Donald Trump is struggling in the polls, and he doesn't seem to have any desire to change anything. He said Thursday that he'll "just keep doing the same thing I'm doing right now."
"At the end it's either going to work or I'm going to, you know - I'm going to have a very, very nice long vacation," he added. And indeed, some are starting to predict that Trump is due for a "very, very nice long vacation" after Nov. 8.
But if he's not - and if he's able to keep it close and maybe even win - remember this poll number.
Bloomberg in its new survey attempted to approximate Trump's view of the state of affairs in the United States, and it did the same for Clinton.
Here's the Trump description (which didn't name him but is apparent):
"The U.S. is in a dark and dangerous place, with threats from overseas and within our borders."
And here's the Clinton description:
"The U.S. is in a strong position for progress on the economy and national security."
Given those two options, 56 percent of likely 2016 voters picked the Trump version, and 40 percent picked the Clinton version. This, again, is an approximation of the messages that undergird Trump's and Clinton's campaigns. Neither summation is perfect, but they do pretty accurately describe the picture each candidate is painting of where the nation stands heading into the 2016 election. Clinton says the economy is getting better and we need steady, strong leadership to keep progressing. Trump says everything is terrible and our very way of life is threatened or even under attack.
The latter message appears to be more in line with voters, at least according to this one poll.
Despite this, of course, Trump continues to struggle mightily in the polls. That's in large part because he's an extraordinarily flawed messenger. He trails Clinton on the vast majority of issues and attributes, up to and including readiness to be president. His image is also terrible, with as few as 3 in 10 registered voters saying they like the GOP nominee.
And yet, some polling still shows him close. The very same Bloomberg poll had him within three points if you don't include "leaners" -- people who don't fully support a candidate but lean toward one or the other. And the Los Angeles Times/USC tracking poll has Trump within two.
Part of the reason Trump might very well keep it close is simply because of rank partisanship and the fact that a majority of Americans don't like his opponent, either. But another reason he's not totally out of the game is that Americans are generally more animated by pessimism than progress. Clinton, by virtue of being in the party of the current occupant of the White House, can't help be focused more on the positive. But Trump can - and does - tell us that the world is crumbling around us.
And if a strong majority of Americans continue to view the United States as a "dark and dangerous" place in November, Trump's prospects may brighten.
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