Newly installed Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway is doing her best to keep the notoriously off-message candidate on script. He’s moving – or more accurately – stumbling into a more centrist position on immigration reform. He’s doing debate prep. His latest campaign ad sticks to the economy and not conspiracy theories. But can it work? Or are voters’ views on him already cemented – or at least pretty hardened? I had a terrific opportunity to test out that question last week by watching a focus group of twelve Milwaukee voters conducted by the preeminent pollster Peter Hart on behalf of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. These voters are not straight-party people – many had voted Republican one year and Democratic the next. And while a solid majority voted for Obama in 2012, when asked by Hart to name a political leader they admire most, seven picked Ronald Reagan. Almost all were white (the state is 89 percent white). They were also evenly divided in their initial vote preference – four each for Hillary, Trump and

More from the Cook Political Report

Cook Politcal Logo