By Nancy Thorner –
Despite the media and the Republican establishment spin that Trump is fading, Trump is beating Hillary 48 to 41% in the key swing state of Iowa according to the NBC News Marist Poll. An excellent article by Bloomberg.com was published in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, October 4 about polling problems. It shows why even this result may still be too tilted to Hillary.
In Europe, polls misfired this past year in Greece, Israel and Great Britain where polls results were off by wide margins. The Bloomberg article blames inaccurate polling results on individuals not picking up their phone when pollsters call due to the decline of landlines. But a common thread to all these “bad” poll numbers in Europe was the polling bias against candidates the local liberal media didn’t favor. Anti-establishment and anti-liberal media voters are apparently hanging up on pollsters from liberal media organizations all around the world.
With this in mind, Trump is probably doing better than what his polls indicate. With a hard core 30-35% of the primary vote, Trump can win the nomination in the winner take all primaries with a splintered opposition, the same strategy Jeb hoped to employ. Trump will benefit from the rigging of the rules by the Republican establishment unless that same establishment can settle behind one anti-Trump candidate.
Possible Anti-Trump Candidate
But who could that be? Even though a rising star and looked upon as an honorable person and a world-respected surgeon, Dr. Ben Carson will have a tough time winning the Republican nomination. He has some surprising history on abortion, guns, wars, and Wall Street which so far has remained below the public radar.
Senator Rubio has a major problem with the base because he really supports amnesty for illegals, having said one thing in Spanish and just the opposite English. Carly Fiorina is unelectable with her terrible business record and other problems. The fact her “charity” has given a half million to Planned Parenthood should be enough to send her back to single digits in the polls. Jeb and Kasich are way behind despite media adoration.
Running a third party, as threatened by Bill Kristol if Trump wins the Republican nomination, won’t stop Trump any more than running John Anderson stopped Reagan in 1980. Anderson actually took votes away from Carter, and so will any “centrist” the establishment puts up. Trump is not Bush, the father, who had few major policy differences with Clinton after raising taxes, nominating liberal Supreme Court Justice Souter and backing away from the Second Amendment. That allowed Perot to flourish as a protest candidate.
For a man who has been attacked as a know-nothing blowhard, Trump is the only candidate who has released detailed policy initiatives on immigration, the Second Amendment and taxes. His tax plan brought approval from conservatives like Mark Levin in eliminating the loopholes the crony capitalists on Wall Street love. Trump continues to play to the Reagan Democrats by defending gun rights, as he did with his immigration and trade plans, despite unremitting media and Republican establishment hostility (or silence, as in the case of gun rights).
Observers like Sharyl Attkisson are commenting on Trump’s crossover appeal. What Attkisson is seeing is being backed up by polling of Reagan Democrats. Consider Macomb County in Michigan. It has a population of approx. 850,000 people and is a prominent swing region. Macomb is known for a strong independent streak and is the home of many Reagan Dems.
According to pollster Steve Mitchell, “all the GOP candidates being polled against Hillary in that critical Macomb region are beating her soundly…. The Teamsters have threatened not to endorse Hillary thanks to her position on the Keystone Pipeline and Trump’s popularity with their members makes a Trump endorsement by the Teamsters a real threat. Many Reagan Democrats will vote for Trump only in the General Election, but some of them will vote for the first time in the Republican primary, especially if some unions like Teamsters get behind him.”
Polls in State of Fluctuation, but Trump Maintains Lead
While the latest IBD/TiPP Poll shows Donald Trump in second place and seven points behind Ben Carson, Donald Trump holds a commanding nine point lead over Ben Carson according to a new Pew Research poll. CNN reports how Trump now garners 25 percent of the vote to Carson’s 16, with eight each for retired Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Texas Senator Ted Cruz checks in at six percent, while Florida Gov. Jeb Bush struggles at 4%. Other polls show Trump running around 35%. Get away from the media polls and Trump goes back up well over 30%.
Given the absolute hatred shown by the media toward Trump (which undoubtedly includes juggling the samples to get the “right” results), might Trump actually be under polling and Carson over polling due to voters intimidated not to say what they really think, as referenced earlier in recent overseas elections?
The 4% for Jeb Bush in the CNN poll is also an outlier, but Jeb’s implosion in other polls is undeniable. Jeb continues to make mistake after mistake, like when he claimed that Boehner did a good job as House Speaker. It is worth noting that among Iowa Caucus voters Jeb is also near 4%
Money Influences Campaigns
With the millions Jeb collected before he announced his presidential bid, he had hoped to run-out-the-clock of all other Republican candidates should he have a poor start in Iowa, etc. Jeb has the money needed to run ads against anyone who would dare to challenge what he perceives as his right to become the next president.
These ads could be effective on the lesser known Republican challengers, but could Jeb’s immense Super-Pac war chest $103 million plus, begin to make a dent in the support of a man already universally known and reviled by every media outlet, Donald Trump? What’s worse, this (mostly) wasted money for Jeb has sucked up money the Establishment desperately needs for down ballot races.
The Chamber of Commerce spent tens of millions in 2014 and still was just barely able to squeeze Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran past the primary finish line, while losing a very big fish in Eric Cantor over the immigration issue. Now the Chamber will have to fund Establishment hacks from President (as Jeb fails) to U.S. House races. The Senate will need to spend even more money than it did in 2014 to protect its incumbents. This hatred of the Republican Leadership has even reached the Vice Chairman of the RNC. Because of all the bad votes from the Cromnibus in December 2014 to the present vote for Boehner’s successor, there are potentially dozen of Cantors to defend in the House primaries.
Ted Cruz, the Alternative Establishment Candidate?
In short, the Establishment may have to do triage and jettison trying to elect Jeb or any other establishment favorite for President. It is therefore far more important to keep an iron grip on Congress. The Establishment does have an alternative in Ted Cruz, who is not as anti-Establishment as he presents himself to voter with his background: Ivy League education, George W. Bush administration official, Texas Solicitor General appointed by the present Texas Governor (then Texas Attorney General) Greg Abbott and the unprecedented appointment of “vice chairman of grassroots outreach for the Senate Republican campaign arm” right after his election.
Cruz’ wife Heidi Nelson Cruz was also in the Bush administration as an economic director for the Western Hemisphere with the National Security Council (a “trade expert” on NAFTA). Additionally Heidi Cruz was a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and worked for Goldman Sachs. Even Ronald Reagan, a Bohemian Club member, wasn’t this connected to the ruling Establishment!
Cruz has helped the Establishment at other times besides the 2014 primaries. During the “Gang of 8” attempt in the Senate to pass illegal amnesty in all but name, Cruz offered a compromise amendment to expand H-B visas by 500%. When Cruz first run for Senate in 2011, he was far softer on immigration matters, even supporting birthright citizenship: Cruz also lent support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership in an April 2015 Wall Street Journal editorial with the very Establishment Paul Ryan. He later flipped his vote against the TPP after the House by the bare minimum of 218 voted to allow Obama to negotiate this treaty. Like defeating embattled Republican Senate Incumbents in 2014, Cruz could have sunk this treaty had he had opposed it from the very beginning.
Rick Perry, by dropping out has allowed dozens of Texas legislators to endorse Cruz, who should take almost all of Texas’ 155 delegates that are up on March 1. If Cruz can sweep away Carson and Huckabee in Iowa, he should get the lion’s share of the religious conservative vote, which is about half the primary vote in crucial early primary states like Iowa and South Carolina. Cruz is spending a million dollars on Christian radio ads between now and the end of the year. The rest of the candidates who could appeal to this voting bloc can’t afford to do likewise.
A Quartet of Candidates to Follow: Trump, Rubio, Jeb, and Cruz
Trump is now mocking Marco Rubio’s baby face and his tendency to sweat and look sleazy under pressure. That’s because Rubio is the last man standing, in addition to Cruz, who could stop Trump. But will Jeb allow his money to be spent for Rubio who back stabbed Jeb’s initial effort? Or will he instead direct his money to go to down ballot races the Establishment needs even more?
Compared to Trump, Cruz has been “flexible” in the past. The nightmare scenario for the Establishment is a hostile Congress and a Trump Presidency. To prevent that, having Jeb’s money spent on down ballot races while letting Cruz take out Trump looks increasingly like the best solution for the establishment.
Phyllis Schlafly had these words of wisdom to impart on October 6, 2015, with her commentary, “The Establishment Looks for a New Plan B”:
“Plan A, of course, was to assure the nomination of Jeb Bush, whose views are the perfect reflection of the Republican donor class. But despite many months of campaigning, $114 million of political funds raised through June 30, and two presidential debates watched by a record-setting average of 24 million people, Jeb Bush has dropped to sixth place, registering only four percent in the latest Pew poll”. . . . “It may be that the only alternative left for these Republican would-be kingmakers is the late entry of a new candidate to enter the race. We are already hearing rumblings about resurrecting Mitt Romney.”
Schlafly then gives this warning:
“When the establishment is allowed to pick the Republican nominee, a candidate unable to win the support of the all-important middle-class America is the result. Establishment candidates have been unable to win the popular vote in five out of the last six elections, and that outcome is not something any Republican should want to repeat.”
Phyllis is right and that’s why Ted Cruz, with his anti-establishment image, is the only one who could possibly replace Trump, and go on to victory in 2016. Those who know the Constitution are aware that the key to power in the U.S. is Congress, not so much the Presidency. In the end, the Republican establishment will probably swallow Cruz to hold on to their power in Congress.