It’s a pretty safe bet Donald J. Trump will lose in the state of Washington this November. It’s a pretty sure one he’ll get walloped in the city of Seattle.
Yet on Aug. 30 the Trump train will return to the Left Coast and pull into the Evergreen State’s bastion of progressive liberalism where the Republican billionaire will disembark to collect donations in support of his political odyssey.
Such a strategy should inspire severe head-scratching. Washington hasn’t favored a Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan and the latest statewide poll finds The Donald with just 24 percent support.
But Trump’s convention is to be unconventional. In that light, Trump’s visit to this region to wrap his hands around some of the community’s economic axles makes perfect sense.
When he arrives, there will be some different faces in his entourage. On Wednesday, Trump announced he’s hired a new manager and a new chief executive officer to conduct the campaign in the final 11 weeks.
Maybe this explains the email he sent a day earlier to voters in Washington and around the country.
It didn’t solicit money as do so many from his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
In it Trump asks his “most trusted advisers — the American people” on the strategy he should undertake to beat Clinton. The email implores recipients — “consider it your duty” — to complete a 30-question survey. The answers apparently will help the GOP candidate focus his message in the 76 days left before ballots are due.
Such surveys can be a candidate’s means of keeping supporters engaged, energized and not feeling like all you want from them is their money. And these questionnaires can gauge the resonance of one trending topic versus another. Since Trump’s base doesn’t need any energy boosts, maybe his new braintrust wanted a quick check of the campaign’s weather vane.
Recipients are asked to identify their “biggest concerns personally” from a list including job security, mortgage payments, Social Security, saving for children’s education, saving for retirement, social issues, terrorist threats, cost of living, increased crime and veterans aid.
Most of the survey contains statements espoused by Trump in the campaign followed by a choice of responses ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” Here is a sample:
• Law and order should remain a centerpiece of Trump’s platform.
• Our country has strayed too much from what our founders outlined in the Constitution.
• Term limits should be imposed on congressmen and senators.
• Taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortions.
• A wall must be built along the southern border of the United States to stop the flow of illegal immigration.
• Political correctness has gone too far. It now threatens our national security.
Of all the questions, three deal directly with what approach Trump should take. These could be instructive for the new campaign leadership if the results reach them.
Should Trump spend more of his time going after Hillary’s record and her positions on the issues?
Should Trump focus more on positive or negative advertising?
Should Trump invest more time and resources in YOUR state?
For Trump’s “trusted advisers” in Washington —and those attending his event in Seattle later this month — the answer to the last one should be crystal clear.
Political reporter Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @dospueblos