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HuffPost Blithely Ignores Reality, Polls by Keeping Trump in Entertainment Section

huffington-postA new national CNN/ORC poll shows Donald Trump now within six points of a sinking Hillary Clinton. Context is everything, so chew on this: In June, Trump trailed the Democratic frontrunner by 24 points, and was last among the top seven GOP candidates at the time in head-to-head matchups with Clinton.

The Trump gain is likely a combination of factors: For starters, Clinton’s amateur hour in handling the FBI/DOJ’s email/server investigation is obviously playing a big role here. Reporter question: “Did you wipe the server clean?”; Hillary answer: “What, like, with a cloth or something?” is the kind of facepalm response that makes you wonder how any objective and/or sane person paying attention can defend/support her at this point (don’t worry…you’ll still find some below). But Trump is also turning bad numbers to good thanks to his unapologetic, brutal candor and unwavering confidence that seems to resonating not only with a quarter of GOP voters (which is good enough to win when there’s 17 candidates involved) but a growing number of independents as well.

As far as his previous standing among other GOP candidates against the Democratic frontrunner (for now), Trump now beats everyone in the GOP in the aforementioned head-to-head matchup. And as Hillary’s numbers (which show a 20-point swing in favor of Bernie Sanders in the past month alone) drag down before she’s eventually dragged off the stage altogether by a scandal that will only get much, much worse, there’s a decent chance Trump could actually be beating her by Halloween if she doesn’t go quietly (she won’t). So is this a rah-rah column for Trump? Hardly. There’s at least three viable candidates I’d vote for before him (Kasich, Rubio, Fiorina in that order). Instead, it’s an open question to The Huffington Post and specifically its co-founder and editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington:

Given the numbers and how a growing number of people are taking Trump’s candidacy seriously, and given the fact–agree or disagree–he’s making valid points on serious issues that every other news outlet is covering and analyzing, why do you continue to relegate all Trump news to the entertainment section of your publication?

For those not in the know, The Huffington Post is the most-read political publication on the internet right now with 110 million unique visitors per month (Source: Alexa). That quadruples its closest competition (TheBlaze.com, with 25 million). Rounding out the top five are Drudge Report, Newsmax (Full disclosure: I co-host a panel show with Rick Ungar weeknights on Newsmax TV at 6:00 p.m. that you can sample below) and Politico (no caps out of principle). All of that said, we’re not talking about the Platte River Networks of political publications here. This ain’t no Mom and Pop shop Arianna is running, but a juggernaut that needs to start acting like grown-ups from a journalism perspective as it pertains to its Trump coverage.

Know this: You can love Trump, hate Trump. You can call him a buffoon, a blowhard, a leader, a marketing genius, or more accurately…a serious candidate resonating — for all the right or wrong reasons — with an increasing number of people to the point that he’s no longer a sideshow good for ratings points and clicks (which he most definitely is). To that end, HuffPo needs to put aside the pretentiousness, the condescension and swallow its pride (and blatant bias) on this one. National Journal’s Ron Founier said it best in a Tweet he referenced during a debate on this very topic on a revitalized Morning Joe this morning:

The reality TV candidate now–in reality–can actually win the whole damn thing…

And all the while, the most-read political publication in the country deems who should be taken seriously and who should not. That’s no longer journalism…that’s dictation to the masses.

Watch the Daily Wrap‘s Tuesday night panel debate on Trump’s immigration policy, as laid out on Sunday’s Meet the Press, courtesy NewsmaxTV:

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>>Follow Joe Concha on Twitter @JoeConchaTV

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