GOP Insiders See Trump Winning Several Early States

Republican insiders tell Politico that Donald Trump “could take two of the first four early voting states, though they caution his hold on Iowa is weak.”

“Roughly three-in-four GOP insiders in New Hampshire and South Carolina, many of whom have been repeatedly and consistently skeptical of Trump’s chances, now say he would win their states if their primaries were held today… But his hold on Iowa and Nevada is more tenuous, according to insiders who note those states’ caucuses require significant organizational muscle to produce a win.”

The Hill: “The Republican establishment is nearing full-blown panic about Donald Trump.”

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  • Lat1

    So much for Trump “fading” or “this will never last” or “he’s a fad”. I cannot remember a time when the political pundits and “experts” got it so wrong.

    • gnatswatting

      Let’s not get impatient. Marco Rubio is expected to surge any month now with help from the mighty GOP establishment!

    • APV

      Not just the pundits but the party establishment and his competitors for the nomination got it wrong. They have the most to lose. They could have knocked him off when he was polling in the single digits early in the cycle. Now a potent combination of events (Paris attacks, Syrian refugees), issues (immigration, TPP), and anti-establishment mood has propelled him stronger and deeper than anyone imagined.

    • daveminnj

      When they said Bill Clinton would resign in a matter of days? Sam Donaldson, I’m looking at you.

  • BillBuckley

    Republican insiders tell us what we already know, in other words.

  • Tokopol

    Finally, they’re coming to terms with reality.

    • Gwyneth Hannaford

      With the reality they created.

    • MrBeale

      Now if only they’d come to terms with reality with respect to Obamacare.

      • Snakegirl Lyn

        Come on now. There’s reality and then there’s REALITY. They’ll never go for that.

  • RadicalCentrist

    Is someone actually paying “experts” to tell them that the horse running several lengths ahead at the final turn could possibly win? How do I get a job like that?

    • Snakegirl Lyn

      Even sillier- they are paying people to tell them they left the barn door open and the horse ran out. Oh, and the horse shit the barn on the way out. Now that’s a sweet gig.

    • silverbelle

      “Is someone actually paying “experts” to tell them that the horse running
      several lengths ahead at the final turn could possibly win?”

      Wasn’t the horse that Secretariat blew down called Sham?

  • Wynstone

    These other candidates just don’t know how to win. They are afraid of winning!

  • FuzzyLogik

    Trump’s early state organization – and Rubio’s lack thereof – has been perhaps the most underreported story in the race so far.

    I half feel Trump has used his antics as a diversionary tactic to mask how serious he is on the ground. When the party elites start to wake up to the reality it’s too late…

    • Trajan8

      If true, that definitely is under reported, as I had no idea he had a legit organized ground game.

  • chucktranberg

    I think Trump has a good shot at NH & SC–caucus states as Iowa and NV I’m not as sure about because I don’t know what kind of organization system he has–I can definately see Cruz or some other religious zealot winning in Iowa.

    • FuzzyLogik

      He has a very good organization:

      He’s outspent everyone in all the early states. In Iowa he has hired Santorum’s 2012 state director, has more staff employed than anyone besides Cruz, he has precinct captains in all 1800 Iowa precincts, and his team have been handing out caucus commitment cards at all his Iowa events… And he’s already got 4 campaign offices in SC while Rubio is only now opening his first. Only Cruz’s campaign organization competes.

      He’s been taking this very seriously for a long time.

      • you get the sense rubio just expects the establishment to hand it to him

        • Dem2016

          Rubio has a gravitas problem. Rubio is a Pug. Republicans want a Pit Bull

          • Snakegirl Lyn

            Good analogy.

  • APV

    If Trump wins NH and SC, it is difficult to see how he will not be the nominee. Any belated effort to stop him will only boomerang as the SEC states following the early states are also favorable to Trump. A recent poll had him placed first in MA, which is a relatively moderate state for say someone like Rubio or Christie to win. The competition essentially appears to be whether Cruz or Rubio will emerge as the Trump alternative.

    It is going to be lose-lose for the GOP. Forcing him out in the late game would turn off a third of the base which may be inclined to sit out or support a 3rd party run. Allowing him to win early states and secure the path to nomination will be disaster of epic proportions for the party.

    • plus if they gang up on him he goes third party

    • Dem2016

      Trump wins the winner take all in FL and the establishment starts passing around the Jonestown Kool-aid.

    • southerndemnut

      Yes and headlines showing Trump winning some states and staying competitive will make the other GOP candidates get more aggressive and just damage their prospects in the general regardless of whom the nominee ends up being. The more Trump stays around, the more the stink of his obnoxiousness will linger on the GOP.

  • oldhandatthis

    Poor Ted, he could have been a contender.

  • APV

    The only way to stop Trump is to force him to 4th place or below in IA, which will puncture his clown car in NH. Trump placed 2nd in IA is not a bad scenario for him.

    • Calbengoshi

      I agree with you that if Trump were to come in fourth IA it would cause him some problems. However, I cannot think of 3 other GOP candidates who might have a chance of coming in ahead of Trump in IA. One, maybe. Two, remote possibility. Three?

      • APV

        Agree, it is a highly unlikely scenario. Cruz and Carson both have to remain viable and competitive. Most of the establishment vote should coalesce around one candidate. For that to happen several candidates e.g. Fiorina, Kasich, Christie, Paul, have to drop their bids before IA, or give up on IA. Bush’s SuperPAC spends heavily against Trump. It would be like coordinated, tactical voting by non-Trump voters.

  • citizenupset

    The Republicans have done a very stupid thing through how they have handled Trump. Yeah sure, they tried to hide who they are by saying, we love Latino’s, we love blacks, we love this, we love that, while Trump has been standing on the side of the parade saying, no the hell we don’t. So what the republicans did was to say, hey, Trump is on his own. What he is saying is bad, blah, blah, blah. all the time, the parties anti-Trump stance has been hurting him for the general. Hillary or Bernie or O’Malley could just run ads of what the other candidates have said about Trump. What the party should have been doing is, especially since they felt that Trump was going to melt anyway, stayed quiet. The latest Kasich PAC ads is all that’s needed against Trump in the general. they should have just stayed quiet.

  • aabb4455

    Hope to god this is true because it would be very good news for Hillary Clinton and us democrats. We will have a qualified and accomplished woman as our nominee in the general election and the GOP will have a bigoted LIAR who makes fun of disabled people.

    • RadicalCentrist

      I don’t share your joy. Anyone who gets the GOP nomination starts out with a 40% chance of winning. That is simply too high for comfort. More importantly, a Trump success at getting the nomination will, even if he loses in a landslide, have coarsened the political discourse beyond its already coarsened state and shown that there is no penalty for blatantly lying and behaving like a petulant toddler. That guarantees there will be future Trumps and the odds would favor one of them winning at some point. I am simply unable to see that as positive in any way,

      • Dem2016

        On the bright side, the Hispanic and the growing minority vote will forever be a Democratic voting block. Moreover, sane Republican white voters will cross over and start voting Democratic. ‘For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.’ Newton

        • nonyas

          Trump could do for the Latino vote (not to mention the Muslim vote and who knows who he’ll alienate next) what Goldwater did for the African-American vote, delivering it to the Democratic party for the foreseeable future.

      • Avatar27

        There was a Republican Congressman who pondered recently whether Donald Trump could be a Democrats’ plant to ensure a Clinton restoration. I doubt that Democrats are as canny or wily as that, & you should never underestimate a Democrat’s ability to throw away an eminently winning hand. Complacency could become Hillary’s greatest enemy, even as Trump continues to say some alarming and offensive things. I still dream that Hillary might win by more than 400 EVs & Trump is reduced to a Goldwater defeat.

      • aabb4455

        You should. Trump will be the worst thing to ever happen to the GOP. He will have alienated latinos/blacks and others to a level never achieved before.

  • richo123

    The puppets have cut their strings and are on the march

    • politicsjunkie

      Many upvotes for Kraftwerk!

  • aabb4455

    I say let the GOP have Trump as their nominee. You can run ads and ads featuring Trump’s many extreme and derogatory comments.

  • growe

    Here we go. Four months of “he is leading the polls but will never win primaries.”
    Now they pivot to “he may win some early states but not all and then he will fade away.”

    Since Drumpf is taling fascist right down to attacking the disabled, make the obvious comparison.
    “OK, he annexed Austria, but his quest for territorial expansion is sated for now….”
    “OK, he is making Jews wear yellow stars of David but it won’t get much worse…”
    “OK, he annexed Sudetenland, but he’ll never dare to invade Poland….”
    “OK, he is forcing the economy to prepare munitions but the Germans will start to revolt soon…”

  • growe

    Here’s a news flash for Republican operatives. Serious candidates win some primaries. Very serious candidates win at least two of first four early primaries.

    Minimizing Trump by conceding he might win “only” this or that early primary is ludicrous. There are still the lucky 13 candidates or whatever, and ten of them will never win a primary .

    • Snakegirl Lyn

      In all honesty I think that to a certain extent they simply cannot bring themselves to admit that they have been this badly played by one of “their own”. Sure, the competition for the nom is just that/a competition. But Trump has brought a new kind of nasty to the game, or if not new, a kind of nasty that was supposed to be aimed only at non-gop candidates. The establishment has repeatedly behaved as if Trump was playing the game according to their long-established rules. He’s not playing by their rules. I don’t think he’s even really playing their game. If not, he’s far and away smarter than any of them, Cruz included.

  • growe

    I’d like to hear more about Jeb’s dying campaign instead of all-Trump all-day.
    I wonder when they plan for him to withdraw? Maybe a stepwise checklist:

    * if Jeb! doesn’t place in top 4 in any of first 4 primary states – save face and withdraw;
    * if Jeb! places top 3 in any first 4 states, but 4th or lower all Super Tuesday states – withdraw;
    * if Jeb! is not 4th or lower everywhere to 14 Mar, but is 3rd or lower in Florida 15 Mar – withdraw.

    I mean Jeb! can’t admit it but some of his advisers have to be making contingency plans here.

    • Calbengoshi

      The MSM seldom spends a lot of time covering campaigns that don’t seem to be going anywhere so you should not anticipate a lot of coverage of Jeb’s campaign unless it experiences a resurgence.

      As for Jeb withdrawing, as long as the Super PAC supporting him has enough money to run ads in key markets in the “blue” states that will send more than half of all delegates to the GOP convention there is no reason for him to withdraw unless it is clear that the GOP establishment has decided to support another candidate.

  • Shamman

    Who would have thought it would take Trump to bring the Republican Party down? When the GOP falls, it will be HUGE.

  • Vera

    Trump is starting to get scary and his supporters more rabid. That kind of frenzy will likely solidify the hardcore crazy wing of the Republican Party, but drive anyone who isn’t part of that 30-ish% of the GOP away. They will either vote for the Dem or stay home. Trump could end up being the magic bullet to flip both the house and senate.

  • peterjohn936

    Trump is well known and that gives him an advantage. His other advantage is that the vote will be splitted among the other candidates. The more candidates in the race the better Trump chances are.

  • Tokopol

    You can tell, based on verbiage, how these “insiders” are still partially in denial. “Winning several early states,” unless it’s a two-person race (and it won’t be), is tantamount to winning the nomination, but I guess they aren’t willing to admit that yet.

    • Bonzi77

      Yep, if he wins NH and South Carolina, he’s very likely going to be the nominee, especially given that the Iowa winner in that scenario is likely Carson or Cruz. If that ball starts rolling down hill, the “establishment” isn’t going to have time to rally around that flag given that it will have likely been shut out in the early votes.

  • Any story of the Establishment panicking strengthens trump in this antiestablishment season.

  • GoingBackToCali

    reince preibus must be having a COW! lol