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Federal Politics: Conservatives open seven-point lead over Liberals as past PPC voters migrate to Poilievre – Angus Reid Institute

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35 per cent of Canadians view Pierre Poilievre favourably, 40 per cent approve of Trudeau’s performance


September 27, 2022 – The ascendance of Pierre Poilievre as leader of the Conservatives is giving his party an advantage in vote intent over the Liberals not seen in more than three years.

Since the 2019 election, the two parties have been locked in what has mostly amounted to a statistical tie in national vote intention – generally driven by the rise and fall the fortunes of the Trudeau government in the moment rather than momentum for the Conservatives.

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Now the opposition party – which last month elected its third leader in as many years – is pulling together a right-of-centre base that includes not only its own supporters but those who turned out for the People’s Party in the 2021 general election.

The result is now a seven-point lead in vote intention for the Conservatives, according to new data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute. Three-quarters of those who supported the PPC in the last federal election (5% of Canadians voted for the PPC) say they would now support the CPC.

Overall, three-in-ten Canadians say they would vote Liberal, while one-in-five would vote for the NDP.

In terms of leadership, the Liberals’ Justin Trudeau and Poilievre have strengths and weaknesses they will need to buttress or overcome. Poilievre is seen as best to lead on a number of key issues including managing the federal deficit, economic growth, and the cost of living. Meanwhile, Trudeau is the preferred choice to steward Canada’s place on the world stage, the nation’s social safety net, climate change policy, and health care.

In terms of the personal appeal of Trudeau and Poilievre, there is an emerging gender dynamic at play. Women are far more likely to approve of Trudeau’s performance (47% vs 32%). When asked about Poilievre, 45 per cent of men view him favourably, compared to just 26 per cent of women. This extends to vote intention. The CPC is the top choice among all male age groups and no female age groups. Women younger than 35 prefer the NDP, while those older than 34 prefer the Liberals.

More Key Findings:

  • Three-in-five believe cost of living is a top issue facing Canada, outpacing health care (45%), climate change (28%), housing affordability (27%) and the economy more broadly (21%).
  • The last time the gap in vote intent between the CPC and Liberals was this large in ARI tracking was 2019.
  • Among decided and leaning voters, nearly half (47%) of men say they intend to vote CPC if an election were held today. Support for the CPC is much lower among women: 28 per cent.

About ARI

The Angus Reid Institute (ARI) was founded in October 2014 by pollster and sociologist, Dr. Angus Reid. ARI is a national, not-for-profit, non-partisan public opinion research foundation established to advance education by commissioning, conducting and disseminating to the public accessible and impartial statistical data, research and policy analysis on economics, political science, philanthropy, public administration, domestic and international affairs and other socio-economic issues of importance to Canada and its world.

Note: Because its small population precludes drawing discrete samples over multiple waves, data on Prince Edward Island is not released.

INDEX

Part One: Top issues

  • Cost of living and health care are key

  • Which leader is seen as best on which issues?

Part Two: Leadership

  • Trudeau approval stands at two-in-five

  • Poilievre viewed positively by one-in-three

  • Initial impressions of Poilievre more negative than those of O’Toole, Scheer

  • Leader characteristics: Canadians largely critical of both Poilievre and Trudeau

Part Three: Vote intent

  • CPC up, Liberals down

  • The PPC migration

  • Vote and the gender divide

  • Regional results

Part One: Top issues

Cost of living and health care are key

With fall comes consistency in the issues that are front of mind in the summer: runaway cost of living and an ailing health-care system.

Related: Access to Health Care: Free, but for all? Nearly nine million Canadians report chronic difficulty getting help

Three-in-five (60%) Canadians select inflation as a top issue of personal concern. Approaching half (45%) say so of health care. Those two issues vastly outpace other challenges facing the country, such as climate change (selected by 28%), housing affordability (27%) and the economy more generally (21%). Those numbers remain similar to the summer, when three-in-five (63%) said cost of living was a top concern, half (52%) said health care, three-in-ten (31%) chose housing affordability and one-quarter (26%) chose climate change.

Concerns over inflation transcend politics: more than half of past voters for all five main federal parties say cost of living is a top concern, ranking it first among issues for all but past Liberal voters.

Health care also ranks highly for past Conservative, Liberal, NDP and Bloc supporters, though Conservatives are less likely to select it as a top issue than the others.

Those who voted Liberal, NDP and Bloc last year are more likely than those who voted PPC and CPC to select climate change as a top issue. Meanwhile, at least two-in-five PPC (41%) and CPC (37%) voters say the deficit is a pressing national concern:

There is also much agreement on the top two issues facing Canada across age and gender lines. At least half of all age and gender demographics say cost of living is a top concern, while health care ranks in the top two most selected issues for all except men under the age of 35. Men are more likely than women to be personally concerned with the economy, while women are more likely to select climate change and housing affordability:

Which leader is seen as best on which issues?

Canadians were asked to consider a number of these key issues and which of the two party leaders most likely to form government in a future election they consider best to steward the nation. As with Conservative leaders before him, Pierre Poilievre garners most of his support in the economic realm. More than two-in-five (44%) say Poilievre is best to handle the federal deficit, while 28 per cent prefer Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In setting economic policy and reducing the cost of living, Poilievre holds a similar but smaller advantage. And while Trudeau cedes ground on economic issues, he is viewed as more capable on two of the country’s top three issues – health care and climate change.

The perceptions of which leader would be best on each issue are divided politically. However, though in the minority overall, there are more past NDP and Liberal voters willing to believe Poilievre would be better suited to handle financial issues, including the economy generally (12% Liberal, 14% NDP), the federal deficit (15%, 19%) and cost of living (11%, 12%), than issues relating to health care, unity, the social safety net, or Canada’s international reputation.

And, again, though they are minority opinions, past CPC voters are slightly more likely to give Trudeau the nod on climate change (13%) and Canada’s social safety net (11%) than on other issues.

Those who voted Bloc Québécois in last year’s election are more likely to hand the federal deficit to Poilievre and are divided on the economy overall and cost of living. For all other issues, Trudeau comes out ahead among those past voters:

Part Two: Leadership

Trudeau approval stands at two-in-five

As Trudeau returns from paying his respects to the Queen – and to the rock supergroup Queen – he faces a new opposition leader in the House of Commons. The PM’s standing among the electorate, however, is familiar – two-in-five Canadians approve of his performance as prime minister, while more than half (56%) do not:

Disapproval for Trudeau is much higher among men than women, with half of men over the age of 34 – and more than two-in-five younger than that – saying they strongly disapprove of the Liberal leader. Women over the age of 54 are the most likely demographic to positively appraise Trudeau:

Four-in-five who voted for the Liberals one year ago say they approve of Trudeau. And while the Liberals won a minority government in that election, they have been operating without fear of falling because of the cooperation of the NDP and leader Jagmeet Singh via a supply and confidence agreement. Those who voted NDP are more split on the prime minister their party is helping keep in power – half (52%) approve, more than two-in-five (44%) do not. Those who supported the Bloc Québécois are more negative (64% disapprove), while those who voted for the CPC (93%) and PPC (97%) are near universal in their dissatisfaction with the prime minister:

Poilievre viewed positively by one-in-three

Poilievre may have won a commanding victory in the CPC leadership race, but his task ahead is to bring a wider network of voters around. At present, just over a third of respondents say they view Poilievre favourably (35%) while slightly more than half have a negative view of the CPC leader (51%). These data are not significantly different from how Canadians feel about Trudeau, outlined above, reflecting the increasingly polarized nature of political preference in the country.

Poilievre fares better among men than women, and younger men especially. Half (49%) of men aged 18- to 34-years-old say they view the new CPC leader favourably, the only demographic where positive views outweigh negative ones. Comparatively, women of all ages are half as likely to view Poilievre favourably as not:

Initial impressions of Poilievre more negative than those of O’Toole, Scheer

Poilievre begins his term as CPC leader far better known than his predecessors. Fourteen per cent say they can’t offer an opinion about the new leader, while more than twice as many said the same about previous leaders Andrew Scheer (37%) and Erin O’Toole (39%). However, this familiarity is for worse than for better. Negative views of Poilievre (51%) are much more common than in the early days of either Scheer (31%) or O’Toole (31%):

There is a clear political divide in views of Poilievre. Those who voted PPC (87%) or CPC (78%) in last year’s election are most likely to view him positively. Those who voted Liberal (9%), NDP (9%) or Bloc Québécois (20%) do not.

Jagmeet Singh continues to be the most favourably viewed federal party leader. Approaching half (47%) of Canadians have favourable views of the NDP leader. However, as many Canadians (46%) are negative in their assessment (see detailed tables).

Leader characteristics: Canadians largely critical of both Poilievre and Trudeau

To get a sense of how Canadians view the leaders of the country’s two largest political parties, Angus Reid Institute presented a series of personality traits and asked Canadians to assign up to five to both Poilievre and Trudeau.

On the balance for both leaders, Canadians are more likely to apply negative characteristics than positive ones. Canadians are most likely to see Poilievre as arrogant (chosen by 40%), strategic (32%), a bully (30%), dishonest (27%) and strong (25%). Trudeau is commonly viewed as arrogant (49%), dishonest (45%), corrupt (39%), charismatic (37%) and weak (36%):

Positive views of Poilievre are sourced from past CPC and PPC voters – the latter perhaps speaking to his pull among that group. In fact, past PPC voters are more likely to highlight positive characteristics – strong (66%), strategic (55%), charismatic (53%), down to earth (53%) and honest (51%) – than past CPC voters. This follows Poilievre’s vocal support of the “Freedom Convoy”, which mirrored the People’s Party of Canada’s embrace of the protest. Notably, donors who donated to the Ottawa convoy protest also donated more than $460,000 to the Conservative leadership race, of which more than 70 per cent went to Poilievre.

Past Liberal, NDP and Bloc voters are more likely to assign negative attributes to Poilievre, though three-in-ten of those who voted for the Bloc Québécois last year describe him as strategic:

The story for Trudeau is less cleanly divided along party lines. CPC and PPC voters are overwhelmingly negative in their choices of adjectives, including more than four-in-five in both camps who view him as dishonest and arrogant.

Past Liberal voters are the most positive about their leader. On some descriptors – charismatic (58% Liberal, 54% NDP) and strategic (43%, 35%) – they are joined by those who voted NDP last year. However, past NDP voters are more likely to have negative perceptions of Trudeau. Two-in-five past NDP supporters believe the prime minister to be arrogant, and three-in-ten (31%) say he is dishonest.

As well, those who voted Bloc are more likely to be critical than not. More than half (55%) describe Trudeau as weak. More than two-in-five (45%) say he is “boring”:

Part Three: Vote intent

While a federal election is not scheduled to take place until the fall of 2025, a minority Liberal government, supported by a confidence-and-supply agreement with the New Democrats, has plenty of political watchers suggesting that a full four-year term is unlikely. Whenever it is called, the Conservative Party will enter the next election with a different leader for a fourth consecutive campaign, while Trudeau says he will stay on for a fourth campaign.

CPC up, Liberals down

The early returns from the Poilievre leadership tenure appear positive for the Conservative Party, as it has drawn back a number of disenchanted or new voters who voted for Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party last year. That said, expanding the voter base beyond this group will be the core challenge of the CPC. Three-in-ten Canadians say they would support the Liberals if an election were held, while one-in-five would vote for the NDP:

The PPC migration

While the main federal parties enjoy professed support from at least three-quarters of those who voted for them in 2021, this is not the case for the PPC. Three-quarters of this group say they would now vote for the Conservatives. Given the closeness of popular vote in the 2019 and 2021 elections, it is also of note that slivers of past Liberal and NDP voters are also giving the CPC a look:

Vote and the gender divide

There is an evident divergence between men and women in vote intention, which now sees men of all age groups showing a clear preference for the CPC, while that party does not register as the top choice for any female cohort. Younger women, those aged18 to 34, offer the NDP its highest levels of support, while women older than this continue to be most likely to support the Liberal Party. Importantly, the dominance among young voters the spurred a Liberal majority in Justin Trudeau’s first election as leader appears to have evaporated:

Regional results

The Conservative Party has won the popular vote in two consecutive elections while failing to form government, largely on the strength of overwhelming but inefficient vote shares in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and important losses in Quebec and Ontario. Ontario currently appears competitive, with the CPC garnering 39 per cent and the Liberals 36 per cent. Support for the CPC is also up slightly compared to the 2021 election in British Columbia and Quebec.

Survey Methodology:

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from Sept. 19 – 22, 2022 among a representative randomized sample of 5,014 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI. Detailed tables are found at the end of this release.

For detailed results by age, gender, region, education, and other demographics, click here.

To read the full report, including detailed tables and methodology, click here

To read the questionnaire in English and French, click here.

Image – Pierre Poilievre/Facebook

MEDIA CONTACT:

Shachi Kurl, President: 604.908.1693 shachi.kurl@angusreid.org @shachikurl

Dave Korzinski, Research Director: 250.899.0821 dave.korzinski@angusreid.org


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Pandemic Politics Hold Up Gazillion-Dollar Defense Bill – New York Magazine

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A soldier obeys orders to get a jab.
Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

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One of the very few bipartisan traditions still standing in Congress is the annual passage of a defense authorization bill setting policy for the Pentagon and national security strategy generally. Despite all sorts of partisan tensions and efforts to take the bill hostage, this has happened for 61 straight years. Making that 62 straight years has been a priority for the lame-duck session of Congress currently under way. The House passed its version of the measure — authorizing $839 billion in defense spending for the fiscal year that began on October 1 — in July, with robust majorities from both party caucuses. It was mostly noteworthy for adding to President Biden’s spending requests and knocking down a few of the administration’s specific defense-policy proposals, notably stopping the Defense Department from scrapping certain aircraft, ships, and missile programs.

For mostly scheduling reasons, the Senate has taken longer to negotiate its version of the bill and has decided to work out a final deal with the House and the administration that can be whipped quickly through the lame-duck session in both chambers and presented to the president for his signature. But at the last minute, a dispute that has little to do with defense policy threatens to throw sand into the gears of the process: a battle over revocation of the COVID-vaccine mandate for members of the armed forces that was imposed in August 2021.

It’s entirely unsurprising that Republicans, whose base is heavily larded with anti-vaxxers and who have sought to make any sort of COVID-related requirements a big civil-liberties issue, would want to scrap the military mandate. (Twenty-one Republican governors also recently sent Biden a letter calling for this policy change.) And it seems that Democrats (including within the White House) are grudgingly willing to give them this trophy. Indeed, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is already crowing about it, according to the Washington Post:

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) claimed Sunday that he had worked out the arrangement directly with President Biden. Although White House officials later disputed that characterization, McCarthy described the compromise as his party’s “first victory” since the GOP won control of the House in the midterm elections.

House Armed Services Committee chairman Adam Smith isn’t conceding it’s a done deal, but it sounds like the handwriting is on the wall, Politico reports:

“We haven’t resolved it, but it is very fair to say that it’s in discussion,” Smith told POLITICO on the sidelines of the Reagan National Defense Forum. He noted that the mandate may not be logical anymore.

“I was a very strong supporter of the vaccine mandate when we did it, a very strong supporter of the Covid restrictions put in place by DoD and others,” he added. “But at this point in time, does it make sense to have that policy from August 2021? That is a discussion that I am open to and that we’re having.”

The bigger problem is that Republicans are mulling a demand that military members who refused to obey the vaccine mandate and were accordingly discharged be reinstated and even compensated. Smith says that’s a nonstarter:

While negotiators are willing to entertain the possibility of undoing the policy, Smith said GOP calls to reinstate or grant back pay to troops who refused the shot amounted to a red line. He called the push “a horrible idea.”

“The one thing that I was adamant about — so were others — is there’s going to be no reinstatement or back pay for the people who refused to obey the order to get the vaccine,” Smith said. “Orders are not optional in the military.”

It’s increasingly clear that the big question is whether Republicans will choose to deep-six the defense bill for the first time in 62 years in order to score a culture-war point about the alleged unreasonableness of a soon-to-be-past vaccine mandate. If they do, it will underscore how important resistance to COVID-prevention efforts is to the GOP’s messaging.

The dispute will also be an indicator as to whether McCarthy has even the most minimal interest in bipartisan governing once he obtains the Speaker’s gavel in January (assuming he isn’t pushed aside by his caucus’s extremists first). Back in November, he was already making noises about forcing a renegotiation of the defense bill so that it would not pass until the next Congress convenes, as Defense News reported:

“I’ve watched what the Democrats have done on many of these things, especially the NDAA — the woke-ism that they want to bring in there,” McCarthy told reporters on Tuesday after House Republican leadership elections, where the majority of his caucus nominated him to serve as speaker in the next Congress. “I actually believe the NDAA should hold up until the 1st of this year — and let’s get it right.”

That McCarthy is apparently willing to put national security policy on hold so that he can pursue the idiotic MAGA crusade against a “woke military” tells us a lot about the kind of conduct we can expect from him going forward. If he does hold the defense bill hostage, we’ll know that he may formally hold the Speaker’s gavel, but Marjorie Taylor Greene owns it.


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Politics Podcast: Warnock Has The Edge In A Close Race – FiveThirtyEight

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FiveThirtyEight

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It is Election Day once again in Georgia. While this year’s Senate runoff will not determine control of the Senate, it will still decide the state’s representation in Washington for the next six years. It will also be another high profile test of a candidate — Herschel Walker — handpicked by former President Trump.

In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, Galen Druke speaks with Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporters Tia Mitchell and Greg Bluestein about how things have looked on the ground in the final stretch of the campaign.

Later in the show, ABC News reporter Brittany Shepherd describes the internal debate within the Democratic Party over what a new presidential primary calendar might look like in 2024.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN App or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast is recorded Mondays and Thursdays. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.

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Trump's slow 2024 start worries allies – CNN

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CNN
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Back in 2015, Donald Trump’s first campaign rally in Iowa as a contender for the Republican presidential nomination came just 10 hours after he declared his candidacy in New York. The following day, he was across the country in New Hampshire, with plans to visit South Carolina before the end of his first week.

But seven years later – and nearly three weeks into his 2024 presidential campaign – Trump has yet to leave his home state or hold a public campaign event in an early voting state.

Trump’s disengaged posture has baffled former and current allies, many of whom experienced firsthand the frenetic pace of his two previous White House bids, and who now say he’s missed the window to make a splash with his 2024 rollout. The uninspiring launch of his supposed political comeback comes as his campaign appears to be operating on auto pilot, with few signs of momentum or enthusiastic support from donors or party heavyweights.

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“I don’t know why he rushed this. It doesn’t make sense,” one Trump adviser said of his lackluster announcement speech last month, which came one week after Republicans delivered an underwhelming performance in the midterm elections and as the rest of the party turned its attention to the Senate runoff contest in Georgia.

Trump’s call to terminate the Constitution is a fantasy, but it’s still dangerous

Trump’s announcement was roundly panned for lacking zest, so much so that some audience members attempted an early exit, and his recent hosting of Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes and embattled rapper Kanye “Ye” West at Mar-a-Lago only further galvanized GOP opposition against him. A person familiar with the matter said Trump spent the Sunday after Thanksgiving asking people around him if they thought the backlash to his private dinner with Ye and Fuentes was truly damaging.

“So far, he has gone down from his bedroom, made an announcement, gone back up to his bedroom and hasn’t been seen since except to have dinner with a White supremacist,” said a 2020 Trump campaign adviser.

“It’s 1000% a ho-hum campaign,” the adviser added.

The only other notable event to occur since Trump announced he was running again was both unintended and dreaded for weeks by the former president’s attorneys. Just three days after Trump launched his campaign, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to oversee two ongoing criminal investigations into the 45th president and his associates.

While some Republicans long speculated that Trump entered the presidential race early to inoculate himself from further legal peril, his candidate status instead appeared to serve as the catalyst for Garland’s announcement.

A Trump campaign spokesman said the former president has held “multiple events since he announced,” noting his remote appearance at the annual Republican Jewish Coalition summit last month, video remarks to a conference for conservative activists in Mexico, a Patriots Freedom Fund event, his remarks at two separate political events held at Mar-a-Lago, and a tele-rally Monday night for Georgia Republican Senate hopeful Herschel Walker. None of these events were billed as campaign events.

Trump’s current campaign trajectory has left both allies and Republican opponents wondering if he will flip a switch in 2023 or fail to adapt to a different political environment. Even as the GOP’s undisputed 2024 frontrunner, some of his closest allies say he simply cannot afford to take his position for granted at a moment when influential Republicans appear exceedingly interested in dislodging him from his influential perch.

“If Trump was working in a lush jungle environment in 2016, he is in a desert today,” said a Republican close to the former president. “The political landscape has totally changed. He was irresistible because no one understood him but now everybody knows how to deal with him, so the question is, can he recalibrate?”

Some sources said Trump’s first-out-of-the-gate strategy, which was said to be partly aimed at clearing the GOP primary field, already looks poised to fail.

“You know what it’s done to dissuade people from getting in? Nothing. He hasn’t hired anyone. He hasn’t been to the early states,” said the 2020 campaign adviser.

Trump’s lack of impact was on display a week after his announcement, as other 2024 Republican hopefuls took the stage in Las Vegas for the annual RJC summit. Some attacked the former President, while others, once allies of Trump, indicated they were ready to take him on in 2024.

Just days before the event, Trump’s team announced plans for him to address the group remotely. Two people familiar with the matter said his virtual address was organized by aides at the last minute after he grew agitated upon realizing the event was a cattle call for Republican presidential prospects and he was not on its original list of speakers. The Trump campaign spokesman disputed this account, saying Trump’s remote remarks were planned “many weeks prior to the event.”

Other sources who for months harbored concerns that Trump wasn’t as enthusiastic about running as he was letting on in public appearances now say his inactivity has increased their worry. Apart from a planned fundraising appearance for a classical education group in Naples last weekend, the former president has yet to announce any events before the end of the year. A person familiar with the matter said Trump’s team is toying with a pre-Christmas event of some kind, though his campaign has not yet finalized any travel. In a statement last week panning a move by Democratic officials to put South Carolina first on the party’s primary calendar, Trump appeared to tease a visit to Iowa, currently the first state to cast votes in both parties’ presidential nominating contests, “in the very near future.”

“I can’t wait to be back in Iowa,” he said.

Campaign is ‘taking a breather’

Inside Trump’s campaign, sources said his current approach is entirely intentional, dismissing concerns that he has forfeited the spotlight at a critical time but acknowledging that Trump is currently working with a bare-bones staff.

The campaign “is doing exactly what everyone always accuses [them] of not doing – taking a breather, planning and forming a strategy for the next two years,” said one source familiar with Trump’s operation said.

Senior staff are holed up working on a plan,” this person added, noting that Trump’s campaign travel is expected to begin early in the new year, right as possible rivals who have taken the holidays to mull their own political futures may start launching their own campaigns or exploratory committees.

And while some Trump allies have been surprised by his lack of a hiring spree right out of the gate, his campaign has been content to maintain a lean operation while he’s the only candidate in the field. The former president is not expected to tap a formal campaign manager, instead elevating three trusted advisers – Susie Wiles, Brian Jack and Chris LaCivita – to senior roles, but allies said he will likely need to build out his on-the-ground staff in early voting states in the months to come, as well as a robust communications operation if he finds himself in a competitive primary.

While those hires don’t need to happen immediately, people close to Trump said his early entry into the 2024 race does raise questions about how he will sustain campaign-related costs over a longer period than other candidates who declare later, including chief potential rival Ron DeSantis. CNN has previously reported that the Florida governor, should he decide to take on Trump, would announce next May or June, after the conclusion of his state’s legislative session and just months before the Republican party could host its first primary debate, according to a party official involved in debate planning.

“The question a lot of us have is can Trump sustain a campaign for two years. That’s the real difficulty here. The pacing we’re seeing right now is designed to do that,” said a person close to Trump.

In addition to planning rallies and events and building momentum around the former President, the campaign staff is also looking at how to best insulate Trump after many were caught off guard learning of Trump’s dinner with Fuentes and West. The event, and the days of fallout and negative coverage, has expedited some of the campaign’s long-term plans, including ensuring a senior campaign staffer is always with the former president, a source familiar with the campaign said.

Trump’s White House staff worked with resort staff during his presidency in a similar fashion to protect Trump from potentially “unsavory” guests of members, the source said. Those close to Trump blamed “low level staffers” for allowing Fuentes to slip into the resort without any flags being raised.

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