Originally Posted: October 14, 2016
The scorched-earth playbook employed by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is stirring alarm among allies of Hillary Clinton, with some fearing the negativity will depress turnout on Election Day.
Some Clinton supporters say they’re concerned that voters are nearly fed up with the constant accusations and name-calling that has defined the campaign.
“Of course there’s reason to worry, both about the ‘turn off’ effect or the impact if polling continues to show her leading by a wide margin,” one longtime Clinton adviser acknowledged on Thursday. “That, too, could lead some to stay home.”
The hostile atmosphere in the race has been worsening by the day.
In the past 48 hours, several women have come forward to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct following reports of a tape in which the Republican nominee talks about grabbing women by the genitals. Protestors have been interrupting Clinton to accuse her husband of rape, after Trump brought women who have accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct to the second debate.
Trump is increasingly warning of a “conspiracy” that he says is being waged against him by the Republican Party, corporate interests and the mainstream media. And amid the chaos, there’s been a slow drip of emails from WikiLeaks that appear to detail the inner workings of the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Another former Clinton aide added that while Trump’s comments have been “desperate,” there’s some cause for concern.
“In the final days of a presidential campaign, it’s something you have to worry about,” the source said.
Grant Reeher, the director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute at Syracuse University, agreed, saying turnout fears are running high for candidates up and down ballot.
“I think every campaign from the two presidential campaigns on down are thinking about this, and rightly so, because this kind of conflict can raise the attention level and the interest level of people, but when you start hacking away into the enthusiasm, then that leads a lot of folks to just say, ‘I’m not going to bother at all,’” he said.
“The hardcore people will vote, but it’s the folks that are less attached that are going to be vulnerable to this.” READ MORE