Wednesday, April 13, 2016

No, Drudge, Trump Still Needs 1,237 Delegates To Win

by JASmius

Because, for Trumplicans it seems, math is hard.

Either that, or the Trump fix is in at the RNC, if Drudge's take on Randy Evans of the GOP Convention Rules Committee is any indication:

What I do expect to happen is this, if Donald Trump exceeds 1,100 votes he will become the nominee even though he may not have 1,237. If he gets less than 1,000 delegates then I think we are looking at a contested convention that could go on for many, many days. Then in the middle, there is that gray area between 1,000 and 1,100. And that’s where the unbound delegates or the delegates that have been released by other candidates come into to play, to see if there are enough of those to get either Trump or Cruz over the finish line.

And from that quote I immediately draw two conclusions: (1) Evans may or may not be a Trump fan, but here he is attempting to lay out his take on the probability scale for a contested, multi-ballot convention, which I think is flawed, as I'll get to in a moment, and (2) Matt Drudge is carrying Trump's love child in his rectum and keeps splattering his plopping bundle of joy all over his cyber front page, giving fetid and fecal trumpeting to why I detest the Trump personality cult.

Now, then.  Is Evans' take correct?  Well, since we can rule out a Trump Rules Committee cabal corruptly lowering the bar for his hostile takeover....

Just got off phone w/ RNC Randy Evans: the 1237 number is NOT flexible, only that if Trump is close, can wrangle enough unbound delegates's not outside the realm of possibility, but plausibility is another matter.  What did we just see in Colorado last weekend?  And around the country?  In terms of organization and ground game and competence and work ethic, the Cruz campaign is playing three-dimensional chess....

....while TrumpWorld is finger-painting with its own feces.  The chances of Trump arriving in Cleveland with even 1,100 bound delegates are fading:

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is close to ensuring that Donald Trump cannot win the GOP nomination on a second ballot at the party’s July convention in Cleveland, scooping up scores of delegates who have pledged to vote for him instead of the front-runner if given the chance....

[B]ased on the delegate selections made by States and territories, Cruz is poised to pick up at least 130 more votes on a second ballot, according to a Washington Post analysis. That tally surpasses 170 delegates under less conservative assumptions — a number that could make it impossible for Trump to emerge victorious.

And if Trump doesn't get to 1,237 on the first ballot, he's pretty much toast:

If Trump loses on the first ballot, the most likely scenario is that Cruz will win on the second or third. In fact, some see a path where Cruz cobbles together his own delegates, unbound delegates, and, say, Marco Rubio’s delegates and wins on the first ballot. He’s that good at working the system.

I'm not THAT optimistic.  This is a war of the first ballot (Trump) versus multiple ballots (Cruz).  Trump has to get over the top on the first try, or his tide will ebb in a big, big hurry.  But then, wouldn't a competent hostile-takeover artist be aware of this and have prepared the organization and ground game for a marathon as well as a sprint?

I'll save discussion of the delightful irony of the "establishment" ripping its nose off its collective face to join forces with Mr. Tea Party/"Tear Down The Washington Cartel" Warrior for after a Cruz balloon-and-confetti shower, if and when.  All I'll say for now is that (1) #NeverTrump is the REAL "silent majority" and (2) don't underestimate Ted Cruz.

UPDATE: Allahpundit elaborates:

Even more ominous, via Erick Erickson, is how Cruz is out-organizing Trump in California, which nearly everyone expects will decide on June 7th whether Trump gets anywhere near 1,237 delegates or not. Not only will Trump likely need to clear 70% of California’s delegates to clinch, noted Yahoo News yesterday — which is no easy organizational task in a State that’s winner-take-all by congressional district — but the candidates are responsible for choosing their own delegate slate in each district by May 7th. It took Team Cruz five months to identify three core supporters plus three alternates in each of California’s fifty-three districts. Team Trump, meanwhile, just hired a political director for California … yesterday. What happens if Trump beats Cruz handily on June 7th but his campaign failed to name delegates in the districts he’s won? According to Team Cruz, that means Trump gets skunked in those districts. Good luck, Paul Manafort. [emphases added]

Two words, Trumplicans: amateur and....loser.

But they don't really care about winning, let's remember; all they care about is burning down the GOP.

UPDATE II: When Trump is beaten fair and square, he was "cheated," but when Trump wins by any means necessary, well, he always wins, yes?  And every once in a while he lets us all, Trumplicans and #NeverTrumpers, smirkingly know it:

“Our Republican system is absolutely rigged. It’s a phony deal,” he said, accusing party leaders of maneuvering to cut his supporters out of the process. “They wanted to keep people out. This is a dirty trick.”....

Asked about the appearance of disorganization, Mr. Trump said in an interview, “You have to remember I’m leading.” He added, “I’m more than two hundred delegates ahead, so over all, I’m doing very well.”

But in what sounded like a wink-wink aside, he said, “Don’t forget, I only complain about the ones where we have difficulty.” [emphasis added]

This fits right into what I'm coming to believe is the new phase that the Trump campaign has entered, and which began after his blowout loss to Senator Cruz in Wisconsin last week, followed up by his getting skunked in Colorado and Cruz's prohibitively superior ground game across the country that is turning the GOP nomination race is his favor after the first convention ballots deadlocks.  I call it the "Burn it down" phase.  Yes, Trump will win more State contests (New York and others in the northeast come to mind), but his complete absence of campaign organization and infrastructure is dooming him from a first ballot nomination victory.  I think that Paul Manafort has privately already told this to Trump, and they've decided to go scorched-earth from here on out to delegitimize a Cruz victory.  The Donald bitched and moaned about how "unfairly" he was "treated" in Wisconsin, and "Gestapo tactics" rather than winning by the rules, hard work, and preparation "screwed" him out of Colorado.  The pattern has already been established; any delegate that lands in Ted Cruz's pile will be one of which Trump was "robbed".  That drumbeat will pound away like a jackhammer for the next three months until Trumplicans, if such a thing is possible, are whipped into an even more raging, murderous fury, such that the Cleveland convention will be a de facto hostage situation where the only way that Trump-bound, Cruz-preferring delegates will literally get out of it with life and limb intact is to stick with Trump on successive ballots.

And if Cruz ultimately wins anyway, TrumpWorld will do everything in its power to ensure that Hillary Clinton wins in November - as was somebody's plan all along.

Exit quote from Ian Tuttle:

There’s been a lot of talk of late about the need for a renewed populism to balance the power of our political “establishment.” But Trump isn’t the candidate of “the people”; he’s the candidate of the mob. He’s the candidate of kneejerk anger, of groupthink, of storming the Bastille with pitchforks. He’s the candidate of self-congratulatory cyber-thugs such as “@Thomas1774Paine,” whose great service to the republic is encouraging the intimidation of public officials.

Trump has encouraged democracy’s worst impulses, rather than restoring its best. Because of his lie — peddled to tremendous effect, there’s no denying — that “the system” is fundamentally corrupt, a faction of so-called conservatives has emerged that believes that the only way to restore “democracy” is to be ruthlessly anti-democratic.

This, it goes without saying, is not conservative. It’s also dangerous....The constitutional framework conservatives endorse and strive to preserve is intended to prevent such power bases from forming, and to thwart their inevitable desires: “Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay! Let not a traitor live!” [emphases added]

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