Memo to Trump: No cable news or Twitter until debate homework is done
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The poll numbers on Monday night's debate are now all in. And for Republican nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE, they ain't pretty.

NBC News sees 52 percent of those polled saying Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Klobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up McCabe's shocking claims prove the bloodless coup rolls on MORE won, compared to just 21 percent for Trump. CNN has it at 62-27, Clinton. YouGov clocks in at 57-30, Clinton. Public Policy Polling sees a tighter, albeit still double-digit, margin of victory for Clinton, with a 51-40 split.

Other polls basically tell the same story: Trump survived, but it wasn't even close.

The moderator can be partially blamed for the result and rightly so, sure. Trump's top vulnerabilities — tax returns, birther comments, comments about women — were all broached. Clinton's top vulnerabilities — mishandling of emails/classified information, destroying evidence, Clinton Foundation controversies, transparency issues — weren't even brought up by NBC's Lester Holt.


But given the open format Holt provided that let the candidates go at each other back and forth, Trump's inexperience showed by not broaching those topics himself. And when Holt did introduce cybersecurity as a primary topic, Trump whiffed badly by not going after Clinton putting top secret and/or sensitive information at risk, instead going off the rails about 400-pound hackers and his 10-year-old son's computer prowess instead.

Those sympathetic to the Trump cause will say his inexperience simply showed in missing those kind of opportunities. And while that's true to a small extent, another big factor showed as well.

He got badly outworked by Clinton on the preparation front.

Simply put, Trump spends far too much time watching cable news. The evidence behind making such a statement is proven by the fact he's seemingly always attacking its content. CNN's Don Lemon and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski have now taken the Megyn Kelly mantle as the biggest targets in the past few months, with Lemon getting it again Thursday night.

Attacking the media can work well in the primary season — not so much in the general. So for Trump moving forward, this basic rule from parent to student needs to apply if he wants to avoid a debate repeat: No TV, no Twitter until your homework is done.

For Trump, he has arguably the most target-rich opponent in history to do his homework on for the next two debates. Given all the opportunities missed in Round 1, he'd be wise to put down the phone, stop tweeting, stop watching and lock himself away with an unapologetic debate coach for six to eight hours per day while flying from rally to rally.

Mark Halperin summed up Trump's perception issue perfectly on Bloomberg:

"He plainly lost the debate. The big difference to me between this and 2012 when Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaMiami Herald publishes names of all kids killed by guns since Parkland shooting 
 Virginia can be better than this Democrats have a chance of beating Trump with Julian Castro on the 2020 ticket MORE failed in Denver in the first debate, he confronted mass panic among his supporters," Halperin, also an MSNBC "Morning Joe" regular, explained.

"He had to admit that he lost and that he would do better the next time because Democrats were freaking out. Trump fans are not freaking out. Trump fans saw a different debate than we saw last night. They think he won."

To Halperin's point, most polls about who won the debate showed Obama losing by even wider margins to Mitt Romney in 2012 than Trump to Clinton. But Obama was also comfortably ahead in national polling at that point and could afford to lose a few points across some battleground states. Trump doesn't have that luxury.

The president also was infinitely more prepared in his next debate with Romney. And because of that — along with some help from a Candy Crowley fact-check on Benghazi that she later admitted was wrong — he won that debate, and the final one as well, on his way to reelection.

Trump can do the same by learning from his experience.

He can also stop getting outworked after outworking Clinton so often since the conventions.

No TV or Twitter until your homework is done.

The question is: Are there any adults in the room to actually enforce the rule?