California Political Review publisher and Donald Trump supporter James Lacy, and Sacramento-based anti-Trump consultant Rob Stutzman battled on CNN Tuesday over whether the polling data ahead of the Golden State’s June 7 primary favors Trump or his chief rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Sen. Ted. Cruz.
“There’s a long way to go, and from the polling that we see in California, we’re very confident that there’s a path here to beat Trump for most of the delegates that are going to be available here,” Stutzman said.
But Lacy, who authored the 2014 book Taxifornia: Liberals’ Laboratory to Bankrupt America, immediately refuted Stutzman’s claims and said his theory was based on old polls taken weeks ago.
“Rob just said he thinks the polling in California looks good for the anti-Trump forces,” Lacy began, “but Rob, that’s just not true. The CBS poll that just came out shows that Donald Trump has 50 percent of the vote in California. Your premise is that he has 35 percent, you’re looking at an old poll that came out around the time of the Wisconsin primary. The reality is, is that Trump is 18 points ahead in this state, and that he wins in every demographic category within the Republican Party. Old, young, women, men, Asians, Hispanics in the Republican Party.”
“As a result of this New York [primary] election, the big momentum is going to come, and it’s only going to get better in the later primaries for Trump,” Lacy added.
But Stutzman came back with his own shot at Lacy:
“Why would there be momentum?” Stutzman pressed. “He won his home state tonight, as would be expected, so tonight he performed the way he should perform in his home state. Now we go back to other states where the coalition that assembled in Wisconsin can reassemble itself.
“The CBS poll is an outlier to the average that has existed for two very reliable polls in this state,” Stutzman continued. “Plus, I’m seeing polling in seats across the state, and I see the 25 percent of Republican voters who are absolutely mortified about Donald Trump, and are not going to vote for him. There’s real opportunity for Ted Cruz to grow here in many congressional districts … and John Kasich may end up being viable in some Bay Area districts.”
Stutzman added that if Trump gets the “magic number” of 1,237 delegates before the RNC convention in Cleveland, he should be the nominee. But until then, “the rules are in play, and he needs to play this game effectively as well as everybody else, including winning at the polls, but also winning in conventions and making sure he’s courting delegates, because that’s the way the process works.”
That’s when the gloves came off: Lacy ripped Stutzman, telling him that thousands of new voters had joined the California Republican Party, and that they did it to vote for Trump.
“You and others have presided over the most precipitous decline in Republican Party registration in history,” Lacy charged. “Over the last two decades, Republican Party registration has gone from 40 percent to 27 percent in this state, and you’ve been a part of that.”
“I’m going to tell you something right now,” he added. “Donald Trump is going to bring new registrants to this Republican Party, and he’s going to reverse, for the first time in two decades, he’s going to reverse this trend downward. And I think you’re going to see that by June 7, we’re going to have a candidate that has enough delegates to win that nomination.”
A CBS News poll released earlier this week found Trump opening up an 18-point lead over Cruz in California, with 49 percent to Cruz’s 31.
Analyzing the state on a district-by-district basis, Breitbart California has predicted that Trump will win 106 delegates to Cruz’s 66, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich will earn none.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum