TPM News

Since Donald Trump’s rambling campaign announcement in June, detractors have been quick to dismiss the candidacy of the celebrity tycoon. But the doldrums of August have officially ended, and after a long, hot summer, Trump’s campaign still seems to be thriving. (If anything, he’s at least paying his staffers.)

Here are five points on how Trump’s unlikely campaign has made him the GOP frontrunner:

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Conservatives have long viewed the Black Lives Matter movement with skepticism and questioned the group's tactics, but this week pundits grabbed hold of a new label for the organization: hate group.

After the Friday shooting death of a sheriff's deputy in Texas and a Black Lives Matter protest at the Minnesota State Fair on Saturday, conservatives doubled down in their criticism. Numerous hosts at Fox News took issue with the group's recent chant in Minnesota, "pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon," tying that protest to recent deaths of police officers.

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A Kentucky clerk who is refusing to grant marriage licenses to gay couples is set to become an issue in the state's gubernatorial race, as the leading Republican and Democratic candidates take opposing views of her actions.

"I absolutely support her willingness to stand on her First Amendment rights," said GOP Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin on a national conference call, according to The Courier-Journal. "Without any question I support her."

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) suggested Tuesday that a Kentucky clerk who is refusing to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples was "making a stand" and "an important part of the American way." But he argued the whole situation could have been avoided if states stopped processing marriage licenses entirely.

"I think people who do stand up and are making a stand to say that they believe in something is an important part of the American way," Paul told Boston Herald Radio, according to The Washington Post.

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MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) — Kim Davis sat in a church pew on a Sunday morning about four years ago, listening as the man in the pulpit preached of forgiveness and God's grace.

Davis was then an unlikely candidate to wage a moral war over the institution of marriage. At 44 years old, she had been divorced three times and had two children while she wasn't married.

But that Sunday morning, as the preacher spoke from the book of Galatians, she repented and pledged the rest of her life to the service of the Lord.

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Donald Trump on Wednesday morning brushed off questions about a Monmouth University poll released this week that showed Trump and Ben Carson tying for the lead among likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers.

During an interview in ABC's "Good Morning America," host George Stephanopoulos asked Trump about the poll and "the threat posed by Ben Carson in Iowa."

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Donald Trump on Tuesday took aim at Club For Growth, launching a late-night Twitter feud between the Republican presidential candidate and the conservative group.

Trump began the fight out of the blue by noting that he once turned down a Club for Growth request for a donation.

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Donald Trump has spent the summer slandering Mexicans as rapists and drug dealers, calling for mass expulsion of undocumented immigrants (including U.S. citizen children), and proposing to disembowel the 14th Amendment. Over the weekend he leveled an attack on DREAMers—undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as young children—and on Monday he released a venomous Willie Horton-style race-baiting video attacking Jeb Bush for saying that undocumented immigration can be “an act of love” by using mugshots of undocumented immigrants linked to high-profile murders.

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