Reluctant Trumpers and the Turning Point

As someone who started in political communications by fighting the Clintons way back in 1992, I'll be forever grateful for every single person who voted for Donald Trump in 2016. It matters not to me whether they were early adapting, pedal to the metal Trumpers -- or lukewarm reluctant Trumpers -- or even late-converting Never Trumpers. Each vote counted as one, and Trump needed almost all of them to once and for all rid us of the Clinton machine.

Amen and pass the plate!

Moreover, the future of the Supreme Court, not to mention the nation, is radically more optimistic today, as are the prospects of securing the border, and of ridding us of the cancer of ObamaCare. This is all very good. 

For the record, I fit into category B in the scenario above, not joining the Never Trump movement (though I was tempted twice), while never claiming that Trump could not win. I always maintained that Hillary Clinton was capable of losing to anyone, often stating that the IBD/TIPP poll was worth watching, and that the LA Times Daybreak poll's new paradigm was very interesting as well.  

And let's be honest, Hillary Clinton losing is precisely what happened, and the numbers back this up. While some were predicting this big tidal wave of 70 million plus Trump supporters, swelling total turnout to something like 140 million voters, that is not at all what took place. Not even close.

So before I get to some effusive praise of Trump, consider this:

2016 ended up as a typical low turnout Republican unity win in many ways. The total vote count now is just under 120 million, though more votes will trickle in. Trump will lose the popular vote to Clinton by a tiny bit, but more significantly, he will not come close to either of Barack Obama's totals. In fact, and read this carefully, Trump will receive a lower percentage of registered voters than either Mitt Romney or John McCain, and may even fall shy of Mitt's raw total.   

Trump praise is coming, I promise, but first some more hard math:   

Trump underperformed Richard Burr in NC, Marco Rubio in Florida, Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, and Johnny Isakson in Georgia. Trump way underpolled anti-Trumper Rob Portman in Ohio, winning Ohio by 9 (which is amazing), while Portman won by almost twice that. 

Wisconsin's Republican machine of Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Johnson, and even Reince Preibus was instrumental in Trump winning Wisky. Trump's most gushing comments in his victory speech were in fact reserved for Preibus. It was stunning. So much for being a wrecking ball to the establishment. 

So what does all this tell us? First, it tells us that Trump needed the normal Republican turnout as much as normal Republicans needed Trump. This is not a bad thing, and is exactly what those of us in the "reluctant Trump" camp always maintained. It was Trump's propensity to run harder against his own party than against Hillary, that bothered us in the first place. Our fates were always tied together, as they always are in general elections. It is what it is.

Trump's continued attacks on Ryan, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich, long after the primaries ended, was just as morally reprehensible as what Mitch McConnell, Haley Barbour, and Thad Cochran pulled in Mississippi against Chris McDaniel. And it had the possibility of being far more devastating, given that it happened in the general election for president. 

The Turning Point

But to Trump's credit, and to that of Mike Pence, Preibus, Cruz, Ryan and even the repugnant McConnell, they all put this behind them the week of October 22nd through the 28th. That was the week that salvaged the election for Trump, along with the Senate, and maybe even the House. 

While that period ended with James Comey's devastating (if temporary) shot across the bow of Hillary Clinton, Trump could not have taken advantage had he not already been on a bit of a roll. This roll started on the 22nd, at Gettysburg no less, as Trump unveiled his mostly conservative "Contract with the American Voter." 

Meanwhile, he and Pence sharpened their message against ObamaCare, which was timely since Obama whined on the 24th that he was not to blame for skyrocketing premiums. (Insurance premiums coming out at election time is proof of a loving God.)  Pence was also at the time working behind the scenes with Ryan and Preibus to get everyone on the message that we needed to win everything from president to dog-catcher. 

Then on the 26th, Trump pulled his coolest maneuver of the campaign, neatly rolling an astonishing political speech into the ribbon cutting ceremony of a hotel. His "under budget, ahead of schedule" line was nothing short of dazzling, and he no doubt knew that opening a business in the late stages of a campaign would send the perfect message for 2016. Once again, he owned the mainstream media. 

I maintain, without fear of contradiction, that this kind of campaign would have never engendered a Never Trump movement to start with. This was damned good stuff, and the entire week was a real turning point. (Does anything smack the Washington Cartel like "under budget, ahead of schedule?" Love it.) 

Meanwhile, Wikileaks was continuing their drip drip drip of damning information about the Clinton Crime Family Foundation. This was this week that the "Clinton INC" info about Doug Band was dropped, information that really clarified the RICO style business plan. 

So when Comey dropped his bombshell on Hillary on October 28th, Trump (and all Republicans) already had a full week of momentum working in their favor. It was enough, but not by much, to put Trump, and the Senate, over the top. Their late unity play, and Trump's late discipline, brought it all together. 

Now Republicans have the White House, the Senate, and the House. They needed the new Trump wing, the party establishment, and the Tea Party-Reagan base voters who are suspicious of Trump to make it happen. We'll need all three to secure the border, repeal ObamaCare, and save the Court as well. 

Edmund Wright is a contributor at American Thinker, Breitbart, Newsmax TV and Talk Radio Network. He is author of WTF? How Karl Rove and the Establishment Lost… Again 

As someone who started in political communications by fighting the Clintons way back in 1992, I'll be forever grateful for every single person who voted for Donald Trump in 2016. It matters not to me whether they were early adapting, pedal to the metal Trumpers -- or lukewarm reluctant Trumpers -- or even late-converting Never Trumpers. Each vote counted as one, and Trump needed almost all of them to once and for all rid us of the Clinton machine.

Amen and pass the plate!

Moreover, the future of the Supreme Court, not to mention the nation, is radically more optimistic today, as are the prospects of securing the border, and of ridding us of the cancer of ObamaCare. This is all very good. 

For the record, I fit into category B in the scenario above, not joining the Never Trump movement (though I was tempted twice), while never claiming that Trump could not win. I always maintained that Hillary Clinton was capable of losing to anyone, often stating that the IBD/TIPP poll was worth watching, and that the LA Times Daybreak poll's new paradigm was very interesting as well.  

And let's be honest, Hillary Clinton losing is precisely what happened, and the numbers back this up. While some were predicting this big tidal wave of 70 million plus Trump supporters, swelling total turnout to something like 140 million voters, that is not at all what took place. Not even close.

So before I get to some effusive praise of Trump, consider this:

2016 ended up as a typical low turnout Republican unity win in many ways. The total vote count now is just under 120 million, though more votes will trickle in. Trump will lose the popular vote to Clinton by a tiny bit, but more significantly, he will not come close to either of Barack Obama's totals. In fact, and read this carefully, Trump will receive a lower percentage of registered voters than either Mitt Romney or John McCain, and may even fall shy of Mitt's raw total.   

Trump praise is coming, I promise, but first some more hard math:   

Trump underperformed Richard Burr in NC, Marco Rubio in Florida, Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, and Johnny Isakson in Georgia. Trump way underpolled anti-Trumper Rob Portman in Ohio, winning Ohio by 9 (which is amazing), while Portman won by almost twice that. 

Wisconsin's Republican machine of Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Johnson, and even Reince Preibus was instrumental in Trump winning Wisky. Trump's most gushing comments in his victory speech were in fact reserved for Preibus. It was stunning. So much for being a wrecking ball to the establishment. 

So what does all this tell us? First, it tells us that Trump needed the normal Republican turnout as much as normal Republicans needed Trump. This is not a bad thing, and is exactly what those of us in the "reluctant Trump" camp always maintained. It was Trump's propensity to run harder against his own party than against Hillary, that bothered us in the first place. Our fates were always tied together, as they always are in general elections. It is what it is.

Trump's continued attacks on Ryan, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich, long after the primaries ended, was just as morally reprehensible as what Mitch McConnell, Haley Barbour, and Thad Cochran pulled in Mississippi against Chris McDaniel. And it had the possibility of being far more devastating, given that it happened in the general election for president. 

The Turning Point

But to Trump's credit, and to that of Mike Pence, Preibus, Cruz, Ryan and even the repugnant McConnell, they all put this behind them the week of October 22nd through the 28th. That was the week that salvaged the election for Trump, along with the Senate, and maybe even the House. 

While that period ended with James Comey's devastating (if temporary) shot across the bow of Hillary Clinton, Trump could not have taken advantage had he not already been on a bit of a roll. This roll started on the 22nd, at Gettysburg no less, as Trump unveiled his mostly conservative "Contract with the American Voter." 

Meanwhile, he and Pence sharpened their message against ObamaCare, which was timely since Obama whined on the 24th that he was not to blame for skyrocketing premiums. (Insurance premiums coming out at election time is proof of a loving God.)  Pence was also at the time working behind the scenes with Ryan and Preibus to get everyone on the message that we needed to win everything from president to dog-catcher. 

Then on the 26th, Trump pulled his coolest maneuver of the campaign, neatly rolling an astonishing political speech into the ribbon cutting ceremony of a hotel. His "under budget, ahead of schedule" line was nothing short of dazzling, and he no doubt knew that opening a business in the late stages of a campaign would send the perfect message for 2016. Once again, he owned the mainstream media. 

I maintain, without fear of contradiction, that this kind of campaign would have never engendered a Never Trump movement to start with. This was damned good stuff, and the entire week was a real turning point. (Does anything smack the Washington Cartel like "under budget, ahead of schedule?" Love it.) 

Meanwhile, Wikileaks was continuing their drip drip drip of damning information about the Clinton Crime Family Foundation. This was this week that the "Clinton INC" info about Doug Band was dropped, information that really clarified the RICO style business plan. 

So when Comey dropped his bombshell on Hillary on October 28th, Trump (and all Republicans) already had a full week of momentum working in their favor. It was enough, but not by much, to put Trump, and the Senate, over the top. Their late unity play, and Trump's late discipline, brought it all together. 

Now Republicans have the White House, the Senate, and the House. They needed the new Trump wing, the party establishment, and the Tea Party-Reagan base voters who are suspicious of Trump to make it happen. We'll need all three to secure the border, repeal ObamaCare, and save the Court as well. 

Edmund Wright is a contributor at American Thinker, Breitbart, Newsmax TV and Talk Radio Network. He is author of WTF? How Karl Rove and the Establishment Lost… Again