Experts say GOP will have to work to make Michigan like Trump

Published: Jul. 21, 2016 at 9:29 PM EDT
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Political expert Dr. Matt Grossman says this is the most internal conflict he's seen in a convention in decades. "Even from the floor of the convention, not ready to endorse the nominee is not unprecedented but it just hasn't happened in quite a long time," Grossman said, referencing former Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz' refusal to endorse Donald Trump during his Republican National Convention speech.

Conventions are traditionally the time to bring the party together.

"The best you can say for it is it will remind Republicans why they really don't like Hillary Clinton and why Donald Trump is the only alternative," Grossman said.

Tom Shields of political consulting firm Marketing Resource Group says Donald Trump can definitely use this convention as a spring board for his national campaign, but he might have to change his tone. "He needs to drop some of the rhetoric, even though it's Donald Trump so he's never going to drop it one hundred percent, but he needs to tone it down," Shields said. "He needs to talk about the future, what he sees the country doing, and how he can make a difference. And he needs to connect with voters."

Especially in places like Michigan, where more people have unfavorable opinions than not of both Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton and Trump, according to a recent poll.

"There's a big block of voters out there who haven't decided on either candidate because they don't like what they've seen so far," Shields said.

Grossman says, even though Michigan could vote Republican this year, he doesn't think the GOP will spend a lot of time campaigning there. "We'll be targeted for a while, but when they start to narrow the swing state list, we sort of won't make the final cut," Grossman said. He says that's because if Michigan swings Republican, other, more critical, states like Ohio and Pennsylvania probably will too.

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