“The odds that Donald Trump wins the Republican presidential nomination are going up,” according to Politico, as fully 81 percent of “GOP insiders” say “the likelihood that Trump becomes their party’s nominee is higher today than it was a month ago, and 79 percent of Democrats said the same.”
“Predictions of his demise keep not coming true,” added a New Hampshire Republican.
Asserted a South Carolina Republican, “Donald Trump being the GOP nominee is now within the realm of possibility.”
It wasn’t all that long ago that many of the same “early state” operatives and strategists had Trump pegged for an early primary exit. The news that Trump is increasingly likely to win the GOP nomination is likely to force some of the establishment forces dogging him to recalibrate. Say what they will, there’s no way operatives and strategists are going to want to be frozen out from feeding at the general election trough should Trump become their party’s standard bearer next Fall.
Say what you want, clearly Trump’s stock is rising significantly among GOP insiders, who are also seeing evidence of his building the type of ground structure it takes to win in the early states. “[M]ore than eight in 10 GOP respondents said those were better odds than they gave Trump a month ago. That is notable because it represents a big shift in the thinking of POLITICO Caucus insiders, who this summer were deeply skeptical of Trump’s staying power.”
“Trump will be among 3-4 finalists well into April; of that there is no doubt,” an Iowa Republican said.
Added a New Hampshire Republican, who like all participants responded via an online survey: “Numbers are numbers and you have to give them credence — I remain skeptical that he has the ability to turn people out come primary day, but I [have] been wrong about this campaign every step of the way so far.”
Several insiders pointed to both his persistent leads in polls and evidence of organization on the ground.
“I think he’s now mounting a serious campaign,” a South Carolina Republican said. “His stump speech had matured and even though the novelty of his candidacy is wearing off, his straight talk is appealing to people who are so sick of being lied to by the political class.”