Why Donald Trump got schlonged in Iowa

Donald Trump does everything in a big way.  Even losing.  Not only did he lose to Ted Cruz in Iowa, but he came very close to a humiliating third place behind Marco Rubio.  As recently as yesterday, Donald Trump was saying he wanted to win in Iowa, and if he didn't, that it would all have been a big waste of time.

"Unless I win, I would consider this a big, fat, beautiful – and, by the way, a very expensive – waste of time," Trump said this weekend, speaking to supporters during a whirlwind tour of Iowa.

Well, I guess it was a big waste of time, then.  But why exactly did Donald declare political bankruptcy in Iowa?

1) The Shamu-SeaWorld effect.  Trump had big crowds, the largest, at his rallies.  What happened to all these people?  Big crowds also used to go see Shamu the Killer Whale at SeaWorld.  That didn't mean, however, that most people there wanted to see Shamu elected mayor of Orlando.  They went there to be entertained.  There was a recent estimate that only 8% of attendees at Trump rallies were planning to caucus for him.

2) Laziness.  Donald Trump was too lazy to campaign the traditional way, avoiding bus tours, small towns, and one-on-one meetings with voters.  Instead, he flew in on Trump Force One, spoke for an hour, and then flew home to his bed in New York.  He felt he didn't have to follow the traditional rules of campaigning because he is Donald Trump.  In a state where personal contact with the candidate is expected, Trump was wrong.

Not only was Trump lazy, but his supporters were lazy, perhaps taking a cue from their idol.  On websites they would yell in all caps, "TRUMP WILL WIN!  TRUMP WILL WIN!," but they were so busy jamming down their caps lock keys that many of them didn't even bother to vote.

It was said that a record turnout would guarantee a Trump victory.  There was a record turnout, all right, but it was a record turnout for Ted Cruz.

3) A lack of ground game.  Trump and his campaign manager, Corey "The Big Lebowski" Lewandowski never identified supporters.  They never set up substantial phone banks.  They never followed and tracked their followers.  When reporters went to the field offices of all the campaigns, they were excluded from only the Trump offices, because there was nothing for them to see.  Had Trump deigned to actually run a ground game, he might have won the caucuses.  You have to wonder: if he is so lacking in political acumen not to understand this, how lacking in political ability is he going be if he wins the White House?

4) Arrogance.  Trump, so buoyed by the polls, wore his arrogance on his sleeve.  He said Iowans were stupid if they didn't vote for him.  He called Megyn Kelly a bimbo indirectly and tried to be cute about it by saying, "I would never call her a bimbo, but..."  It wasn't cute at all; it was disgusting.  He even said he could shoot people and not lose support.  That's the language of a Kim Jong-un, not the president of the United States.  And then Trump showed his disdain for the entire process by skipping the last debate.  His arrogance was his undoing.

5) Attacking conservatives.  Trump turned off a lot of conservatives (including Mark Levin, Rush, the National Review, and others) by attacking Ted Cruz from the left (for not supporting ethanol) and in vicious, personal terms, calling Ted Cruz a "Canadian anchor baby."  There is a way to campaign against Ted Cruz, but calling him a "maniac" for standing up to Mitch McConnell is not that way.  Once it became clear that Trump was attacking Cruz from the left, he lost a lot of conservative support.

So who, then, are actual Trump supporters?  They are a much smaller number of people than originally thought.  Like Ron Paul supporters from 2012, they dominate chat rooms and online polls, but like vampires, they can't be seen in the light of day.  They are followers of the cult of personality and turn on a dime as Trump commands: if one day Trump says he wants Megyn Kelly out of the debate, they agree; if the next he says he never demanded it, they engage in immediate 1984 groupthink and say it never happened, just as Trump's liberal political past never happened or never mattered because he was liberal as a crony capitalist "businessman."  Unfortunately, his followers, while devout, are not large enough in numbers to get him elected president.

The fact that Donald Trump doesn't understand any of his missteps or the effect of his slash-and-burn rhetoric reflects a political autism that  makes him unqualified to be president or even the GOP presidential nominee.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.

Donald Trump does everything in a big way.  Even losing.  Not only did he lose to Ted Cruz in Iowa, but he came very close to a humiliating third place behind Marco Rubio.  As recently as yesterday, Donald Trump was saying he wanted to win in Iowa, and if he didn't, that it would all have been a big waste of time.

"Unless I win, I would consider this a big, fat, beautiful – and, by the way, a very expensive – waste of time," Trump said this weekend, speaking to supporters during a whirlwind tour of Iowa.

Well, I guess it was a big waste of time, then.  But why exactly did Donald declare political bankruptcy in Iowa?

1) The Shamu-SeaWorld effect.  Trump had big crowds, the largest, at his rallies.  What happened to all these people?  Big crowds also used to go see Shamu the Killer Whale at SeaWorld.  That didn't mean, however, that most people there wanted to see Shamu elected mayor of Orlando.  They went there to be entertained.  There was a recent estimate that only 8% of attendees at Trump rallies were planning to caucus for him.

2) Laziness.  Donald Trump was too lazy to campaign the traditional way, avoiding bus tours, small towns, and one-on-one meetings with voters.  Instead, he flew in on Trump Force One, spoke for an hour, and then flew home to his bed in New York.  He felt he didn't have to follow the traditional rules of campaigning because he is Donald Trump.  In a state where personal contact with the candidate is expected, Trump was wrong.

Not only was Trump lazy, but his supporters were lazy, perhaps taking a cue from their idol.  On websites they would yell in all caps, "TRUMP WILL WIN!  TRUMP WILL WIN!," but they were so busy jamming down their caps lock keys that many of them didn't even bother to vote.

It was said that a record turnout would guarantee a Trump victory.  There was a record turnout, all right, but it was a record turnout for Ted Cruz.

3) A lack of ground game.  Trump and his campaign manager, Corey "The Big Lebowski" Lewandowski never identified supporters.  They never set up substantial phone banks.  They never followed and tracked their followers.  When reporters went to the field offices of all the campaigns, they were excluded from only the Trump offices, because there was nothing for them to see.  Had Trump deigned to actually run a ground game, he might have won the caucuses.  You have to wonder: if he is so lacking in political acumen not to understand this, how lacking in political ability is he going be if he wins the White House?

4) Arrogance.  Trump, so buoyed by the polls, wore his arrogance on his sleeve.  He said Iowans were stupid if they didn't vote for him.  He called Megyn Kelly a bimbo indirectly and tried to be cute about it by saying, "I would never call her a bimbo, but..."  It wasn't cute at all; it was disgusting.  He even said he could shoot people and not lose support.  That's the language of a Kim Jong-un, not the president of the United States.  And then Trump showed his disdain for the entire process by skipping the last debate.  His arrogance was his undoing.

5) Attacking conservatives.  Trump turned off a lot of conservatives (including Mark Levin, Rush, the National Review, and others) by attacking Ted Cruz from the left (for not supporting ethanol) and in vicious, personal terms, calling Ted Cruz a "Canadian anchor baby."  There is a way to campaign against Ted Cruz, but calling him a "maniac" for standing up to Mitch McConnell is not that way.  Once it became clear that Trump was attacking Cruz from the left, he lost a lot of conservative support.

So who, then, are actual Trump supporters?  They are a much smaller number of people than originally thought.  Like Ron Paul supporters from 2012, they dominate chat rooms and online polls, but like vampires, they can't be seen in the light of day.  They are followers of the cult of personality and turn on a dime as Trump commands: if one day Trump says he wants Megyn Kelly out of the debate, they agree; if the next he says he never demanded it, they engage in immediate 1984 groupthink and say it never happened, just as Trump's liberal political past never happened or never mattered because he was liberal as a crony capitalist "businessman."  Unfortunately, his followers, while devout, are not large enough in numbers to get him elected president.

The fact that Donald Trump doesn't understand any of his missteps or the effect of his slash-and-burn rhetoric reflects a political autism that  makes him unqualified to be president or even the GOP presidential nominee.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.