Trump cannot win a two-way contest against Clinton. That has been obvious since day one. Neither can he win a three-way race with the Libertarian Johnson included. However, if you add Jill Stein to the equation, everything changes. Trump probably knows this by now, given how involved his polling is with his decision-making. So how does he get a four-way race?
He's already tipped his hand on how: by including Johnson and Stein in the debates. He also circumvents the Presidential Debate Committee in the process (an added bonus of blowing up more things). The Trump campaign has no respect for the two-party system. They are just as inclined to blow that up as they did the Republican Party during the primary season.
Trump will announce that he is including Johnson and Stein in the debate, and Clinton is also invited. He won't ask, he will make it an invitation, and the media networks will jump at the chance to host the event on their station. Johnson and Stein will accept without question. What will Clinton do? Probably make the wrong move.
The right move would be from strength. Accept both third-party candidates to the Presidential debates, and tell Trump she'll debate him anytime, anywhere, one-on-one or with other candidates.
But possibly, out of fear of the unknown and bad advice, Clinton will avoid a response, hide behind the presidential debate commission as the debate arbitrar, and open up a lane for Trump.
Stein is not a great candidate. With wide publicity and deep public financing, she did horribly in a very blue state, while running for Governor in MA. Trump is a lousy debater, with no depth and a lack of composure. Johnson is not going to knife anyone and would ruin his brand if he tried. Clinton, by far and away, is the most able debater of the four, and would come away the winner each debate.
If you look at the calendar ahead, the debates stand out as the best shot for Trump to shake it up. But he also does poorer with fewer on the stage. With four, his lame one-liners don't have to be repeated as often. Trump has shifted to a base strategy, which has not chance to win a traditional D vs R matchup that fights over the center, but it opens up another way to win the election.
It's a very populist move, which has the chance of polarizing Clinton as the establishment candidate, and opening up a lane for Stein to move into taking away double-digits or more, of the Clinton PV total. Especially if Clinton declined, and let Trump be on the stage alone with Stein and Johnson. That would be a potential catastrophe for Clinton.
It's the only alternative I see open to Trump. There is not a silent majority on the sidelines rooting for Trump. It's just the opposite, with AV and RV polls showing him losing in an even larger landslide than LV polls. A strategy which tries to turn a two-party contest into a base vote by attacking Clinton non-stop will do nothing to increase his own numbers past the low to mid 40's.
However, a strategy which keeps Trump in the 40's, while taking 10% away from Clinton, moving it off the table, has potential. It's a wildcard with Johnson potentially taking away more votes from Trump too, but it's much less predictable than a Clinton vs Trump GE.
That's potentially what this Breitbart move is all about, with the alt-right narrative movers and rightwing pollsters officially coming on-board the Trump campaign. My prediction is that it's a set-up for their next move, of broadening the presidential choices. This move caters to and secures the base; the next move potentially splits up the opponents base. I am sure too, that Clinton's hold on the left base, which Sanders held, is tenuous at best.
The populism of the move also lets Trump gain the upper hand in the media narrative. The partisan Democrats reaction to this sort of 'throwing out the rulebook' is to accuse, deny, and assume an elitist position. I don't think Clinton has the political instinct to override those partisan elitists either, unless she's learned from the early '08 primary lessons of being on the wrong side of populism.
As I glance at this election sideways every once in a while on Facebook, I may be just pulling out a non-starter and giving to much credit to the Trump strategy. This decision-making move though, along with what I have read him say about the debates, looks like a clear read of a potential shakeup of the contest ahead.