Anticipation is growing that Tuesday’s big Wisconsin primary will represent the beginning of the end of the Trump revolution’s threat to the entrenched establishment. The Republican front-runner has been getting absolutely slagged by the entire corrupt media this week and the bombardment seems to be getting to him. The latest barrage, over Trump’s yuuuge gaffe that women seeking illegal abortions should face punishment has served both the GOP elite as well as the Democrats nicely and the candidate has been relentlessly bludgeoned for days. It’s clear that the media sharks smell blood and when Trump loses in America’s dairyland the meme will have been established that he has finally jumped the shark. As for the primary itself, the fat lady hasn’t yet sang but she’s warming up.
The Associated Press reports that “Trump stumbling in Wisconsin as forces coalesce against him”:
Next Tuesday’s Wisconsin presidential primary is emerging as a crucial lifeline for Republicans desperate to stop Donald Trump’s march to their party’s nomination. One of his worst weeks of the 2016 campaign is colliding with a state already skeptical of his brash brand of politics.
A big loss for Trump in Wisconsin would greatly reduce his chances of securing the delegates he needs to clinch the GOP nomination before next July’s national convention. It could also offer new hope to rival Ted Cruz and outside groups that see Trump as a threat to the future of the Republican Party.
“I think the whole country is looking to Wisconsin right now to make a choice in this race, and I think the choice Wisconsin makes is going to have repercussions for a long time to come,” Cruz said Thursday in an interview with Milwaukee radio station WTMJ.
But almost nothing has gone right for him since Wisconsin stepped into the primary spotlight.
Even before he arrived, Trump was skewered in interviews with a trio of Wisconsin’s influential conservative talk radio hosts. On Tuesday, just hours before his first campaign stop, two-term Gov. Scott Walker threw his support behind Cruz, of Texas.
Much of the trouble that followed was of the Trump campaign’s own making. Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, got slapped with a charge of simple battery for an altercation with a reporter. Then Trump was forced to walk back his assertion that women should be punished for getting abortions, a comment that managed to unite both sides of the abortion debate in fierce opposition to his statement.
“As soon as he stepped foot in Wisconsin the mask finally came off,” said state Rep. Jim Steineke, the Republican majority leader in the Wisconsin Assembly. “Part of it is just the Wisconsin nice. We don’t take too kindly to people who act the way Donald Trump acts.”
GOP voter Linda Ruddy, a 48-year-old dental hygienist from Oshkosh, agreed.
“He’s rude. He’s arrogant. He’s a loose cannon. He’s insulting to women,” Ruddy said.
A poll run by Marquette University Law School has shown Trump holding steady at around 30 percent in Wisconsin, a level of support that gave him a lead in the state last month. But the latest survey released this week showed Cruz surging past the real estate mogul, topping him by 10 points.
Trump’s greatest problem – other than his inability to avoid media traps and focus on the message that made him the leader in the first place – is that it’s a long time between Wisconsin and the next round of primaries. New York doesn’t go to the polls until April 19 followed by five more big states in which Trump would be favored a week after that. That is an eternity when it comes to the vicious assault that will follow a Wisconsin smackdown and the 24/7 hammering of the narrative that Trump is finished which will become the conventional wisdom and border on a national gospel once the media is done.
The Washington Post Editorial Board in particular is gleefully measuring the coffin in the screed “The GOP’s golden opportunity: Why Mr. Trump may finally be vulnerable”:
Mr. Trump now trails in polls for Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary; reflective of that state GOP electorate’s special characteristics, no doubt, but also a wider level of opposition to the front-runner that has him recording an unprecedented 67 percent unfavorable rating in the latest Post/ABC News poll. If he loses Wisconsin, it may be impossible for him to claim a delegate majority before the national convention; there may even be negative repercussions for him in subsequent primaries, such as New York and California, where he currently leads.
The upshot, for the Republican Party’s leadership (such as it is): Denying Mr. Trump the GOP nomination, which has always been imperative, is now not only more urgent, but also, perhaps, more feasible. They should redouble their efforts accordingly.
However it isn’t going to be possible to replicate Wisconsin through the remainder of the primary season. There won’t be another state with an establishment dupe of a sitting governor able to mesh his own political machine with the national anti-Trump effort. Nor will there be another state on the schedule that conveniently happens to be home to BOTH the RNC Chairman and the most influential sitting Republican in the U.S. Congress. It is one hell of a thumb on the scale for the anti-Trump forces and as such could inflict a mortal wound on his candidacy going forward.
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