Republican Party insiders are scaling back their expectations for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's chances in November's election.
According to a Bloomberg News panel on Monday, the real estate developer and former reality TV star has put in a historically bad week as a candidate, turning in a lackluster debate performance and allowing his temper to fire off in all directions.
"During every campaign, there comes a moment in time where you feel the train leaving the tracks," said Republican strategist Rick Tyler. "And to me, this has that feeling. The toothpaste is out of the tube. It's going to be very difficult for Trump to put it back in the tube. Do you agree with that thesis?"
“This could be the worst week in presidential history for any candidate,” said Tyler, a former communications director for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign. “I certainly wouldn't know how to top it.”
“The hole that Trump has dug for himself is very deep,” said former George W. Bush aide Joe Watkins. “Given the large viewing audience for the first debate and week of big missteps by Trump, it's possible that it could be too late to turn it around.”
Since the debate, Trump has picked a fight with a former Miss Universe, called presidential rival Hillary Clinton crazy and inadvertently revealed that he hasn't paid federal income tax at all since 1997.
“It wasn't a bad week -- it was a horrible week,” said Republican pollster Frank Luntz.
“His staff has no control over him whatsoever. It's their responsibility to keep him focused on what it takes to win, and they have lost it,” Luntz added.
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