Donald Trump burst on the scene in July like a Roman candle…big, bright, and colorful. He lit up the sky and didn’t burn out when all of the political pundits thought he would. He fared well in the first president primary debate held on Fox. In fact, though initial reactions gave the nod to Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson, Trump emerged the winner in that one.
But from that hot August night in Cleveland, till the day after in Simi Valley, Trump has been falling. Oh, the polls haven’t shown it yet. But the media coverage, which is usually a pretty good precursor of these things has shown it. And there were some analytics that were taken during the CNN debate that showed his likeliness of winning not just the GOP nomination, but the election in general falling from a high of 20% before the debate to 12% afterwards. Trump ended up the big loser.
Meanwhile, Ben Carson has been surging. Carly Fiorina saw a good night Wednesday and could also end up surging because of it. It’s no guarantee, because debates don’t always portray positive outcomes, especially this early, but she didn’t hurt herself.
The big question is, has America gotten tired of Trump?
Polls haven’t shown it yet. He’s still out there drawing large crowds. But he is also looking very haggard. He’s looking tired, and he’s not giving very solid answers when pressed on issues. He stumbled badly the other night when asked about foreign policy and that Marco Rubio’s point was, you have to be ready on day one to assume the White House, you can’t learn as you go. Trump’s comment that he would be ready if he won seemed to suggest he was going to float until he won the election, and stay up all night, cramming for a final, like a college freshman. That didn’t play well in a lot of people’s minds.
It will be interesting in the next couple of weeks to watch two things, no, actually three things. Watch the poll numbers and see if anywhere shows a Trump decline. The second thing to watch are the crowds that Trump draws. Are they getting bigger, as what happens to most successful politicians, or are they shrinking, like Hillary’s? And the most important thing to watch is how Trump handles it all. Will he double down and throw a temper tantrum and attack whomever replaces him at the top of the heap? Will he throw in the towel if he can’t be in the cat-bird seat? Or will he fight back like most politicians realizing that it’s a marathon and things just aren’t handed to politicians. They DO have to earn them.
My hunch is that Donald Trump will not lead this thing wire to wire. He’s not going to be the nominee that easy. He may be the nominee, but he’s going to have to earn it. And my only question regarding that becomes, when Trump sees the effort that he’s going to have to put in to get to the prize, which he’s only seen a little of (like three months), is he willing to go the distance or will he be like Roberto Duran and throw up his hands and say “No mas!” Time will tell.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!