Why the GOP Establishment still thinks they can take out Donald Trump

Yes, I know. It’s getting late. He is way ahead.

Even if he should not get all of the delegates he needs – and he will – there are many options, many deals he can make to win the others.

Not to worry. Just start thinking about the general right?


There is a reason why the GOP establishment is still holding out and why they think they can still steal the nomination from Donald Trump. They will hit the four areas where he is weakest.

Here’s how it will work.

1.) They will continue to amass delegates that they personally control. These include Cruz-Rubio-Kasich delegates but even more importantly, old Mitt Romney delegates who were recruited by State and County Chairmen in 2012.

If you don’t understand how it works, look at this video from the Rachel Maddow Show.

Remember, the delegates are people who are elected at County, District and State GOP Conventions. They have to vote according to the rules of their State Party but those rules change from State to State.

Take for example Florida. The delegates must vote for the winner of the Florida Primary for the first three ballots of the RNC and then they are free to vote as they wish but only for officially nominated candidates.

Other states say that their delegates must only vote for the winner of their primary or caucus on the first ballot.

Donald Trump just won the Arizona Primary but he currently has no effective ground game in Arizona to win all of the delegate slots at the State Convention on April 30. The makeup of that Convention will be determined by District Conventions happening this week. Most of the likely delegates I have personally talked to favor Ted Cruz.

Meanwhile, the Ted Cruz campaign just pulled off a coup in Georgia over the weekend.

2.) They will fund anti-Trump Super Pacs which will go unanswered.

The anti-Trump movement has become a cottage industry with hundreds of loose political operatives raising money by trashing Trump. It is growing exponentially. It’s a way for the pundits to pay the mortgage.

Trump supporters have created their own Super Pac, Make American Great Again. It will counter the organizing at the State Conventions and eventually answer ad for ad but they must move fast. They are way behind.

Trump hasn’t helped matters by constantly reminding folks that he is funding his own campaign.

The result? People aren’t invested. Voting patterns show that a person who donates to a campaign is 50 times more likely to vote for the same person.

If the Trump Super Pac doesn’t get big funding fast, the anti-Trump Pacs will start running millions of dollars of unanswered ads which will spill over into the general election. But the more immediate threat to Trump is that they could help the establishment take away the nomination by setting up the following scenario.

3.) The establishment will begin a series of media leaks to hurt Trump.

Wait a minute. What can hurt him? He is “the Teflon Don.” No scandal, money, sex or mafia can touch him.

Yes, I know.

But as Ronald Regan learned in 1976 and Pat Buchanan learned in 1992, the media can be almost nice to you during the nomination process when you are a Republican outsider. They turn vicious when you appear to be winning.

Public opinion can be powerful. Remember, the duly elected president of Ukraine was overthrown by demonstrators in the street? The whole Trump phenomenon began when an illegal immigrant who had been deported back to Mexico five times shot and killed a 34 year old woman in San Francisco.

The media drumbeat against Trump will be incessant, fed by special interests and designed to get a Trump reaction.

As the negative stories hit some of his supporters will start saying to themselves, “Well, even I have a problem with this one.”

And then they will say, “If there is one more thing like that I might just not vote at all.”

But still the attacks will keep coming.

It is in this atmosphere, with alleged scandal after scandal, GOP leaders will start calling for “An open convention.” They will say, “Let these delegates vote their conscience. Turn them loose. Let the people decide.”

The national media will agree.

Of course an “open” convention would be an insider, establishment convention run by delegates who do the bidding of the bosses.

#4) In this atmosphere the Convention will vote to change the rules and allow its own delegates to be unbound.

At present, Rule Number 40(b) limits nominees to candidates who have a majority in eight state contests. And as the distinguished Morton Blackwell quotes, “Only candidates who meet the eight-state threshold required to receive votes that count on the first ballot can receive votes that count on subsequent ballots.”

But the Rules can be changed at the Convention. The threshold can be changed to five states, as it was before 2012 Romney operatives decided to block Ron Paul from nomination. It can even be changed to none.

Such an “open” convention could turn to Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney or others who are more acceptable. The Trump train will come to an end.

Is it likely? No.

At the moment, such a scenario could easily be stopped by defeating the first two steps but Mr. Trump’s campaign has done too little too late. They are leaving money out on the table in a room full of thieves. It is not likely to stay there for long.

If you keep hearing party leaders speaking generously about an “open convention” you know that they are still trying to stop Trump. Only when they start talking about “rallying around the front runner” will you know that he has the nomination secured.

(Coming soon: Simple steps Trump can take to solidify his nomination. Why does the GOP establishment rage? What do they want?)


Published by Doug Wead

Doug Wead is a New York Times bestselling author whose latest book, Game of Thorns, is about the Trump-Clinton 2016 election. He served as an adviser to two American presidents and was a special assistant to the president in the George H.W. Bush White House.

11 thoughts on “Why the GOP Establishment still thinks they can take out Donald Trump

  1. Quite honestly, I wish them (Donald Trump and his supporters) the worst. It’s not that I am any big fan of Ted Cruz or Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney but this is a dishonest campaign, run by a dishonest candidate, who has done more damage to the GOP than anyone or anything, including Richard Nixon, in it’s history, not to mention that it has turned the race for the Presidency into wrestling or worse. I can’t for the life of me, understand how anyone could have been a supporter of Ron Paul in 2012 and of Donald Trump today. How is it possible? Put all the vile behavior and lies aside, Donald Trump’s positions are antithetical to the non-aggression principles of Libertarianism. The people who know better and are being kind to Mr. Trump (I’m trying to be kind myself here), like Drudge for instance, are like the weavers in The Emperors New Clothes, creating a pluralistic ignorance, that pervades this year’s primary. I tend not to believe in conspiracies. They give too much credit to smart people who are able to keep difficult secrets but I would really love to know what Bill Clinton and Donald Trump discussed before Trump decided to run. If someone set out a year ago, to destroy the GOP, they couldn’t have done a better job than Trump if they tried. I wish him the worst.

  2. The link in “Meanwhile, the Ted Cruz campaign just pulled off a coup in Georgia over the weekend.” doesn’t work

  3. I’m sure they’d love to do all that!

    Trump won the South, the GOP electoral base and electoral vote base. He won SC GA AL MS AR LA FL KY TN GA NC and if the Ted Cruz sex scandal had come out 2 months ago, Trump would have won by far larger margins. I spent some time in Alabama in February and chatted with a Cruz supporter who thought all good Christians had to vote for Cruz. Thats been the underlying rationale for Cruz’s candidacy, not anything he’s ever accomplished. He’s Jesus’s candidate.

    Denying Trump the nomination is a slap at the South and very bad timing this year against the Clintons who know the South very well. They would pick off several Southern states in 2016 and – who knows – manage to keep them in the Democratic column. If she is elected, Hillary is not going to be the same person she is as a candidate, bending the knee to Obama and Bernie all the time.

    Have to think there must be some GOP strategists with cooler heads than the people we see on TV.

    1. I can tell you from first hand knowledge, even though Trump “won” the Louisiana Primary, Ted Cruz will have the delegates, because the delegates were selected in a very small insider’s caucus, and they are all Ted Cruz supporters.

  4. When you declare that voters are more likely to vote for someone they donated to this is fairly obvious. However, you are getting your correlation backwards. Of course people who send in money are going to vote for the guy, however all that shows is that they have a high level of support already. In no way does it mean that people who highly support a candidate will stop supporting them simply because they were never asked to donate. Big difference between being asked and refusing and never having been asked in the first place.

    It is an interesting point though and there could be some psychology behind it. People who feel invested in a candidate are likely to be loyal. However, there are a lot of other ways to become “invested” in a candidate and a billionaire asking for donations from poor Americans could actually backfire.

  5. With Trump ignoring votescam, the establishment should love the fact that he will be the nominee. Easy victory for Hilldebtich Those who control the vote count will assure her NY, CA, FL, OH, MI, IL, CT, WA, VA and PA…. all “in a close race”. Add up those electoral votes. Wake up, Donald.

  6. The Donald would be excellent as President in this regard. He is a billionaire business man. You don’t become a billionaire by being stupid. This country has a poor economy…enter The Donald to turn that around.

    The other side is, The Donald needs to choose a VP that is really excellent on foreign policy to control that aspect. Now we have a team for president.

    It is all meaningless because everything has to lead to a one world government, its on the back of your dollar bill. The United States has to be destroyed, read about it in the most read book every published. It all leads to the battle of all battles, remember that one Doug? It’s the one where very few survive to live for eternity.

  7. Donald is a fake if you take the money his daddy gave him at his death and invest it in a simple growth fun his net worth is about ten times what he says he is worth. I am a better business man then him.

    He has no core he is hollow.

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