The Cable

Battleground ’16: The Wall That Trump Didn’t Build

As GOP nominee Donald Trump heads to Mexico on Wednesday to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto, back home, he faces a growing wall blocking his path to victory in November.

Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump Holds Rally In Austin, Texas
AUSTIN, TX - AUGUST 23: Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump cheer during a rally at the Travis County Exposition Center on August 23, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)

As GOP nominee Donald Trump heads to Mexico on Wednesday to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto, back home, he faces a different wall than the one he promised to build on the U.S.-Mexico border — and make Mexico City bankroll.

As of Tuesday, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton counted three times as many campaign officials in crucial swing states as Trump, according to PBS. The Trump campaign only recently released its first television ad of the general election, a $4.8 million buy running in Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.

Meanwhile down ballot, former GOP presidential candidates Marco Rubio of Florida and John McCain of Arizona (the 2008 nominee) both fended off challengers in Tuesday’s primaries in their contested home states. While both senators said they’d support their party’s nominee, they’ve also made clear they don’t support his mutating foreign policy pronouncements or more draconian immigration proposals, making for a long fall yet against Democratic opponents.

Trump prides himself on his unconventional campaign, but he’s also running a consistent deficit in polls against his Democratic rival in such key battleground states. Unflattering reports over the Clinton Foundation and the former secretary of state’s emails continue to drip out, and the upcoming debates could prompt a deluge, but the wall between Trump and a path to victory in November appears to be growing ever taller.

Sign up for FP’s Editors’ Picks newsletter here to receive Battleground ’16, our take on the presidential race, each Wednesday through November.


 

When Donald Met Nigel …

Fear of immigrants. Demagoguery. Support from undereducated voters. A peek inside the budding bromance between Donald Trump and Nigel Farage.

 


 

“I know Anthony Weiner well, and she will be far better off without him. I only worry for the country in that Hillary Clinton was careless and negligent in allowing Weiner to have such close proximity to highly classified information.”

— Donald Trump’s statement on Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s split from her husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner

 


 

Trump and Clinton Have No Idea How to Deal With Putin

Murky links to Moscow and speculation of Kremlin interference have dominated the U.S. election. So how come neither candidate has a coherent Russia policy?

Matthew Rojansky argues that the political feeding frenzy unleashed by Russian jabs at the U.S. presidential election underscores a far deeper problem for America’s national interests: Despite ample rhetoric bashing Russia’s muscle flexing foreign policy or impugning the White House for failing to explore avenues of cooperation, neither presidential candidate seems to have given much thought to what a coherent U.S. policy toward Russia would actually look like.

 


 

Biden to the Baltics: Don’t Take Trump’s NATO Comments Seriously

The vice president says Trump doesn’t know what NATO’s mutual defense article is.

“I want to make it absolutely clear to all the people in Baltic states: We have pledged our sacred honor, the United States of America … to the NATO treaty and Article 5,” Biden said in the Latvian capital Riga.

 


 

+0.3

Trump’s lead against Hillary Clinton and Gary Johnson in the reliably Republican state of Georgia — well within the margin of error, according to a Real Clear Politics polling average.


 

Sign up for FP’s Editors’ Picks newsletter here to receive Battleground ’16, our take on the presidential race, each Wednesday through November.

Photo credit: Drew Anthony Smith / Stringer

Molly O’Toole is a senior reporter at Foreign Policy, covering immigration, refugees, and national security. She was FP’s sole 2016 presidential campaign reporter, on the trail from New Hampshire to Nevada. Previously, she covered the politics of national security for Atlantic Media’s Defense One, where she reported from Congress, the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department. Before that, she was a news editor at the Huffington Post. Molly has also reported on national and international politics for Reuters, the Nation, The Associated Press, and Newsweek International, among others, from Washington, New York, Mexico City, and London. She received her dual master’s degree in journalism and international relations from New York University and her bachelor’s from Cornell University and in 2016 was a grant recipient of the International Women’s Media Foundation. She will always be a Californian. @mollymotoole

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