It was a campaign supernova, it glittered brightly as it first burst on to the scene. It was a spectacle that dazzled and awed us all in wonderment and amusement when it initially debuted upon the debate stage, a chuckle-worthy distraction from politics as usual.
Some thought it was refreshingly unfiltered and raw, a man channeling the perfect zeitgeist of our anxious age, but surely never would he be a serious candidate for the presidency.
Then as weeks drug on it turned sour, the joke ceased to be funny, the very real prospect of a boorish reality television star with more personal character flaws than even Donald Trump himself could comb over began to unsettle much of the conservative voting coalition.
Could this horrendously unqualified attention whore of a man actually rise above an uninspiring field of presidential candidates to squeak into the White House with the narrowest of pluralities?
For a time in February and March this question seemed plausible, he was racking up slim margins of victory in primaries across the Deep South, where although close to 70 percent of voters were regularly voting for other candidates, the majority had their voting allegiance scattered across a cartoonishly crowded field.
But something happened on the way to the White House for Mr. Trump, a reality check that came to pass the more the public got a good look at him. And as the field diminished in size, and with it the narrow pluralities that Trump had clung to in early primaries, a somber and sobering month befell Donald Trump.
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The GOP race began with a ridiculous 17 candidates, but because of the media’s penchant to highlight the most sensational story line it can possibly spin, it saturated the primary season with coverage of Donald Trump. And in reality it has been a one-man race for most of the election because of that chosen narrative by the media circus. We have all been presented with the false choice between people who either love Donald Trump or hate his guts – just by virtue of the tone used by the media coverage alone.
On account of the divided field and the lack of coverage for other candidates that were in fact winning primaries in convincing fashion, Ted Cruz lacked the media profile to rally people behind an actual true blue conservative, one with an anti-establishment message that contrasted positively to Trump’s quasi-populist counterfeit.
Cruz had previously insisted that if he ever got the primary battle down to a two man race that he would prevail, and recent history is proving his hypothesis to thus far be largely a prophetic one. Cruz has begun to dramatically turn the tide, not so much because Cruz is an irresistible candidate, but because Trump has become such a self destructively unsavory one.
All opportunity Trump had to seize on his unexpected momentum and convert conservatives to his campaign was squandered by juvenile debate antics, personal attacks against Cruz’s spouse, and horrendously damning sound bites that indict him as an opportunist, not a trustworthy banner bearer of American conservatism.
And in the weeks since the field narrowed down to two true contenders and a Kasich, Donald Trump has only won a single state. And it was largely due to early voting in Arizona, the same early voting that saw the defunct campaign of Marco Rubio finish in third place ahead of the delusional John Kasich. Otherwise Trump was obliterated by voters that voted on the actual primary election day, and Utah and Wisconsin later dealt him serious setbacks from crushing defeats.
In fact the most recent defeat in Wisconsin is a bellwether of what is to come in the remaining two months of the campaign, it was the first open primary that Trump had failed to win, meaning his supposed appeal to blue collar Democrats who were crossing over to vote for him has ebbed and stalled. And recent polls across the Mountain West and California don’t look good for Donald heading into those future primaries.
The desperation seizing the Trump campaign has actually become palpable, contrasted to the surprisingly gracious attitude Trump exhibited in the aftermath of his defeat in Iowa three months ago, he has become a complete rabid dog in the wake of being crushed in Wisconsin.
This is a direct quote from Donald Trump’s campaign response to being rejected by voters in the Badger State:
“Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet— he is a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination away from Mr. Trump,”
Clearly any pretense of being gracious in defeat has long since been abandoned by this floundering campaign, and rest assured, it is indeed floundering.
Present delegate math favors Cruz to be at worst in a virtual tie heading into the late June GOP Convention in Cleveland.
And it is a near certain fact that if a contested convention comes to pass, Ted Cruz is the one who stands to become the nominee. The Donald Trump supernova burned bright and is now burning out, the question is will there be one last titanic sized explosion before he falters completely or will his campaign die an anticlimactic death?
The lone absolute is that the campaign is nearing its end, and the joke has indeed finally run its course.