Editor's Note: Newsmax CEO continues his series on the top presidential candidates, assessing their strengths and weaknesses.
Donald Trump is a born winner.
Saturday night we saw his personal winning streak continue with another A-plus performance. His debate result re-affirmed what we have known for months now: the GOP primary is Trump's to lose.
Trump was on the verge of being the presumptive nominee before Iowa. The view was that he would win big there, then New Hampshire and again in South Carolina – three big wins creating an air of inevitability.
The air bump of the Iowa Caucus blunted that vision.
His loss in Iowa should not have been surprising. The strongly evangelical caucuses have given past wins to Pat Robertson, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum.
But Trump's invincibility has been popped, and we are now seeing in New Hampshire a likely win by the billionaire, but with a result much closer than thought.
New Hampshire is notorious for upsets, Almost one-third of voters there decide in the last 48 hours. And independent voters can cross into the GOP primary and vote, further skewing the results.
"The Governors" — Bush, Kasich and Christie — gave strong debate performances, suggesting one or more will get a strong vote and continue in the primaries for some time.
Sen. Marco Rubio's poor performance doesn't diminish the significant money still sitting behind him in his well-funded super PACs.
Ted Cruz stole defeat from the jaws of victory in Iowa with a bizarre late-night speech that has shaken the confidence of many conservatives.
But he again demonstrated his conservative credentials. If Cruz comes in second in New Hampshire, he remains the strongest challenger to Trump going forward. Polling suggests Cruz likely will underperform.
This brings us back to Donald Trump.
He has been breaking all the rules and continues to lead. Unlike Iowa and even New Hampshire, Trump will move to South Carolina where he has a strong organization led by veteran operative Ed McMullen.
Trump will also find Sarah Palin and Southern Baptist Jerry Falwell Jr. of Liberty University far more valuable allies there than they were in Iowa. Palin, a favorite of veterans and Southern evangelical women, gave endorsements to Nikki Haley and Newt Gingrich, helping both carry their respective elections in the Palmetto state.
In the overall race, Trump is resonating for two reasons.
First, he is a non-ideological candidate who is talking honestly with the American people.
The Iowa entrance polls showed Trump's support draws from all ideological groups: conservatives, somewhat conservatives, and moderates. Not surprisingly, Trump drew 34 percent of all Iowa "moderate" voters — more than any other candidate.
The entrance polls also indicated that voters who want a candidate who "tells it like it is," Trump won that category with an astounding 66 percent.
The second reason Trump is doing so well is immigration.
Trump has staked out the strongest position on the matter, calling for his wall with Mexico and his ban on Muslims entering the country.
Again, the Iowa entrance poll showed Trump leading the GOP field with 44 percent of voters who make immigration their number one issue.
There are other, not so small, reasons Trump sees a golden path to the White House.
But he still faces real challenges.
After South Carolina, dozens of primaries will be triggered, requiring Trump to begin fielding multiple campaign organizations and to pump $40 million to $50 million of his own fortune into his campaign.
His remaining challengers will be well-financed and more focused in their attacks. Trump will have to respond with big ad buys. Trump has the resources to do this.
We live during extraordinary times, one in which a 74-year-old socialist from Brooklyn who once advocated zeroing out the Pentagon budget is on the verge of defeating Hillary Clinton and her powerful machine in New Hampshire.
This air of revolution breathes on the Republican side as well.
Trump would be the first "citizen" president in the nation's history — a non-politician who has had a remarkable business and entertainment career. With the country facing grave threats from the likes of ISIS and North Korea — and financial time bombs, Trump looks like the man on the white horse.
A high-level Wall Street dealmaker, also a member of the billionaires club, recently told me why he likes Donald Trump so much.
Trump, he said, has handled four bankruptcies and numerous financial transactions — and with $19 trillion in national debt, the country needs someone who can restructure it — and who will do so on behalf of the debtors (you and me) and not the creditors.
Trump, he said, will know exactly what to do.
Christopher Ruddy is CEO and editor of Newsmax Media Inc. Read more Christopher Ruddy Insider articles — Click Here Now.
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