If you listened to the pundits and talking heads, Donald Trump’s double-digit loss in Wisconsin was supposed to be his Waterloo, the beginning of the end for Trump and the turning point toward victory or at least real, bonafide competitiveness for the Ted Cruz campaign.
And yet, the Trump train rolls into New York with brand-new 52 percent polling numbers and sell-out crowds while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), trailing Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) in the New York polls, struggled to fill a medium-sized Bronx restaurant.
Sure, it’s no secret that the Northeast isn’t exactly Cruz country, but is a second place finish too much to ask for the guy who Democrats, establishment Republicans, and #NeverTrump conservatives all agree is supposed to be the viable alternative to the Prince of Darkness himself?
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters after speaking at a campaign rally on April 11, 2016 in Albany, New York. The New York Democratic primary is scheduled for April 19th. (Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)
Make no mistake, Wisconsin was definitely a setback for the Trump campaign. After Tuesday, it seems more and more unlikely that anyone, not even Trump, will go into Cleveland with a majority of delegates. It’s still certainly possible, but unlikely.
What is likely is that Trump gains back his momentum, and some of his mojo, by winning most of the delegates in New York on April 19, then rolls on to victories in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island the following week.
Whether or not he parlays those wins into more wins and enough of a delegate percentage to cross the threshold at the convention really depends on Trump himself. Will he stick to the issues that have gotten him this far or will he continue to shoot himself in the foot?
One can certainly argue that Trump walked into a perfect storm in Wisconsin. He had a popular governor, the GOP establishment, and every local-yokel talk-show host from Milwaukee to Minneapolis arrayed against him. But it’s undeniable that Trump was his own worst enemy too, from the infamous, tactless, and ridiculous Heidi Cruz tweet to his back-and-forth comments on abortion and literally everything in between.
Trump has been my candidate almost since the beginning, but that doesn’t mean I can’t criticize some of the things he has done and said that have hurt his campaign. So, why not stop supporting him? Let’s put it this way. It’s like when your team leads not just the conference but the entire league in penalties. They’re still your team, but dang it if you don’t get mad at them now and then.
As hard as this may be to believe, I am not supporting Trump because of his amazing personality, his charming demeanor, his spirited charisma, or even his golden, wavy hair. I am supporting him for two reasons. One, I believe he is right on the most important issues to me - immigration, trade, and foreign policy and, two, because he has some appeal to independents and moderate Democrats and can expand the Republican tent, I believe he is the best candidate to beat Hillary Clinton.
The Trump movement, especially for me, has really been about the first reason since the beginning. If we don’t fix trade and immigration, we’re finished as a country - and Trump is the ONLY candidate who solidly deals with both.
When dealing with Trump’s viability to win the general election, critics will point to the polls. However, I've never put a lot of stock in the polling, for several reasons, among which are: One, we're in the middle of a rough primary season and the final battle hasn't coalesced yet. Most #NeverTrumpers who are upset now in the heat of battle and woudn't dream of naming Trump to ANY pollster will hold their noses when the time comes. Two, Ronald Reagan was down to Jimmy Carter by double digits at this point in that election. Three, Trump has a way of demolishing opponents. Just wait 'till he sets his sights on Hillary!
Yet, particularly with Trump's gaffes of late, I must admit the people who say he won't win a general election are looking more and more like they have a case. This bothers me as a Trump supporter because, to me, the issues are far more important than Trump’s personality deficiencies, whatever you feel about them.
I don’t care about seeing Trump, per se, in the White House. What I do I care about is having someone in the White House who understands the horrible effect free trade and unlimited Third World immigration have on the average middle-class American. I want a nationalist who will put Americans first, period. End of story.
It just so happens that person is still Trump. If you want to know why so many Trump supporters are willing to overlook almost anything else, there you have it.
Cruz may be a good enough president if he wins, but he doesn’t understand those issues to the extent Trump does and he is too rigid on social issues to win a general election in today’s America. He just is.
So yes, I get mad when I see Trump constantly tripping over his yu-mungous ego, but not because of any personal feeling I have for or against Trump. It’s because of the enormity of what’s at stake, such as the three to five Supreme Court justices the next president will appoint.
This is crunch time, the time that “winners” roll up their sleeves, put their game face on, and … win. Fair or not, you can bet that the media will make hay out of every utterance that passes through Trump’s lips (or on his Twitter account). He can complain all he wants, but that is reality.
We don’t have time for #NeverTrump nonsense, and we don’t have time for Trump’s nonsense either. Mr. Trump, even if you don’t believe it or understand it, this election is way bigger than you. For all our sakes, it’s time to put up or shut up and up your game in a very serious way.
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