Evangelical leaders are frantically looking for ways to defeat Donald Trump

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Edit Most Americans are nervous or scared about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

My Campaign Stops column this week tries to explain how the current intersection of national security and immigration in the headlines (including in today’s Times) has left the Republican establishment particularly defenseless against Donald Trump’s demagoguery, because the combination of Bush-era foreign policy failures and the party elite’s consistent dissembling on immigration policy (against amnesty in even-numbered years, otherwise for it) has eroded voter trust to a point where a normal partisan pitch on this issues falls on quite a few deaf ears. Ted Cruz, the no-compromise conservative purist, is on the verge of securing the Christian conservative bloc, a linchpin that could secure victory in the 2016 Iowa caucuses, GOP insiders say.Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has surged to his highest-ever standing in CBS News/New York Times polling, hitting 35 percent in a survey released Thursday.†Introductory offers to be billed 4 weekly as per the following – The Australian Digital Subscription $4 per week to be billed as $16 4-weekly; The Australian Digital Subscription + The Weekend Australian (delivered Saturday) $4 per week to be billed as $16 4-weekly; The Australian Digital Subscription + 6 day paper delivery $8 per week to be billed as $32 4-weekly.

At one time or another, Trump has advocated for gun control, liberal immigration policies, partial-birth abortion, and a slew of left-wing politicians, including the Clintons and Rep. Trump got his highest numbers in the poll, leading the Republican presidential field with 35 percent support, versus 16 percent for nearest rival Sen. There are many Republican voters who think the Iraq invasion was a necessary decision and that the only grave failure in the Middle East was Barack Obama’s squandering of the surge’s gains; there are many Republican voters who are either in tune with the party’s leadership on immigration or else haven’t ever particularly focused on the issue; there are many Republicans who simply aren’t going to vote for Trump even if they agree with some of his blasts against the establishment.

As the popular outsider Ben Carson fades, Cruz is ascending — and he’s eating into Trump’s base, religious conservative leaders told The Des Moines Register this week. “I do sense he is picking up a lot of steam in Iowa,” said Royce Phillips, who is founding pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Coralville and has been plugged into conservative politics in Iowa for three decades. “I don’t think many people think deep down that Donald Trump is going to be one of the final players. Trump has, of course, moved much further to the right on many of these issues over the years, but if you’re looking for a trustworthy, proven constitutional conservative, Trump—a candidate who has switched his political affiliation at least four times—isn’t your guy.

Even now that Trump has reached “conservative” status in the minds of many, he continues to advocate for blatantly leftist, authoritarian, or unconstitutional policies truly conservative candidates would never consider for even a moment. Terry Branstad told Bloomberg Cruz is the most “anti-ethanol, anti-renewable fuel, of all the candidates.” Now Cruz is finding himself the target of attacks from a pro-ethanol group led by Branstad’s son. His post-Paris, post-San Bernardino bump has left Trump with about 30 percent of the vote in national polls, but 30 percent is a long way from 50 percent, and his basic coalition is still probably the same distinctive mix it’s been all along: He seems to be combining certain very right-wing voters (the kind who listen to Rush and watch Hannity and read Breitbart, his chief boosters in the conservative movement) with a working-class, disaffected, radical-middle constituency that usually identifies itself as “moderate” or “liberal” in typologies of Republican voters and holds genuinely middle-of-the-road views on economics. A smaller, faster player walks through that hole.” Team Cruz is taking inspiration from an unlikely source for a firebrand hero of the right: Barack Obama and the 2008 “grass-roots army” that vaulted him past the Hillary Clinton juggernaut in first-in-the-nation Iowa and into the White House.

For instance, in August Trump argued the United States should adopt a policy that would effectively declare the more than 300,000 children born to illegal immigrants each year as non-citizens, despite the fact the 14th Amendment has always been understood to include all people born on U.S. soil. Washington Post: Cruz, as of today, has the most direct route to the nomination — assuming the history of Republican nomination fights works as a broad predictor of where this race is headed. The old GOP model for nominating “mushy moderate” Republicans like Mitt Romney and John McCain failed miserably, said Kellyanne Conway, a pollster who works for a super PAC backing Cruz. Full offer terms and conditions apply – see www.theaustralian.com.au for full details. * Value calculated as at 24/11/15.Offer includes a free Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8” Tablet Model SM-T350NZAAXSA (WiFi Only).Please be aware introductory offers must be purchased before 18 December 2015 for delivery before Christmas Day.

Trump’s most recent outrageous policy suggestion is his plan to temporarily prevent American Muslims currently overseas from re-entering the country—a policy his campaign quickly reversed after Trump received significant backlash from countless prominent members of his own party. The Post’s Chris Cillizza takes it step by step, writing that Cruz is positioned as the most conservative candidate in the race, staking out a position on the far right on virtually every major hot button issue. Cruz, a charismatic first-term U.S. senator, likes to say he modeled his 2012 Texas bid — and now his 2016 bid — after the first black president’s 2008 race. “I went and bought Obama’s campaign manager’s book, David Plouffe, The Audacity to Win, and gave it to my senior team and said, ‘We’re going to do exactly this,’” Cruz said in Sheldon in June. “We had a grass-roots army of young people, of Republican women, of Hispanics, of American men and women, of Reagan Democrats.” Cruz’s campaign, a sleepy, second-tier affair over the summer, is suddenly the talk of Iowa, GOP county leaders said.

Clinton sharpens Trump attacks: The Hill writes Hillary Clinton’s attacks on Donald Trump have grown more aggressive and frequent following his call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. Cruz didn’t even have an Iowa office until September, when he hung a shingle a stone’s throw from the offices of the Iowa Christian conservative activist group the Family Leader, whose president announces his coveted endorsement Thursday. However, most Americans said they were concerned with both frontrunners: 40 percent of respondents expressed fear and 24 concern about a President Trump, while 34 percent were scared and 23 percent concerned about a President Hillary Clinton. We will supply your contact details to JB Hi-Fi, who will deliver this tablet only to your registered subscription address and will email you with dispatch details.

Clinton’s lock on the nomination seems more secure than Trump’s, however, with 54 percent of Democratic primary voters saying they have made up their minds versus 64 percent of Republicans who say they are still not settled on a candidate. On the other hand, you can also tell a story in which these careful polls with their rigorous screens for likely voters are missing the point: The Donald is mobilizing people who don’t ordinarily vote, doing for disaffected whites what Barack Obama did in 2008 for portions of the Democratic electorate, and therefore the careful models we have are actually too careful, because they assume that some of the disaffected will stay that way instead of turning out for Trump. Pundits and policy experts have attempted to explain the odd political phenomenon of self-proclaimed conservatives voting for a candidate that has historically supported liberal policies.

Wall Street Journal: Cruz is plotting a protracted nomination fight through Southern states that are playing bigger roles than in prior elections. “It is a region where his antigovernment, evangelical conservative message plays well, and he has quietly been building a far-reaching political organization to take advantage of that,” writes Janet Hook. “If it works, Mr. Although the reasons for supporting Trump vary from voter-to-voter, the underlying foundation upon which the entire Trump movement has been built is, quite ironically, the strong reaction against untrustworthy liberal Republicans who have dominated the party’s politics for decades. And it can also weave in the examples of Jesse Ventura and Arnold Schwarzenegger, both celebrity candidates like Trump who outperformed (some) polls by getting frequent non-voters to make an exception and cast a plague-on-both-your-houses kind of ballot. One reason to doubt the latter theory is that Ventura and Ah-nold were both running in a general election, and a primary campaign throws up more hurdles to non-voters. (This also might be why, as FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten has noted, online polls have performed better in general election campaigns than in primary seasons; they tended, for instance, to overstate support for Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, etc. in 2012) But should we be confident that it’s wrong?

Politics watchers said he has run a tactically smart race: not staffing up too early, conserving money, banking endorsements, riding the national narrative and not treating Iowa like a traditional ground-pounding operation right from the get-go. With that said, even a high-turnout scenario for Trump would not put him on the path to Republican nomination; of that I remain very confident. (Foolishly confident? Since the end of Ronald Reagan administration, Republican politics have only had brief moments of true conservatism, and they have often been surrounded by countless liberal policy decisions by allegedly “conservative” Republicans that would make Woodrow Wilson proud. Cruz’s campaign has wagered that attacking Trump — who has shown tremendous political durability through all of his controversies — is a fool’s errand, more likely to sink Cruz’s numbers than Trump’s.

In which case the Trump effect actually might, as Sean Trende suggests today, finally deliver the convention drama that every political reporter and columnist has been pining for since, oh, 1976. Chuck Grassley told the Register: “I’ve heard for a month (Cruz) seems to have a pretty good plan to get faithful people to come to the caucuses, and he may be benefiting from people who very much like Dr. Bush; the failure of countless Republican-led Congresses to deal with the United States’ nearly open borders; the nominations of moderate (or liberal, depending on who you ask) presidential candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney; the “Gang of Eight” immigration deal and other similar compromises in Congress; and the seemingly endless string of defeats on the legislative, court, and media battlefields with President Barack Obama have culminated in the formulation of a political environment where a candidate like Trump actually has a chance of winning the GOP nomination.

He kept up that line on Wednesday, declining multiple times on Fox News to go after Trump. “Look, I like and respect Donald Trump,” Cruz said. “I don’t anticipate that changing at all”: CNN. Carson but feel he’s not associated with government close enough in these times with all this terrorism going on.” But, Grassley said, “it’s too early to say (Cruz) could win Iowa.” Polling shows that three-quarters of likely GOP caucusgoers say they’re still willing to change their mind, Grassley noted. Offers are available to new customers with an Australian residential address who have not held a digital subscription with The Australian in the 6 months preceding subscribing for this offer.

Jeb Bush, who’s languishing in polls for the Republican nomination, is mobilizing his family’s network as he searches for momentum amid Trump’s dominance and the rise of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. That’s according to Politico, which writes that starting next month, Bush’s campaign will deploy hundreds of his brother and father’s former White House aides to early primary states to assist in canvassing and get-out-the-vote efforts. Five-day budget unveiled: With current government funding running out Friday and no budget deal complete, House Republicans introduced a five-day stopgap bill on Wednesday. Ben Carson would all almost certainly be truly conservative presidents, and it’s hard to imagine any of them would ever support the kind of liberal policies Trump has openly proposed in the past.

His backers said it’s tricky to get a solid read on any campaign’s ground game, unless, as with Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton’s crew, a stream of door-knockers is obvious everywhere. It’s true one does not necessarily lead to the other, but Trump, seizing on the opportunity granted to him by Bush, McConnell, and Boehner, has been able to formulate what many voters now see as an iron-clad promise to accomplish several important tasks, including closing the U.S. Trump likely has more than enough supporter names in his campaign database, collected from Iowans who mobbed the reality TV star’s events, to win outright. Trump’s unpredictability makes Feb. 1 a big unknown, said Cindy Golding, chairwoman of the Linn County GOP. “The people I talk to who are Trump supporters are not your typical voters or caucusgoers,” she said.

But if Trump backers are more inclined to stay home on a warm couch and watch an engrossing TV show on Feb. 1, the tried-and-true activists who normally attend the caucuses — evangelical Christians and Tea Party types — will likely pull the night for Cruz. Second, and perhaps most importantly, Trump’s constant assault on America’s absurd politically correct culture has made his promises more believable. Trump has proven he’s willing to take a beating from the media to support what many believe are reasonable ideas, and he’s earned a deep commitment from his supporters because of it. While his opponents are on the campaign trail pinky-swearing their commitment to the conservative cause, Trump is sealing his promises with what amounts to a political blood oath—a strategy that may very well lead to a Republican nomination, however frightening that may be. A big turning point in the race: Cruz’s “this is not a cage match” line in the CNBC debate in Boulder, Colo., in October, Iowa conservatives said, which showcased his remarkable memory and rhetorical skills.

Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?’ How about talking about the substantive issues people care about.” “I think my dad stole a line from me,” the congressman’s son, Jeff King, told the Register with a laugh.

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