Donald Trump made it clear to The New York Times that he has no interest in toning down his unconventional campaign for the sake of uniting the Republican Party. In fact, Trump claimed he had a "mandate" from supporters to keep up approaches others have accused of being racist, sexist, and xenophobic.
"You win the pennant and now you're in the World Series — you gonna change? People like the way I'm doing," Trump said.
Some people do, anyway. Trump is viewed negatively by about 60 percent of Americans, and according to Republican pollster David Winston, he is a minimum of "50 million voters short of what he's going to need" at this point.
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"My advice to him is that he should now consider how he will appeal to the many Republican and non-Republican voters who have serious concerns about his candidacy," agreed Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).
Trump, though, argued that it is clear his comments and actions are working. Using another entertainment analogy, he said, "In a Broadway theater, the best, the best, absolute best sale is called 'word of mouth.' If people love a Broadway show, it's better than if you write a good review. Word of mouth is the No. 1 thing. And the word of mouth at my rallies is like, 'You've got to go see it.'"
Mandates are usually reserved for after a candidate wins the general election, and while some Republicans argue Trump indeed has earned his claim, others aren't so sure. "I don't even think the 1980 Reagan landslide gave Reagan a mandate. He was effective because the country was in terrible shape and he was able to bring large numbers of people behind his ideas. Trump hasn't done that," former New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg said.
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