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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

WSJ writer: Trump's path to victory makes sense

John Brabender gave one of the best summations of Trump's brilliant strategy for winning the presidency.

Go large.

Instead of targeting "key" states, Trump will campaign nationally -- just as he did in the primary season when he refused to stay holed up in Iowa for a month.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Brabender showed he gets the importance of the message:
There has been much criticism of Mr. Trump as a messenger. But what he seems to understand remarkably well is that he has become the megaphone for a large group of voters who feel they have been disenfranchised from the political process, and abandoned on the economic battlefield by both parties. Mr. Trump also knows that “acting presidential” is equivalent to no longer being authentic and believable to his supporters. You’re never going to create an anti-Washington wave of the magnitude he needs if you sound too much like a focus-group-tested, teleprompter-guided candidate.
In chapter two of my book, I point out Trump's many, many faults, which supporters over look because the message of making America great again is more important. He leads what I call "A Cause without a Rebel." There is no way a rookie politician gets this far without having a message that resonates with the people, who are willing to overlook his rough edges. The only comparable candidate is Wendell Wilkie who was the Republican sacrificial lamb to FDR in 1940. Unlike Wilkie, Trump does not face a beloved American president.

Brabender sees many advantages in Trump's plan is to go large and not target states, not the least of which is avoiding the appearance of pandering.

From Brabender:
The other advantage of this type of national campaign is that it costs less than a highly targeted state-by-state campaign. Mr. Trump doesn’t have the pieces in place or the money to run a massive turnout operation, and it is too late to change that significantly. Instead, he needs to use an emotional appeal and create a national dialogue with voters by leveraging the seemingly unlimited supply of time and space the news media is so happy to give him.
Note too that Hillary Clinton’s early money advantage isn’t as important as some political analysts claim. Television ads matter less in a presidential race because candidates get so much free airtime.
The media's willingness to give Trump airtime stems from two things:
1. The belief that if they give him enough rope he will hang himself.
2. The other side won't give them the time of day.
In my book I quote at length the frustrations of Rich Danker, who founded and ran Cruz’s official super PAC, the Lone Star Committee. While Danker struggled to raise money to buy airtime, Cruz turned down interview requests except those from a very narrow number of conservative outlets. Wrote Danker:
Cruz was very selective when it came to media availability. He allotted more time for conservative media, and limited his appearances on mainstream outlets. He took press questions infrequently. A frequent image became Cruz delivering his talking points into a podium of microphones, and then hustling away to avoid reporters’ questions.
Trump basically took every legitimate media interview request that landed in his inbox. He held numerous press conferences and took lots of reporters’ questions. He became such a staple of the television talk shows that he was afforded the rare privilege of phoning in his appearances rather than appearing on camera. While these appearances, most notably on CNN with Jake Tapper where he declined to condemn hate groups, occasionally froze his campaign in its tracks for days, they totaled up to nearly $2 billion in free media coverage. 
Hillary is making the same mistake Cruz made.

In his piece, John Brabender concentrated on the Electoral College map, doling out the pedestrian Ohio-Pennsylvania-Florida scenario. But early in the piece he wrote:
But there is a path to 270. For Mr. Trump to win, he needs to incite a national movement and a significant shift in voting behavior. Think of the 1970s movie “Network,” with people shouting out their windows: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” This time, instead of shouting they are voting for Mr. Trump. He can worry less about specific states to target and spend more time on a national branding and message campaign centered on motivating specific audiences, not states. Mr. Trump did precisely that to win the Republican primaries.
History bears this out. Going national does work. On May 18, I wrote:
The Electoral College vote follows the national vote. There have been four exceptions. In 1824, the Electoral College failed to achieve a majority decision and the vote went to the House of Representatives, where John Quincy Adams won over Andrew Jackson, the plurality winner. Then came 1876 when Samuel Tilden became the first and only candidate to receive a majority of the popular vote and not win the presidency. However, voting irregularities in the South which kept black voters from voting threw the election to a commission, which gave the election to Rutherford B. Hayes. And in 1888, when Cleveland had a plurality, and again in 2000 when Al Gore had a plurality,
Unless there are irregularities (1824 and 1876) or less than a 1% difference in the popular vote, the Electoral College will reflect the national vote. In fact, it usually exaggerates the margin of victory due to its winner-take-all results (except in Maine and Nebraska).
So unless your opponent lawyers the election like Hayes did, winning the majority of the popular vote (not the plurality) ensures graduation from the Electoral College as the next president.

Trump did not confound the experts because they were never experts in the first place.

"Trump the Press: Don Surber's take on how the pundits blew the 2016 Republican race," is now on sale.

Steve Hayward of Power Line, Leslie Eastman at Legal Insurrection, and Austin Bay at Instapundit gave it glowing reviews.

Please purchase "Trump the Press" through Create Space

And its Kindle release is on July 25. Pre-order here, please.

Autographed copies are $20 each. Please email me at 

Regardless of how you purchase this must reading for Trump supporters and media critics alike. Please post a book review on the Amazon site. That helps attract other readers.


  1. Take your argument to the people. If it resonates, you're in. Look how much money the consultant class has sucked out of the GOP in the last several election cycles and to what result? Failure. Trump gets this. - Elric

  2. What you love, you will protect.

    These six words will prove the downfall of Citizen Clinton.

  3. The presidential debates will prove pivotal to Team Trump's electoral strategy, when the entire nation will be watching in order to judge The Donald's temperament. This is when he will need to be playing chess to Hillary's checkers.

  4. There's another important difference in the campaign strategies of the two, Trump and Clinton. The big block of independent voters, those not registered with either party, could decide the outcome of the election. How those people vote could be decided by events and violence in the streets. Trump, by virtue of his strategy, holds his destiny in his own hands. Clinton's destiny is in the hands of the various competing special interest groups that make up the uneasy Democrat coalition, for example BLM. While Clinton may have tight control over the Party apparatus, she has little or no control over those special interest groups in the coalition she needs to unite in order to be elected. If there is continued or even heightened violence in the streets just before the election, it is Clinton who will bear the brunt of the independent voter's wrath. If the race remains close as the election draws near, I'm betting the BLM and other violent left wing activist groups will end up fighting in the streets and doom Clinton's campaign to defeat. I'm also willing to bet George Will $1 that I'm right.

  5. Hillary's is making a big mistake with the American people.

    If you want to con folks who go by common sense, you can't get away with more than one phoney step in the process.

  6. H. L. Mencken of the Baltimore SUN many years ago wrote, and this is a paraphrase, '...nobody ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of the American people.' Hillary Clinton wins because of this 'law.'

  7. H. L. Mencken of the Baltimore SUN many years ago wrote, and this is a paraphrase, '...nobody ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of the American people.' Hillary Clinton wins because of this 'law.'

  8. Let us hope that many of the stupid people stay home. I am one of those who feel betrayed by the likes of Hillary and the idiotic political correctness nonsense coming out of our universities and left wing media. When a historic flag from our nations past is now regarded as a symbol of racism. People forget the civil war was also fought on state boundaries. Remember 54 40 or fight? The fact I cannot say Caitlin Jenner is a man in a dress is ridiculous. He has a right to call me anything .That to say all lives matter is racist ? To call terrorists for what they are without being called an Islamophob. To say Merry Christmas without some looney outfit giving me heat for being Christian. To remove crosses from schools and buildings ordered by some pack of social engineering idiots while all of our currency still says in God we trust. Trump is talking to me at the moment. I know he will never be able to do everything he promises. But just the fact that he would like to makes him O K in my book.I am a veteran from days past and cannot believe the things I held so dear are being trampled by the current mob of misfits that seem to dominate debate. I really hope this election brings about some much needed winds of change rather than another term of the mediocrity that has bedeviled us for the last few decades.