PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Washington Post Chief Political Reporter Robert Costa discussed the changes made at the top of Donald Trump’s campaign as Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway enter and Paul Manafort exits amid a string of post convention polling showing the Republican candidate falling further and further behind Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House.
Costa told Dom Giordano on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that Bannon, who most recently ran the right wing news website, Breitbart, will attempt to get Trump to key in on what matters most to him, while Conway will try to soften his image with swing voters.READ MORE: SEPTA Workers Voted To Authorize Strike If New Contract Isn't Reached
“Bannon is a full-throated populist and nationalist. When he talks about letting Trump be Trump, based on my conversations with him and people close to him, he’s really trying to say to Trump, go back to your core issues of trade, against illegal immigration, economic unrest. Focus on those. The other key person right now, in Trump’s inner circle, is not just Steve Bannon, it’s the veteran Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, who has become Trump’s campaign manager. She’s the kind of person who, for years, has been working with GOP candidates to have them have a better pitch, more appeal to suburban voters like those in Philly [and] women voters.”READ MORE: Philadelphia Police Searching For 13-Year-Old Leienna Cuevas Last Seen At Home In Rhawnhurst
He also said Pennsylvania, specifically the area surrounding Philadelphia, is essential if Trump hopes to have any real chance of winning in November.
“He’s got appeal to those collar counties. He’s got to get those skittish voters over to his side and, at the same time, he can’t just be doing well in the Philly suburbs and the Pittsburgh suburbs out west. He needs to have a double down on the populism that’s going to rouse the ‘T’ in Pennsylvania in the central and north eastern parts of the state, coal country and the areas that have been struggling without manufacturing. He’s got to really stoke the vote in a lot of places. Pennsylvania is so important for him. When you look at the map, if he’s not winning North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, maybe Ohio, it’s going to be a tough path ahead. Pennsylvania is the keystone, literally, for the Trump strategy.”MORE NEWS: CBS3 Pet Project: PSPCA's Biggest Fundraiser Of Year, Bark & Whine Gala, Going Virtual Again This Year