Big swaths of the media punditry are ecstatic over Trump’s loss in Wisconsin. Not that they want to see Cruz surge, its just that haters are gonna hate.
But rumors of Trump’s electoral death are greatly exaggerated.
That Trump lost in Wisconsin is not exactly a surprise. A very popular and recall-tested Gov. Scott Walker endorsed Cruz, and it wasn’t exactly Trump’s most brilliant moment to trash talk the good governor in the lead-up to last Tuesday’s vote.
I know, “hit back 10 times harder” can be a great tactic. But Donald, in Chapter 9 of your book "The Art of the Deal," you wrote, “There are times when you have to be aggressive, but there are also times when your best strategy is to lie back.”
This was one of those times. There will be others. Perhaps you should hire someone to read that line to you every morning while you’re eating your Wheaties.
But that blunder alone didn’t cost him Wisconsin. The coalition of anti-Trump PACs poured over $2 million into that state alone.
Tack on Cruz’s and Kasich’s spending and we’re close to $5 million of anti-Trump diatribe in the Cheese State.
Donald dropped about $500,000 of walking-around money and ended up with six delegates.
With Wisconsin in the rear view, the rest of the April primary map moves to Trump’s home turf. April 19 is New York with 95 delegates, and April 26 is another Super Tuesday (how many does that make?) when Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island all step up to the plate.
All told, we’re talking 267 delegates between now and Bernie’s favorite holiday of May Day. Trump will likely hoover up about 200 of those delegates, putting him approximately 300 short of the necessary 1,237 to win.
If he is lucky, Sen. Ted Cruz will get about 50 (this is where Kasich’s hanging around hurts Cruz). Thus Cruz exits April with about 555 delegates.
The problem with that is that going forward, Cruz will need to squeeze 682 more delegates out of the remaining 502. Even a Common Core mathematician can’t conjure that.
That leaves only Trump who can win on the first ballot.
Will Donald attain 1,237 before the convention? In the words of another Donald (Rumsfeld) the answer to that question is a “known unknown.”
Trump might get there; it is going to be close and will likely depend upon how California’s glop of 172 delegates break.
Here is my most likely scenario: Trump rolls into Cleveland with somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,180-1,210 delegates, just a few dozen short of nomination nirvana.
So what happens then? Chaos? Maybe. But with chaos comes opportunity.
There will be plenty of unpledged delegates milling about, open to being bought persuaded. All perfectly legal. And that is when the real Art of the Deal will ensue.
Trump wins on the first ballot.
Patrick Murray (colonel, U.S. Army, retired) was part of a military-diplomatic exchange program between the Pentagon and Department of State, where he served in the Bureau of Political Military Affairs in Washington, D.C. In 2005, Murray became the U.S. representative to the Military Staff Committee at the United Nations in New York under Ambassador John Bolton. After retiring from the Army in 2009, Patrick became the Republican nominee for U.S. Congress in Northern Virginia. He is the author of "Government is the Problem." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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