On the national stage, the Trump train stalls

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Donald Trump hasn’t quite asked the dead to vote for him, but he’s nearly there. “I joke a lot as I say if you’re sick, if you just got the worse prognosis that a doctor can give you, if you’re lying in bed and you just know you’re not going to make it – you have to get up on November 8th and you have to vote,” he said on Thursday (Friday in Manila). At least nine times in the speech to evangelical leaders in key swing state Florida, the brash 70-year-old billionaire – sometimes speaking in an uncharacteristically low voice – called on them to ensure their parishioners cast their ballots for him. The Republican presidential candidate is a bit worried about his chances in November against Hillary Clinton, and he’s not exactly hiding it. And his team is struggling to transform his winning primary campaign model into an unbeatable national election machine. During the Republican primaries, the Manhattan real estate mogul and former reality television star ignored the experts and the pundits who told him to be more “presidential,” to stop insulting his rival and to prepare his speeches. To everyone’s surprise, Trump’s iconoclastic strategy worked. He was the last man standing, and won the Republican Party’s nomination. But since officially becoming the party’s standard-bearer, at the urging of his aides, he has given more policy-driven speeches using a teleprompter.

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