Donald Trump has had a bunch of bad weeks since effectively clinching the Republican presidential nomination in Indiana on May 3. But no week has been as bad as the one he just endured.
Trump first insinuated that Ghazala Khan, the fallen captain's mother, was not allowed to speak at the convention because of her Muslim faith. Then he suggested the Khans were put up to their speech by Hillary Clinton's campaign. Then Trump played the victim himself, insisting that he had made sacrifices in his life, too, and arguing that it wasn't fair that the Khans got to attack him.
Republicans, already worried about Trump's effect on the party's chances of holding the Senate and House, insisted that they disagreed with Trump's stance — although only one — Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — said it meant he couldn't support his party's nominee.
The American public didn't much like Trump's comments, either. Three-quarters of voters disapproved of how Trump handled the Khan situation, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll; of that, 56 percent disapproved "strongly" of how he handled it. Just 13 percent of voters approved of how Trump acted. More than six in 10 Republicans believe Trump mishandled the Khan situation.
Speaking of Republicans, Trump continued to unnecessarily antagonize the GOP establishment he desperately needs to unify the party. In an interview with The Washington Post's Phil Rucker on Tuesday, Trump refused to say whether he would endorse Speaker Paul Ryan ahead of his primary challenge next week. Ditto Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.
After 48 hours of negative press and threats of internal revolt, Trump capitulated — throwing his support behind all three candidates on Friday, a decision that left anyone paying attention wondering why Trump had wasted two days fomenting rather than quieting internal Republican problems.
Last but not least, Trump lost his best friend this past week: polls. Long the rhetorical crutch that he could lean on even when he was under withering attack for something he said or did — "the polls show me winning," was his constant refrain — the polls abandoned Trump over the past seven days.
Surveys in key swing states such as New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Michigan showed him trailing, and even in what should be safe GOP states — like Georgia — Trump was lagging behind Clinton. National polls were no better. The Post-ABC poll showed him behind by eight points, and it was only one of a slew of data points that put Trump well behind Clinton.
Yes, it is still August. And there are 93 days until the Nov. 8 election. Things can and will change.
But Trump hasn't had a good week since May 3. And his weeks are getting worse, not better. If he loses — and loses big — we will remember this seven-day period as the time when the bottom dropped out.