Each week we’re publishing a new chart showing where our group of 25 right-wing pundits stand on the question of Trump, and you’ll be able to look back at past weeks to see if minds are changing. Our categories are “Voting Trump,” “Voting Clinton,” “Not Voting,” “Someone Else,” and “Inscrutable.” Someone else means either a third party candidate or a write-in. Inscrutable includes pundits who have voiced opposition to both Trump and Clinton, but are otherwise undecided, and those who are sharply critical of Trump but haven’t stated a preferred alternative. Click on a pundit’s head to see what he or she has said about the election this week. (If someone doesn’t write or speak or tweet—crazy, but possible—in a given week, we’ll assume they are “thinking…” Also: We are scouring the internet obsessively, but it’s a big place and it’s possible someone will say something that we miss. We are confident you’ll let us know in comments if so!)
Will the Inscrutables pull it together come November? Will anyone else jump on the Hillary train? Will more pundits coalesce around a third-party candidate? Or will everyone eventually fall into line for Trump between now and Election Day? Keep an eye on this weekly tracker to find out.
In a profile of the disastrous Donald Trump campaign in Time, a Hillary Clinton adviser described what it was like gathering oppo on the GOP nominee.
“He can set himself on fire at breakfast, kill a nun at lunch and waterboard a puppy in the afternoon. And that doesn’t even get us to prime time.”
That is the 2016 campaign in a nutshell.
It’s not whether Trump is going to have a bad week, it’s a matter of how and to what degree.
This week, in attempting to warn his supporters about the damage that a President Hillary Clinton could do the Supreme Court, Trump said:
"Hillary wants to abolish—essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know," Trump said.
Was he hinting that Hillary should be assassinated? Even his supporters were uncomfortable.
“The question is whether he intended to incite violence. If not, a gaffe. If so, a crime. I am of the former opinion,” said Hugh Hewitt.
Before that controversy could die, Trump said that President Obama was the founder of ISIS and, for good measure, that “Crooked Hillary” was the co-founder. Given multiple chances to walk back his statement, he didn’t even apologize for his fact-free assessment. “Everyone’s liking it,” was his excuse.
Not everyone. Our pundits who are Trump skeptics were several kinds of mortified. And so no movement this week.
On to the tracker.