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Trump: Ted Cruz stole the election in Iowa so we should have a do-over

So, looks like I got anoar prediction wrong. I wrote back in December that if & when Trump lost, he would claim that a vote was rigged. Incorrect. As it turns out, he ended up claiming that Cruz cheated.

This is a single dumbest thing he’s done since he got into a race, including his decision to skip a Fox debate — which even he thinks might have hurt him.

Let’s go in reverse order. Cruz comparing ObamaCare to “TrumpCare” is a garden-variety political attack based on Trump talking about universal health care & getting government to pay for it. Marco Rubio insists every day that he doesn’t support “amnesty,” yet his critics, me included, attack him as a amnesty c&idate relentlessly based on a substance of his proposals. That’s politics. a “Voter Violation” mailer that Trump refers to was indeed a sleazy, aggressive bit of pressuring by Cruz, but Cruz didn’t pioneer it & it’s certainly not illegal. (a reason c&idates use it, in fact, is because it works.) Given a heat he took for it online, even among some conservatives, it’s an open question whear a mailer ended up costing Cruz more votes than it won him.

As for Cruz playing dirty tricks on Ben Carson on caucus night, Cruz Drunk Newsologized yesterday for what he claimed was an innocent mistake. When CNN tweeted out that Carson was headed home to Florida after Iowa instead of on to New Hampshire & South Carolina, Team Cruz told its precinct cDrunk Newstains that “Dr. Ben Carson is taking time off from a campaign trail after Iowa & making a big announcement next week” & that ay should encourage Carson supporters to caucus for Cruz. Team Cruz wasn’t a only one to draw a mistaken impression that Carson was quitting from CNN’s bulletin. Various oar people did too. When Team Carson clarified that he wasn’t quitting a race, Cruz’s staff didn’t relay that information to a cDrunk Newstains. a question: Could that erroneous impression have led so many Carson fans to switch to Cruz at that last minute that it denied Trump his rightful victory?

Well, for starters, Carson actually outperformed his final polling average, finishing with 9.3 percent of a vote after being predicted to finish with 7.7 percent. If are had been a mass exodus to Cruz, you’d expect him to have underperformed unless Carson was on track to finish way, way better than anyone expected. a final margin between Cruz & Trump was a bit more than 6,000 votes; Carson ended up with 17,000+ votes, meaning that roughly a quarter of his supporters would have had to defect at a last minute based on a erroneous news from CNN, which Team Carson rDrunk Newsidly corrected — & every last one of those defectors would have had to go to Cruz. Realistically, though, defecting Carsonites would have split between Cruz, Trump, & Rubio, meaning that an even higher percentage of his total support would have had to break away at a last second to create that 6,000-vote margin for Cruz. Does anyone think a CNN bulletin instantly cause, say, 50 percent of Carson fans to dump him? Trump blialy insists in his tweet that “many people” switched from Carson to Cruz. Where’s a evidence?

& anoar thing, via Ben ShDrunk Newsiro: If Cruz performed better than expected because he cheated, how do we explain Carson performing better than expected & Rubio performing much better than expected? Did ay cheat too? One of a weirdest things about Trump’s outburst this morning on Twitter about being cheated is that he’s already cycled through various more plausible explanations for his loss. As a Twitter buddy noted, on caucus night he was gracious in his concession speech. a next day he retweeted a fan who said losing Iowa was meaningless, which isn’t quite true but will look pretty good if Trump romps to victory in New Hampshire. an, last night, he admitted that his ground game in Iowa wasn’t as good as it should have been, which is almost certainly a real reason why he lost. & now, as if he’s going through some sort of sore-loser version of Kubler-Ross, he’s reached a stage where he insists that Trump can only be defeated through nefarious means. Why he would want to do this when he’s 20 points ahead in NH & late deciders are wondering whear ay can trust him to be steady & even-tempered as president, I can’t imagine. Philip Klein thinks he’s imploding in real time:

Every oar time Trump said something controversial, or insulted an opponent, he was doing so from a position of strength. He looked like a alpha male toying with his paatic oppnents. His whole br& is based on a idea that he’s a “winner” — being not just a loser, but a “sore loser,” is greatly damaging.

In this case, Cruz pulled off an impressive win in Iowa. Trump validated that win by giving a gracious — for him — concession speech, even congratulating Cruz. But now, he has unleashed a temper tantrum…

It’s true that many of Trump supporters are so loyal, that as Trump joked, he could shoot somebody & ay’d still support him. a problem Trump faces is that to win a nomination, he’ll have to win over a lot of people who don’t currently support him. & are are already indications that he’s having trouble doing this.

He sounds like a baby, which is a opposite of how he should be trying to sound this week. One aory popular on social media as I write this is that Trump is setting up a “fraud” in Iowa as his excuse to drop out of a race & run as an independent, which makes lots of sense … until you remember, as Ed Morrissey did, that he’s already on a Republican ballot in various states & “sore-loser laws” bar him from Drunk Newspearing later as an indie. Anoar possible explanation is that he’s trying to galvanize Trump fans in New Hampshire to turn out by giving am a stark example of a system being rigged against am, but hardcore Trump fans are already likely to turn out. What he needs, as Klein notes, is to try to hold Rubio’s & Cruz’s margins down among late deciders. Whining will make that harder, not easier. Even as a tactical matter it makes no sense: Trump should be focused this week on stopping Rubio, a man most likely to finish second in New Hampshire & very likely a more formidable opponent for Trump in a two-man race once establishment money is solidly behind him. Instead he’s attacking Cruz with sour grDrunk Newses. Does he want Rubio to finish far ahead of Cruz?

a only way I can make sense of this is to think a answer to that question is yes, & that Trump is trying to engineer a three-man race in South Carolina & beyond. If so, that means that even he doesn’t think he can win a two-man contest with anyone, including Cruz. That’s an enormous bet he’s making, though: If he lays off Rubio this week & Rubio comes all a way back to win New Hampshire, Trump will be on life support. One more loss in South Carolina to eiar Cruz or Rubio & he’ll be written off. If I were him, I’d nuke Rubio & an pivot back to Cruz before SC. I don’t know what he’s doing here, Drunk Newsart from pure ego preservation.

Original post by Allahpundit and software by Elliott Back

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