Donald Trump‘s landslide victory on Super Tuesday and his gathering momentum may be more than just dumb luck and voter disappointment, but a carefully calculated campaign.
While the establishment candidates were playing by the David Axelrod and Karl Rove tactical election playbook, GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump has been quietly employing Sun Tzu’s strategic military approach to eliminate his opponents one-by-one.
First, Trump played the odds – he does own casinos – he knew that the larger the candidates’ field meant the fewer votes he would need to win to remain the front runner, which allowed him to systematically reduce the field as he built momentum.
“This poor pathetic, low-energy guy. He gets up and does a commercial that shows Hillary winning the election. That’s great, that’s just what we need, a commercial that’s positive for Hillary,” Trump railed against Jeb Bush.
Brilliantly, the brash New Yorker even persuaded his competition to believe his humiliating descriptions. At a GOP debate, the candidates were asked what their Secret Service name would be, Jeb! replied, “energizer, it’s very high-energy Donald. While Trump claimed, “humble” for himself.
Trump’s ability to win over his competitors has been remarkable. After this comment about Dr. Ben Carson, “I think Ben Carson is a very low-energy, actually I think Ben Carson is lower energy than Jeb if you want to know the truth,” notwithstanding the insult, Dr. Carson endorsed the GOP frontrunner shortly after dropping out of the race himself!
Then there was “little Marco Rubio” who got caught repetitively repeating talking points during another debate. Rubio said, “Let’s dispel with the fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing. –But I would add this, the fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t exactly know what he is doing; he knows exactly what he is doing. –Here’s the bottom line, the notion that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he is doing is just not true…” Trump pounced on former competitor turned Trump supporter Chris Christie’s shtick. “There it is, the memorized 25-second speech, there it is.”
Trump’s marketing genius lead to a landslide victory in Florida, Rubio’s home state, despite more than $60 million in negative ads against him, and cost the junior Senator his bid for the White House.
With two opponents left, Trump is banking on GOP voters’ anger and disappointment with the establishment. The Ohio governor will be next on the elimination list. Kasich’s low energy, dismal results in the GOP primaries and continued references of traveling by covered wagon to California provide an ample supply of derisive tweets and Instagram ad material. Just imagine the slogan ad campaign now. Kasich wearing a suit and cowboy hat, whipping the Oxen on his Conestoga wagon heading west to California, his wagon cover emblazoned with a motto of “California or Bust.” Meanwhile, Trump will be waving “bye, bye” from the window of his 757 plane flying high over the Grand Canyon.
The final act of disposal will be the suspension of Ted Cruz’s campaign, one Trump will savor, and one who will be convincingly defeated. How? Trump’s slogan will read something like “Is lying-Ted trying to take American voters on a Canadian Cruz?”
On this front, perhaps President Obama’s 2011 remarks at the White House correspondents’ dinner about his birth certificate were prophetic. “I hear Michelle Bachman is here, I understand she’s thinking about running for president, which is weird because I hear she was born in Canada.”
Despite Trump’s anti-PC tactics, he has tapped into middle-class disappointment and anger. Politicians have promised the world and delivered nothing for the middle-class taxpayers. Trump highlighted the decimation of the manufacturing sector by lousy trade deals. He told voters he would build a wall and end the mass illegal immigration to America. And he spotlighted the educational system that is fraught with bankrupt ideas and failing students.
Unfortunately, the real fight ahead of the GOP frontrunner heading into the final 20 primaries is the Republican establishment itself. It has fought the New York billionaire tooth and nail, by funding millions in negative ads.
The Political Action Committees (PACs) have poured at least half a billion into losing campaign after losing campaign. Time revealed that “So far, donors have funneled more than $520 million collectively into campaigns and outside groups supporting Republican presidential candidates who have now dropped out — and the primaries are far from over.” Yet the New York outsider continues to defy the odds by staying with his America first message and reading the pulse of the middle-and-lower classes.
But Trump still has the opportunity to win the majority of delegates outright. The number Guru’s at FiveThirtyEight.com said; “For the group consensus, we used an “Olympic average” in which we discarded the highest and lowest estimates in each state and averaged the remainder. Overall, our average response suggests that Trump will win 513 delegates the rest of the way. When combined with the 695 he’s won so far, that means he’d fall 29 delegates short of the 1,237 needed to win on the first ballot.” That calculation puts Trump within the margin of error to reach the magic number pre-convention.
But the GOP establishment’s leaders, insiders, and dissed MSM journalists, are not standing idly on the sidelines. They have pledged to initiate a 100-day campaign to derail Trump. “Republican leaders adamantly opposed to Donald J. Trump’s candidacy are preparing a 100-day campaign to deny him the presidential nomination, starting with an aggressive battle in Wisconsin’s April 5 primary and extending into the summer, with a delegate-by-delegate lobbying effort that would cast Mr. Trump as a calamitous choice for the general election,” the New York Times reported.
Bill Kristol, of the Weekly Standard and ardent critic of Trump, told the NYT “that he believed it was not too late to put forward a viable independent candidacy (all this waylaying of Trump after inducing HIM not to run as an independent candidate at the first debate). “I think the ballot access question is manageable,” he said. “The big question is, who’s the candidate?” The name they floated was former Texas governor and two-time failed presidential candidate Rick Perry. Of course, in recent days, there have been two other possibilities, twice-failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate and current Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. All would lose and would all but guarantee a Democrat victory in the general election.
“The burden is on Trump, not the party if he fails to clinch the nomination,” said David Winston, a House Republican pollster. “He has presented himself as the ultimate dealmaker, and it’s on him to close this one.”
If Trump fails to get the delegates required pre-convention, he will face rules committee shenanigans at the July GOP convention. The first involves a second round delegate fight. “The party insiders want to make sure they have a working majority on the floor for the passage of their ‘license to steal.’ Republican state chairs are planting Trojan Horse delegates into slots won by Trump on the first ballot to vote with them on procedural votes to pass the Rules and Credentials Reports that will seal the ‘Big Steal.’ This is going on in Texas, New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, Connecticut, North Dakota, and other states,” according to Breitbart news.
So will the party king makers have their way and force the GOP faithful to “hold your nose” and vote for a losing candidate like they did with Dole, McCain, and Romney or will they try something new and listen to the voters and let the big personality and political outsider Donald Trump take his campaign to the people to prove he can “Make America Great Again©.”