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Steve Forbes: People are looking for a reason to vote for Trump

People want change, and if Donald Trump sticks to his message in the final days of the campaign, he could still pull out a victory, former GOP candidate Steve Forbes said Thursday.

"If Trump hits those pro-growth issues … cutting taxes, reforming health care, having more firm foreign policy, rebuilding our defenses, he could still pull it out," Forbes told CNBC's "Squawk Box". "People are looking for a reason to say, 'I could take a chance on this guy.'"

Michael Feldman, a Democratic strategist, agreed that this is a "change election cycle," but said Hillary Clinton's campaign is making it increasingly difficult to see a path to success for Trump.

"Here's the problem: From the very beginning, it has been about what version of change do you find acceptable or not," Feldman said. "And Secretary Clinton and her campaign have done a very good job of making Donald Trump an unacceptable version of change. And, by the way, no one has helped her more than Donald Trump."


Feldman told "Squawk Box" that people have stopped listening to Trump, and that the Republican nominee's recent push to fire up his original base of supporters will not be enough to win.

At Wednesday's debate, Trump reaffirmed his claims that the electoral process is rigged and refused to say whether he would accept the results of the election.

Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, said this is not the first time such a claim has been made.

"He could've nuanced it," Forbes said, citing the 1960 and 2000 elections, voter ID issues, and the IRS's alleged voter suppression as precedents for concern regarding fraudulent elections.

"If he'd hit those issues, people would say, 'Yeah, this system still needs to be cleaned up,'" Forbes said.

Feldman insisted that the only way to tip the race would be if a truly presidential candidate had walked onto the debate stage Wednesday with a Republican platform to confront Clinton.

"If [Forbes] were on that stage last night, he would've delivered that message and I believe it would've been appealing to the people," Feldman said.

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