Third Party & Independents Archives

17 Minutes in Wisconsin

Does the term Wisconsin-nice truly apply to Mark Belling? The conservative talk-radio host from the Badger state’s WISN, recently described Trump’s team of advisors as “probably just a bunch of butt kissers.” And he’s been doing this for months now, along with the head Trump-hater Charlie Sykes, who considers Trump to have missed out on Wisconsin’s “tradition of civility and decency.” Along with a few other fellow talk-radio hosts mostly located in the Greater Milwaukee area.

I know. He started it. That's why Belling, Sykes, and the rest are so mean to the Donald.

Ok. They don't like him and they went gunning for him. In an already-notorious 17 minute radio interview, Sykes attacked Trump with the laser sharp ferocity of a short-tempered prosecuting attorney. And it worked. Trump's lack of detail on any given issue was laid bare. As was the hostility between them.

Should Sykes, Belling, et al take all the credit for Wisconsin's stopping - if only temporarily - the Trump Train?

If you believe The Daily Beast, evangelicals in Wisconsin were also a key factor in Ted Cruz's dominant victory in the state's primary. Perhaps the key factor. Do evangelicals in Wisconsin wait to hear what Charlie Sykes has to say each morning to decide how to vote? Likely not. More likely, the fact that they turned away from Trump and towards Cruz, (thus breaking a pattern of religious conservative support for Trump that has puzzled analysts), came from the same set of values that made both evangelicals and the highly influential community of talk radio hosts dislike Trump so much.

Oddly enough, Wisconsin is a fairly liberal state. With a conservative governor. Again, Wisconsin's uniqueness makes it hard to predict how its primary will influence the nomination race going forward. But influence it, it is. And will. Those 17 minutes must have felt like 8 miles for Donald Trump. Even if months of hostile groundwork went into those 17 minutes. And in Wisconsin, the dividing line runs the other way to Detroit's infamous road. The further you get from Milwaukee, the tougher it seems to get. On April 5, Trump was on the wrong side of that dividing line.. And whether it was talk radio or evangelicals, or both, at least some damage has been done. And a contested convention is now just about a certainty.

Posted by AllardK at April 6, 2016 3:05 PM
Comment #404093

“And a contested convention is now just about a certainty.”

No. It really is not a certainty at all. I know everyone wants to see the excitement of a backroom deal resulting in a nomination, but it is far more likely that Trump will make 1237. The primary map turns very favorable for him and unfavorable for Cruz. (And favorable for Kasich, but who cares?) Polls show Trump with HUGE leads in NY. He should also win big in PA, MD, CT, DE, RI, and NJ. That’s a lot of delegates. Throw in CA at the end and, even if Trump does not clear 1237, he will be too close to be denied.

By the way, has anyone noticed Trump looks tired? He must expend a tremendous amount of energy on his rallies. He may just wear down.

One amusing aspect is the way Cruz imagines the establishment will back him on a second or third ballot nomination. The establishment has no intention of actually nominating either one of them, because both would result in epic failures at the ballot box. If Trump fails to secure the nomination, expect a dark horse- a Paul Ryan, for example- to win it.

Last thought- if Trump has done nothing else, he has exposed the way conservative talk show hosts and pundits are generals without armies. The voters are not with them. They can launch multi-million dollar attacks against Trump in one state, or smear him by publishing modeling pictures of his wife right before the Utah primary, but those kind of tactics are not sustainable over the long run. The truth is, the conservative base does not seem to care much about so-called conservative politics.

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