Wednesday, April 6, 2016

OP-ED by Don Fredrick: On Cruz and Trump Results of Wisconsin Primary

Although Cruz was expected to win, his 13-point margin surprises many. It is due to at least three factors. First, the Trump campaign had two terrible weeks, with his abortion comments and reporter Michelle Fields’ absurd assault charges. 
Second, exit polls show that many John Kasich supporters cast votes for Ted Cruz. (They know Kasich’s only hope is to block Trump from winning 1,237 delegates; a vote for Cruz serves that purpose, yet Cruz himself cannot get to 1,237.) Third, there is a substantial difference between exit polls and the final vote totals. (That suggests vote fraud expanded Cruz’s victory margin.)
Clearly the Republican establishment is doing and will do everything in its power to block Trump from winning the nomination. In 2012, once it was clear that only Mitt Romney could win the nomination on the first ballot, the remaining candidates dropped out of the race to rally the party behind the frontrunner. 
Had Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum remained in the race to the bitter end, Romney could probably have been stopped from a clear victory and forced at least a second round of voting at the convention. The egomaniacal Ted Cruz and the delusional John Kasich have no such altruistic instincts. (In his mind, Cruz has been seeking the presidency for years. 
On Fox News, Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson comments, “Trump has been running for nine months; Cruz has been running for nine years.”) Kasich cannot leave the race because, under Ohio rules, his 66 delegates would then go to the second-place finisher in that state’s primary—Trump. Because those 66 delegates could put Trump over the 1,237 threshold, the GOP will keep Kasich in running even if it means party chairman Reince Preibus carrying him to campaign events.
Trump’s only hope is to “get his act together,” stop making comments he regrets later, tone down his rhetoric, start suggesting names of (popular and well-respected) people who might serve in his cabinet, and stop giving interviews to the worst of the “enemedia.” (Hillary Clinton would never consent to an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, yet Trump was foolish enough to be interviewed by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who is famous for attacking people and badgering them until they give foolish answers to “gotcha” questions.) 
If Trump does those things he may have a chance, but he will need to do very well in the remaining primaries to win the nomination outright. He needs to over-perform in New York, Pennsylvania New Jersey, and California.
If Trump does not win 1,237 delegates in June, he is not going to pick them up at the July convention because many of the delegates he won are committed to him only on the first ballot. They will eagerly desert him on the second ballot. Cruz, meanwhile, would also enter the convention short of 1,237 delegates. The odds are high that he will not be able to win people over either, because the Republican establishment hates Cruz more than they fear Trump. On the second ballot Trump will lose delegates while Cruz will gain some—but not enough to reach 1,237. Through the third and fourth ballots, Trump and Cruz will both lose more. A “white knight” will then be chosen by the establishment to “save the party.” That may be Paul Ryan. He will then be pressured (or ordered) to pick South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as his running mate, and they will then lose to Hillary Clinton on November 8.
Author Don Fredrick, a lifelong advocate of freedom and free markets.
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