18 Aug

Donald Trump doesn’t believe in polls. And maybe he’s right. Maybe he shouldn’t believe in them. Maybe all the polls in the world won’t make a bit of difference if he ends up winning on Nov. 8.

Trump restarts his campaign tonight in Charlotte following trouble with the polls.

Remember, Trump won the Republican primaries in North Carolina in March, as well as other states’ primaries throughout the country, despite predictions that Trump wasn’t a serious contender.

Watch this adviser respond to CNN’s question about Trump’s recent campaign shakeup (which the adviser insists wasn’t a shakeup). The “shakeup” occurred following a series of polls indicating Trump trails Clinton by ever-widening margins, his overall popularity sinking.

“Says who?” the adviser asks.

“Polls,” CNN answers. “All of them.”

Watch this CNN clip:

 

Is North Carolina the beginning of the end for Trump? Or is it a new beginning entirely?

As the Charlotte Observer reports, Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen Bannon became chief executive and Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway became campaign manager. Meanwhile, former chief executive Paul Manafort was demoted and relegated to campaign chairman.

Bannon’s new position as Trump campaign CEO is significant because, as executive chairman of Breitbart News, Trump apparently believes that Bannon will bring his Internet-savvy conservative messaging to the campaign. Breitbart News is a right-wing news and opinion website, popular among conservatives.

Some sources say the shakeup is a sign, the beginning of the end.

No one to soften the hard edges anymore.

With Bannon at the wheel now, anything goes, including more of Trump’s distinctive messaging.

After all, the demoted Manafort was the one to “soften the hard edges of [Trump’s] message,” as Olivia Nuzzi writes for the Daily Beast. He tried to, anyway. Though Trump doesn’t appear to give polls much weight, the change in personnel seems more than coincidental, and may give North Carolina Republicans an excuse to distance themselves from Trump.

The campaign trail restarts tonight in Charlotte.

As the Charlotte Observer reports, Trump is in North Carolina today, first at a fundraiser at Trump National Golf Club, then at a dinner at the Westin Hotel in uptown, where tickets will go for upwards of $50K.

Finally, he’ll be at the Charlotte Convention Center at 7:30 p.m. for a campaign rally.