Donald Trump Wins GOP Celebrity Apprentice...And He Can Thank Evangelicals

Donald Trump Wins GOP Celebrity Apprentice...And He Can Thank Evangelicals

05-04-2016

Donald Trump will win the GOP version of, “Celebrity Apprentice. When all is said and done, he will have beaten all the other contestants. Meanwhile, the GOP Establishment is the winner of, “The Biggest Loser.” So for all you GOP establishment and “Never Trump” folks, please repeat after me:

“Donald Trump is going to be the GOP presidential nominee.”

One more time in case you think this is a nightmare.

“Donald Trump is going to be the GOP presidential nominee.”

The Brody File will provide you free smelling salts in case you’ve passed out.

By the way, what’s a bigger miracle? Trump winning the GOP presidential nomination or the USA Hockey Team beating Russia in 1980 at the Lake Placid Olympics? Tough call.

Look, let’s be very clear about something. Donald Trump didn’t beat Ted Cruz in this GOP Primary fight. He beat, “Lyin’ Ted Cruz.” In other words, Ted Cruz and his rock-ribbed conservative principles were not the problem. His record is as solid as they come. The issue was that Trump was able to brand Cruz as a phony, slick liar. Cruz didn’t help himself with his delivery and awkwardness on the stump but Trump delivered the knockout blow along with some help from other candidates. It all started the night of the Iowa Caucus.

There were two critical turning points in this campaign for Cruz. They both involve evangelicals and they’re intertwined. First, on the night of the Iowa Caucus, the Cruz campaign seemed to strongly insinuate and spread the word (based on a CNN report) that Ben Carson was pretty much giving up the fight after Iowa. I know that is entirely debated but unfortunately for the Cruz campaign, perception is reality.  During that evening and the days after it, Carson was not a happy camper. On that same night we got word of the controversial, “Iowa Mailer” that the Cruz campaign was using to make it seem as if a person’s voting record would be publicly displayed so they better vote. Even the Iowa Secretary of State thought it was a dirty trick. Anyhow, that was the birth of the lying/dirty tricks narrative that the Cruz campaign could never escape from.  Cruz had Trump against him as well as Ben Carson. Marco Rubio also fed the lying narrative saying that Cruz will do and say whatever he needs to win an election. Two weeks later, Trump won, “big league” with evangelicals in South Carolina and takes the crucial primary. Why? Because evangelicals began to think Cruz was too slick. They didn’t like it. Quite frankly, he started rubbing them the wrong way.

Now, fast forward to the second critical turning point. About a week later, Super Tuesday hits and Trump cleans up in the Deep South as he wins among evangelicals in Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas and Alabama. This was not supposed to happen. This was Cruz’s firewall. This was supposed to be Cruz’s big day in the evangelical heavy southern part of the country. Never happened. Why? Lyin’ Ted strikes again. The narrative formed. Cruz billed himself as, “TrustTED.” Yet ultimately voters felt otherwise. And yes those voters were evangelicals too. While Cruz did best with evangelicals who attend church weekly, Trump was actually pulling in roughly 30% of those weekly churchgoers as well. That shows that Cruz was fatally flawed with a negative narrative he couldn’t escape even among dedicated evangelicals. You can’t let Trump get 30% of your base of support. That number was always too high. So don’t let the pundits fool you by saying Trump only appealed to the culturally conservative Christians. Yes, that’s his main base of support but pulling a decent number from weekly churchgoing evangelicals propelled Trump and became devastating for Cruz. He could never dig himself out.

So what is the political post mortem on Ted Cruz? t is simply this: Evangelicals deserted him time and time again in his hour of need and flocked to Trump. They decided to go with Trump’s no-nonsense political incorrectness and apparently will deal with the flaws. Cruz will have to stew about this for a very long time.

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