On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, Donald Trump won his final GOP primary races decisively.
He won California with 75.3% of the Republican vote. In New Jersey, he achieved 80.4%, in Montana 73.7%, New Mexico 70.7% and in South Dakota 67.1%. (Statistics source: Real Clear Politics, June 8.)
Trump won more votes than any GOP candidate in history. He now has 1,542 delegates.
Yet, some in the #NeverTrump movement would like to see failed candidate Scott Walker nominated at the GOP convention in his place. Fox’s Megyn Kelly spoke with veteran pundit Charles Krauthammer about it on June 10. Kelly explained that the idea is to get:
the delegates at the Republican National Convention not to vote for Trump, even though he’s the presumptive nominee, on the first ballot …
Strange, because we’ve been reading since the beginning of the year that delegates must vote for the candidate who won their state primary or caucus in the first round. If the votes go to a second round, then they can vote for whomever they want.
There is no way this is going to happen. This is another fantasy of people who can’t accept the reality of Trump. Trump is a reality. He’s going to be the nominee.
Can you imagine if a guy comes in with a fairly substantial majority of the delegates or at least the pledged delegates who have to vote for him on the first ballot and he’s denied that?
Paul Ryan’s endorsement of Trump still holds, although he decried Trump’s ‘textbook racism’, referring to comments the billionaire made about the judge presiding over the civil court case involving Trump University.
More anti-Trump men crept out of the shadows to talk about a contested convention. Radio host Hugh Hewitt was one of them, saying the delegates could decide. He does not care about the voters’ wishes. Ultimately, Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona said that:
such an unprecedented scenario remains far-fetched: “It would take too much. There are a lot of people who would like to, but they just don’t see a path forward there.”
On June 11, Mitt Romney said:
seeing this is breaking my heart, for the party that means so much.
Yes, the party that means so much he couldn’t even bother to see out the final month of the presidential campaign in 2012. Trump is right. Mitt choked. He snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Trump tweeted:
Mitt Romney had his chance to beat a failed president but he choked like a dog.
Addressing a group of prominent conservative businessmen and donors, Mitt pretended not to understand:
“I have dogs. I don’t know dogs choking,” he joked to the crowd. “That’s an insult that somehow doesn’t work.”
In an interview on Friday, Romney told CNN that he might vote Libertarian this year. Ho hum.
Meanwhile, Trump was addressing the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s annual Road to the Majority conference in Washington, DC. He wisely used a teleprompter for his speech in which he warned the audience about Bill and Hillary Clinton’s past and present. He also indirectly extended a welcome to Bernie Sanders’s supporters:
These donors own Hillary Clinton, they own her; and Bernie Sanders was right about that, I have to tell you.
He also welcomed Sanders supporters in his post-primary victory speech on June 7.
There are several videos of that speech, but this one is the best because it shows Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner. At 43:00 in, when the speech starts, they discreetly touch each other’s backs. At 47:00 in they hold hands for a minute. In between those points, they are glued to each other, her arm pressed against his, the way people do when PDA is out of the question. Ivanka looked somewhat melancholy, as if it was a bittersweet moment for her. One wonders what was going through her mind.
Like #NeverTrump Republicans, the media largely focussed on Trump’s racial comments. In an MSM news round-up, InfoWars’s Lee Ann McAdoo accused them of ignoring and under-reporting support for Trump amongst Latinos, which may be as high as 37%. In another short clip, one Latino told an InfoWars reporter at length why he supports Trump.
Although Senior Elections Analyst Sean Trende of Real Clear Politics would disagree with the support amongst Latinos, he picked up on a similar line of thinking regarding what the media are and are not reporting. He also analysed two polls taken when Trump was commenting on Judge Curiel. Both show that he is doing very well against Hillary Clinton. The poll of registered voters in Florida showed Trump leading Clinton. The one taken in Pennsylvania had the two neck-and-neck.
Trende concludes that Trump can’t win (again!):
I would not at all be surprised if Trump implodes before autumn, or next week for that matter … All other things being equal, I still think there’s probably a 70 percent chance of Clinton winning.
I will confess it is really difficult to sort out how much of this is a dispassionate analysis of the data, how much of it is me being influenced (perhaps correctly) by the overwhelming anti-Trump consensus out there, and how much of it is my own discomfort with Trump. If we’re being honest, it’s why so many of us were surprised by Trump’s continued rise in the polls last fall and then again in May. It’s why I think there’s a not-insignificant chance that we’re underestimating Trump’s chances of victory in November.
I disagree with Trende’s support of Clinton but agree with what he says in that paragraph, which explains the poor reporting of Trump’s campaign. He’s still speaking several times a week. No one is reporting on that, even though all his rallies and speeches are on YouTube. He tailors them to the audience and brings up a different set of statistics at the beginning of each one. He also discusses his policies in more detail.
However, some people are paying attention. Trump picked up a highly unlikely endorsement from actress Roseanne Barr on June 9. Barr has lost a lot of weight and no longer looks like the woman who starred in the eponymous sitcom many years ago.
Barr told The Hollywood Reporter:
I think we would be so lucky if Trump won. Because then it wouldn’t be Hillary.
That’s yuge. Barr was hardly known for espousing conservatism or even centrism. She said this about Hillary:
The fact is, you don’t get to be the nominee without taking a lot of dirty money.
She praised Trump for financing his own primary.
On social issues, Barr commented:
I mean, illegal immigration. When people come here and they get a lot of benefits that our own veterans don’t get. What’s up with that?
That same day, a new poll showed Trump was on track to win more black votes than any Republican candidate since 1960.
And on June 8, Latinas for Trump held their first meeting in Miami. Denise Galvez, who works in PR, leads this group of women. She and co-founder Ileana Garcia have 250 members, most of whom are businesswomen:
By continuing to hold events, Latinas for Trump will help convince other professional women who share their conservative views on immigration, the economy, and foreign policy that it is okay to show support for their candidate, Galvez said.
“We all don’t think he is racist,” she said. “We actually think he is a respectable businessman. We actually agree with the things he proposes.”
Good luck to them. Some have been threatened and harassed for supporting Trump.
Perhaps next week the media will start reporting a bit more substantively about him. Then again, I won’t hold my breath.
On June 11, Trump held a rally in Tampa. He criticised Clinton, Romney and the Republicans who refuse to support him.
At the end of the rally, supporters burst into a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’. Trump turns 70 on June 14. Many happy returns!