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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Media eats crow for missing the rise of Trump

Starting with his campaign announcement last June and running deep into the fall and winter months, much of the media narrative surrounding Donald Trump’s presidential run has been one of disbelief and outright dismissal.

“Donald Trump is not going to be the nominee” was the popular way to brush away questions concerning The Donald’s high standing in the polls. “Trump voters won’t actually show up at the polls” was another.

Donald Trump“They’re angry racists who don’t like foreigners and are scared of religions that they don’t know about.”

“They cling to their guns and religion”…okay, that one was from Obama as everyone knows.

Other elites, such as the New York Times’ David Brooks, were even harsher in their denunciations of Trump’s chances to succeed.

Eddie Scarry of the Washington Examiner writes, “The idea that the national media is ‘out of touch’ is a criticism that will never go away. But it has a particularly potent sting this campaign cycle due to the endless and unfailingly wrong predictions, thus far, by reporters and political commentators who right from the start said Donald Trump was a racist windbag who was going nowhere.

“With each declaration that Trump was done, the opposite took effect. His popularity among Republican voters went up. His rallies got bigger. He started winning primaries.”

Scarry notes there’s been some level of contrition from Brooks and others who have admitted they misjudged Trump’s staying power and vowed to try and understand his voters better in order to do their jobs more effectively.

I personally doubt they’ll ever “get it” because they don’t want to get it. Elite journalists would much rather obsess on the latest crazy thing Trump said rather than report on how he’s manipulating the message in order to play sweet music to the ears of people who support him.

Conservatives have been warning the establishment for years about the groundswell of angst from the grassroots on issues such as illegal immigration and the threat of Muslim terrorism, only to be looked down upon and ignored in favor of more political correctness and “inclusion.” Republican elites still cling to the notion that building a bigger tent would be accomplished by moving left and stealing away voters from the Democrats rather than motivating the increasingly apathetic portion of the population that’s given up on the idea of American exceptionalism.

It’s these folks who have taken to Trump’s message. They are filling the “tent”.

Just from conversations with “real” people in the world, I myself know the worry is tangible and the bitterness towards the country’s leadership is intense. Many of those I’ve talked with are so upset they’re no longer participating.

These are Trump’s people. His recent attacks on the “rigged” system are just another means of reaching them and judging by the polls, it appears to be working.

Truth is an absolute defense in a libel suit. It’s also something the elites could use to try and earn trust back from The People themselves. I for one won’t hold my breath that they’ll recognize it.

Kasich’s “electability” argument is a sure loser in November

Ask John Kasich why he deserves the 2016 Republican presidential nomination despite having won only one primary (in his home state) and he’ll invariably cite polls showing him ahead of Hillary Clinton in general election hypothetical head-to-head match-ups.

He’ll also likely add he’s done blah, blah, blah in Congress and blah, blah, blah as governor of Ohio, but the heart of Kasich’s case revolves around being able to “win”.

The fact Republican voters aren’t buying it is no surprise. Kasich isn’t favored to win another primary the rest of the way, meaning if he somehow ends up with the nomination after July’s convention, he may be the only party nominee in history who’s ever done this poorly in the states and still ended up at the top of the ticket.

Needless to say, “electability” isn’t good enough.

Pundit Jeff Greenfield, writing in Politico Magazine, agrees Kasich is emphasizing the wrong points. “Even if the numbers are sound, there’s a reason that they might spell out the wrong strategy for the campaign: ‘Electability’ isn't the message that galvanizes a party base, and for good reason…

“A party is more than a collection of individuals looking for an appealing candidate: it's an organization searching for the person who the best embodies their beliefs. When the party faithful—the people who are delegates—pull the lever, they're going to be thinking about what kind of Republican Party they want, not just which horse is likely to finish first.”

Earlier in his article Greenfield argued polling numbers in the spring often don’t paint an accurate picture of what’s going to happen in November. Historically speaking, Republicans always run behind early in the race until the voters start paying attention to the either/or choice between the party nominees and some semblance of issue differences comes into play.

Therefore, Trump and Cruz could overcome current deficits and do well against Hillary. We just don’t know right now how things will change between today and November.

But perhaps the most troubling aspect of Kasich’s candidacy is he’s not appealing at all to the base. He’s run best in solid blue states (like Vermont and New York) and poorest in the most conservative states. With no realistic shot to bring blue states into the Republican column, what’s the justification for choosing John Kasich?

While it’s always possible the delegates at the Cleveland convention will choose someone other than Trump or Cruz, it’s very unlikely they’d look to Kasich as the next best alternative. The Ohio governor was an afterthought for most of the campaign and has increased his stature of late because he’s the only candidate left who isn’t Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.

I think if Kasich ended up the nominee that he would lose in a similar fashion to Mitt Romney four years ago. He would do better than John McCain in 2008, but would utterly fail to motivate the conservative base to contribute, work and vote for him.

How do you spell loser? J-o-h-n K-a-s-i-c-h.

Kasich claims he doesn’t even know it takes 1237 delegates to win

Of course all the calls in the world probably won’t compel Kasich to leave the race now. He’s continuing to campaign in the states voting tomorrow and there’s no indication he’s even considering getting out.

Some speculate he’s sticking around for the vice presidential nod and others insist he still believes he can be a compromise candidate at the convention.

Still others aren’t sure what Kasich is up to, since his behavior from week to week is bizarre to say the least.

John Fund of National Review writes, “Indeed, Kasich himself almost seems bored and disengaged when the subject of actually winning the nomination comes up. ‘I mean, I don’t know all this other delegate stuff, because I don’t spend time on it,’ he told the Washington Post in an interview last week. He actually asserted that he didn’t even know that it took 1,237 delegates to win the nomination, a figure that is almost tattooed on the memory banks of everyone involved in the GOP race.”

We all know Kasich realizes it takes 1237 delegates to win and he’s also certainly aware that as of today, he’s only got 148 to his name.

Opinion surveys suggest he could pick off a few more delegates in a couple states tomorrow, though he’s not near the polling lead in any of them. The same could be said of Ted Cruz, though Cruz has almost four times as many committed delegates and continues to do well in the delegate placement category.

Simply put, Cruz enjoyed another spectacular weekend in that regard.

Kasich has emerged as the oddest of odd birds in this year’s Republican race. We’ll know more about his motivations by the end of July. For now, we’re only left to wonder.

Getting to know and like Ted Cruz an ongoing project for the campaign

Finally today, going into the 2016 Republican presidential nomination campaign, Ted Cruz probably figured he’d have his work cut out to improve his image.

After all, Cruz has spent his years in the Senate building a reputation for championing the Constitution and limited government at every opportunity, but such spirited advocacy won him few friends in a large body of politicians who seem much more preoccupied with their own reelection chances and holding a party majority than they do with fighting with the opposition.

These Republicans don’t seem to understand that their majority would be larger if people believed they actually stood for something.

If anything, Cruz’s style would be a better fit in the more activist House, where a group of determined conservatives have banded together to form the Freedom Caucus.

Over in the Senate, Cruz has been little appreciated and is seen by some as a self-interested lone wolf rather than a cooperative participant in the “greatest deliberative body in the world.”

Media coverage of Cruz – including from the so-called “friendly” conservative community – has often been brutal. It’s no wonder the Texas Senator is seen negatively in numbers comparable to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Thankfully, Cruz has recognized the problem and is working to correct it. But it won’t be easy.

Julie Pace and Scott Bauer of the Associated Press report, “The lengths Cruz has to go in boosting his standing with voters were starkly evident in a focus group of Republican women this week in Pittsburgh. When the women were asked what they knew about Cruz, several described him as ‘untrustworthy’ or a ‘liar.’ GOP front-runner Donald Trump has spent weeks assailing Cruz as ‘Lyin' Ted.’

“And when focus group participants were asked what animal best described Cruz, some said a ‘mosquito’ or a ‘hornet.’

“’You just want to bat it away,’ one woman said.”

Under the right circumstances, being described as a hornet might be a good thing, but if people think you’re a mosquito, there’s not much positive to be derived from that.

Clearly trying to boost his favorable ratings, Cruz has hit the late night TV circuit recently and is appearing in more events with wife Heidi and his two cute-as-a-button daughters (like he did with the CNN town hall a couple weeks ago) in an attempt to show the lighter side of Ted.

It’s only a shame that being a determined champion of the Constitution and its principles isn’t enough for people to see the value in someone like Ted Cruz. He’s continually suffered public relations hits simply because he’s one of the few who actually does what he promised to do when running for office.

I often wonder – how would the Founding Fathers survive in today’s 24-hour media environment? Patrick Henry would certainly be depicted as a lunatic for famously saying “Give me liberty or give me death” and George Washington would be portrayed as a right-wing militia militant for daring to don a uniform and stand up for freedom.

Add the fact the Founding Fathers were devoted Christians and the assault would be even more intense.

Americans’ lack of grounding in the founding principles is troubling and it’s not just because someone like Ted Cruz is having a hard time bettering his image. Anyone who dares to stand up to the Big Government status quo or the politically correct forces of the left (like with the North Carolina bathroom law) immediately draws a backlash from the people who intend to force their beliefs down our throats no matter how stupid or outlandish they may be.

As I’ve said before, the more people get to know Cruz the more they’ll learn to like him. Hopefully by the time it happens it won’t be too late.

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About Ted Cruz.

Here is the problem: When the race was totally opened my dream ticket, which can be easily verified on many a Forum was:

Trump - Cruz
Allan West - Sec. of State
Trey Gowdy - Att. Gen.
Dr. Carson - Surg. General
Gv. M. Huckabee - either: Director of DSHS or Vet. affairs.

But when the field got narrowed, I started (a little late, admittedly) doing more homework on the survivors. IE: Trump & Cruz.

Understand I realize, being 61, there is NO / ZERO "Perfect" Candidate. We are all human and we all have or 'issues' and 'flaws'.

But what made me sad is what I began to find out about Ted Cruz. He is a liar of the first class. In fact, based on what I found, my grandfather would call Cruz, "A lying weasel, for sure!"

I was indeed so sad that I even had to remove him from the VP slot. . o O (Sigh)

At this point I would look at moving Allan West to the VP slot.

I started to watch Ted Cruz's speak and especially his body language. You can learn a lot .... and I began to notice the 'signs' of a man that was 'telling people what they wanted to hear and the TRUTH was not needed.'

I started to notice a 'sly smile', if you will, when he was telling people, non-truths.

Just watch the "smile" as he, Ted Cruz tells these WHOPPERS. It's the "grin" of a con-artist when he realizes he has 'caught' the people into his web.

Again - just notice the 'weasel' like 'grin', I dare you!

I have some links that I would be happy to post, but I'm not sure what the reg's are about 2nd party links ...?

Thanks ... and again, at first, I was a supporter of T. Cruz, until ... I started to do some serious digging and found that Cruz is a master of "Word Games" and "Slight of Hand" and I was indeed very sad by what I found.


You have a lot in common with donald trump regarding accusations of Seantor Cruz being a liar but like trump you do not cite one lie that you claim that Senator Cruz has made.
I support Senator Cruz as he is the 'ONLY' candidate who has fought the Administration and the establishment in both parties. When Senator Cruz was standing on the Senate floor fighting mcconnell on the budget where was donald trump? I'll tell you where he was, he was donating big bucks to politicians and taking the property of old ladies under eminent domain.
If you make accusations put them in writing and prove it.
If you believe that trump will make great deals with the likes of mcconnell, reid and pelosi I believe you are in for a rude awakening.

Kasich is a losing member of any ticket

Irritation level, legendary - once said of Microsoft's supercilious paperclip, Clippy, and now attached permanently to John Kasich. On the rare occasions when there appears to be some semblance of a plan, it would appear to shut Ted Cruz out of enough moderate states to help Trump and earn the VP slot. Then we hear that Cruz and Kasich have a pact to each concentrate on states more favorable to them in the hope of taking a bigger bite out of Trump's hide. It is clear that Kasich does not have a coherent strategy, unless he still expects party elders to hand him the nomination on a platter, but why would Cruz cede any ground at all to Kasich? Memo to Ted - this guy is poison as a VP - even if he wins a few states, he can't be trusted on conservative policies!

Cruz and Trump and Kasich

First of all Kasich knows he hasn't got a chance in a million to win the number of delegates to make him the nominee. He's flying on a wing and a prayer but the tail just fell off. They (meaning elites) want Kasich on the ticket. They've been posturing him to Trump, and now Cruz has taken the bait and is colluding with him to try and block Trump. The real sentiment of the party bosses is to keep out Cruz and Trump and put in their own candidate. They'll drop Cruz like a box of rocks. As much as I'm with Ted on the social issues, it would be wiser to quit the collusion with Kasich and work with Trump. Trump will listen to advice even though his bravado is harsh. Trump was considering running many years ago, well before the advent of the Clintons, and pretty much said US is getting killed on trade. I know this idea is distasteful to many, but facts are facts, and Trump's numbers continue to rise while Cruz numbers have dropped. A Trump/Cruz ticket would be ideal, if the two can make up. Trump is a forgiving person, which is a credit to him. Cruz needs to open his heart and leave revenge at the door...God expects more from Cruz, as he was raised in a more religious environment. It's either sink or swim. We MUST beat Hillary, or America is dead. People who know Trump best say he keeps his word. That's my two cents on the campaign 2016.