Dissing McCain wasn't Trump's big problem in Iowa

A senior Iowa Republican who was in the room, sitting with a group of grassroots activists as Trump spoke, was dumbfounded by the candidate’s views of religion. “While there were audible groans in the crowd when Trump questioned whether McCain was a war hero,” the senior Republican said via email, “it was Trump’s inability to articulate any coherent relationship with God or demonstrate the role faith plays in his life that really sucked the oxygen out of the room..”

The senior Republican continued: “Milling around talking to activists in the hallways/lobby after Trump’s speech, THAT is what those Iowa conservatives were discussing, not the McCain comment.”…

Another Iowa activist — this one supports a rival campaign — said Trump will suffer, not with his core supporters but with potential supporters, like the woman who spoke to the Times. “I think that Trump will keep all the voters who were thinking of him as their first-choice, because they are not the kind of people who care about political discretion, measured words, or being sensitive to how one comes across,” the activist said via email. “They just wants heads to roll. They are the ‘throw the bums out’ crowd who are sick and tired of politicians.”

“I think that Trump will lose a percentage — maybe one-third to one-half — of voters who would have considered him as their second choice. And he will lose all the voters who would have considered him as their third choice.”