Derp Furor. pic.twitter.com/ZcVREq6aDg
— Bob Schooley (@Rschooley) November 20, 2015
Nate Cohn, in the NYTimes, says “The G.O.P. Establishment Has a Big New Hampshire Problem“:
The last two Republican presidential primary contests have followed the same script: A conservative candidate wins in Iowa, a relative moderate wins in New Hampshire, and the latter — with broader appeal and all of the establishment’s resources — outlasts the former in a protracted fight for the nomination.
But so far this cycle, New Hampshire’s voters aren’t playing along. Donald Trump has led every poll in New Hampshire since June. Candidates like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush have struggled to get out of the single digits.
The weakness of mainstream candidates in New Hampshire poses a big challenge for the party’s beleaguered establishment. If a candidate acceptable to the party can’t win New Hampshire or Iowa, the G.O.P. will face a bleak choice: undertake the daunting and expensive task of mounting a come-from-behind effort, or grudgingly acquiesce to a candidate it really doesn’t want, like Ted Cruz, but who may be better than someone it can never accept, like Mr. Trump….
How is Mr. Trump doing so well? He’s drawing on many moderate and secular voters who haven’t supported the anti-establishment but usually religious candidates who have fared well in Iowa. The same pattern emerges in national polls, which often show Mr. Trump faring best among self-described moderates…
No worries, reports the Wall Street Journal — “GOP Operative Plans ‘Guerrilla Campaign’ Against Donald Trump“:
The Republican establishment, increasingly alarmed by the enduring strength of Donald Trump’s presidential bid, is ratcheting up efforts to knock him out of the race, including the first attempt to unite donors from rival camps into a single anti-Trump force.
A well-connected GOP operative is planning a “guerrilla campaign” backed by secret donors to “defeat and destroy” the celebrity businessman’s candidacy, according to a memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal…
… The sense of urgency has mounted in part because Mr. Trump continues at or near the top of GOP polls, even after many predicted that the Paris terror attacks would lead voters to turn to a more seasoned candidate.
The most concerted effort is Trump Card LLC, the self-styled guerrilla campaign being launched by Liz Mair, the former online communications director of the Republican National Committee.
“In the absence of our efforts, Trump is exceedingly unlikely to implode or be forced out of the race,” according to the Trump Card memo. “The stark reality is that unless something dramatic and unconventional is done, Trump will be the Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton will become president.”
Opposition research, grass-roots organizing and donor outreach has been going on for weeks, Ms. Mair said, while declining to name any backers. “It’s loosely organized and highly confidential,” she said. “I certainly know donors who are very happy that their fingerprints will be kept off things.”…
Ms. Mair, who has ties to the libertarian movement and the GOP establishment, said that donors backing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Mr. Kasich and Mr. Bush are interested, and that some worry that going public could hurt their candidate…
…[P]ossible tactics include fake pro-Trump ads that show him supporting socialized medicine, seizing property through eminent domain and taking other positions that stray from GOP orthodoxy; using a Trump impersonator to show him insulting people; and attacking his business record in “stark, nasty terms.”
The goal, according to the memo, isn’t to convert Mr. Trump’s supporters into backing other candidates, but to dissuade them from voting altogether, especially in New Hampshire’s influential first-in-the-nation primary…
My emphases. If you have a dim memory of reading about Liz Mair in the not-too-distant past, she was the hip young digital strategist hastily sin-binned by Scott Walker’s campaign for WrongThink:
… “In other news, I see Iowa is once again embarrassing itself, and the GOP, this morning. Thanks, guys,” Mair wrote of a January event hosted by conservative Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), according to the Associated Press. “The sooner we remove Iowa’s front-running status, the better off American politics and policy will be.”…
So, she’s not in the business to be loved, obviously. Whether she and her “donors” can actually do much to kneecap Donald “Il Douche” Trump… well, The Hairpiece would certainly be a high-value trophy for an oppo-research firm with no ethics, assuming that last clause isn’t redundant.
"Secret guerrilla plan" to stop Trump & "save the party" conducted by ppl who nearly destroyed the party. https://t.co/wDgkwdHK7x
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) November 20, 2015