Even an underfunded, poorly organized campaign like Trump’s should have enough juice to squash a seat-of-the-pants eleventh-hour push like the “Dump Trump” movement that’s coalescing right now among a few hundred delegates. After all, this is what Trump brought Paul Manafort onto his campaign to do. Manafort’s initial role, remember, was to battle Team Cruz at the convention by wrangling enough unbound delegates to give Trump a victory on the first ballot. If Manafort can’t identify and lock down 1,237 delegates with Trump now running unopposed, having spent more than a month as presumptive nominee, and with nothing more than a small nebulous nucleus of anti-Trump delegates on the other side, he’s completely worthless.
Still, interesting that Trump is worried enough about the Dump-Trumpers to move aggressively this way. He’s more nervous about a coup than I thought. Maybe his friend Reince, after dialing around to state parties, discovered that there’s more support for overthrowing Trump than he thought and warned him. And one other thing: How is a campaign that had $1.3 million in cash on hand at the start of June going to pay for this? Trump’s raised some money since then but I’m sure he never expected to be spending to assure his nomination in Cleveland once Cruz dropped out. Every dollar that’s going towards this isn’t going to attack Hillary.
In a high-level Tuesday night conference call led partly by Trump’s top adviser Paul Manafort and including 200 staffers and volunteers, Trump’s senior convention aides sketched out a whip operation led by a half-dozen operatives with deep convention experience. The effort will rely on a team of 150 volunteers and paid staff to keep the convention’s 2,472 delegates in line, and it will utilize a database with information on many of the delegates…
The campaign is planning to reveal an additional eight “regional whip” leaders in the coming days, sources familiar with the operation said. Each will oversee seven of the 56 states and territories sending delegations to Cleveland…
Trump’s team is already building a database with detailed profiles of most of the delegates attending the convention and will spend the next few weeks reaching out to nearly all of them, seeking assurances of support and ensuring that any needs or concerns are heard.
The campaign apparently assured the whip leaders that their lodging in Cleveland from July 5th all the way to the end of the convention on the 21st would be covered. Is Trump going to pick that up or is that coming out of the ol’ war chest? Ah well. He’s going to be the nominee; barring another major misstep before Cleveland I’ll be surprised if the “Dump Trump” contingent is still meaningfully operational by the time the convention opens. Newt Gingrich, would-be Trump VP, warned the dastardly “elites” today — of which he’s certainly not a member — that they have no moral right to overrule the voters of their party, a point that will resonate even with many Trump skeptics. Do the delegates have the right, though, if they think the voters’ choice has proved since the primaries ended that he’s a sure loser in November? In that case, all they’re doing by dumping him is preserving the party’s chances at the White House.
Which reminds me. Here’s a new poll of Texas from a consultant who’s based there. Again: Texas.
Thirty-one percent undecided — in Texas? And trailing by four in Arizona? Pull the trapdoor. No, just kidding — there’s no chance he won’t be the nominee. In fact, if the Rules Committee ends up thwarting the Dump-Trump attempt to add a conscience clause to the rules, I think many anti-Trump delegates will take Newt’s advice and simply skip the floor vote at the convention. You may see, say, a third of them walk out in protest at the thought that their votes will be automatically counted for Trump because they’re pledged delegates. That’ll make for bad optics, but it’s better optics than an out-and-out revolt in which the nomination is thrown into doubt.
I’ll leave you with this, also from the Texas poll, since it made me laugh. Texas isn’t Bush country for everyone: