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Trump Will Not Bring Any Blue States Into Play

Donald Trump's wall was going to be "fantastic." Trump's healthcare plan was to replace Obamacare with "something terrific." Indian Gov. Mike Pence would be an "outstanding" vice president.

And Trump, the unconventional politician, said he was going to do something "incredible" by plucking away deep-blue states from Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the general election.

“I’m going to win states that they never thought of winning,” Trump promised back in January, during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Right now, that looks about as likely as Trump's wall.

It wasn't so long ago that the candidate was rattling off states with his trademark Trump-isms.

"We’re going to focus on New York," Trump said, per CNN. Other Republicans, he said, "wouldn’t spend 10 cents in New York."

"We are going to win New Jersey," he assured viewers on MSNBC.

"I put so many states in play: Michigan being one. Illinois," he told The Washington Post.

And the businessman proclaimed, "We're going to play heavy as an example in California. ... Other GOP candidates wouldn't even come here for a dinner."

Unfortunately for Trump, polls in late August -- with only two months to go in the campaign -- show him struggling to remain competitive in battleground states and slipping in traditionally Republican ones, never mind competing in coastal and liberal bastions with their hefty electoral vote prizes.

He's not doing himself any favors nowadays after replacing his campaign manager for the second time and putting his faith in the hands of longtime Republican strategist Kellyanne Conway. As the Post notes, Conway has Trump making ham-fisted attempts at minority outreach, and Trump's new team of advisers is behind the candidate's recent flip-flop on immigration.

Both of those moves are designed to make a play for blue states, and it's difficult to tell whether Trump's new minions are taking the effort seriously or just going through the motions so they can say they tried to help his sinking campaign.

But the biggest problem for Trump now isn't that the new strategy has him focusing his efforts on states and demographics he has a slim-to-none chance of competing in. It's the fact that he's alienating his own base by walking back his earlier promises on immigration, the stances and tough talk that endeared him to Republicans and conservatives in the first place.

That was evident in Ann Coulter's response to Trump's newer, softer stance on immigration. Coulter's book, "In Trump We Trust," hit bookstores just as Trump was testing the waters on the less-incendiary version of his immigration plan.

Coulter seemed despondent, judging by her posts on Twitter after The Donald made the adjustment, and a phrase in her book turned out to be prophetic.

“There’s nothing Trump can do that won’t be forgiven,” Coulter wrote. “Except change his immigration policies.”

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Sources: The Washington Post, CNN, TIME, The Washington Times, Ann Coulter/Twitter, The Huffington Post / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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