference to Trump’s significant deficit in the polls.

A Virginia Republican made a similar analogy: “You can keep moving people in and out of the car, but so long as the drunk guy is driving it while blindfolded, the ride probably isn’t going to get any smoother.”

In fact, a slight plurality of Republicans, 37 percent, said they weren’t sure whether the changes would move the campaign in the right or wrong directions. For most of those insiders, Trump’s difficulties begin and end at the top.


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