The upshot: There will be no break from early state television ads and campaign stops over the holidays, not even in the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Though there is no evidence those efforts will do anything to damage Trump and recalibrate the race.
Following the debate Tuesday, Cruz will embark on a weeklong tour of 12 cities where he aims to lock down support ahead of the March 1 “SEC primary,” flying with staff and his family on a chartered plane and wrapping up two days before Christmas in Oklahoma City.
Rubio plans to campaign in Iowa and other early voting states in the week between Christmas and New Year’s. And Bush plans to hunker down in New Hampshire, where he will campaign four days in the week before Christmas and two days the following week before New Year’s.
“We won’t be taking a holiday break from the campaign this year. It’s going to be bang, bang, bang because we are in a different environment than ever before,” said Rick Wilson, a Florida-based consultant who has been one of Trump’s most vehement critics and is doing work on behalf of Rubio. “Because of the organic nature of Trump’s message, he can’t let it stop. He is great at the earned media game—but, like a shark, if he stops moving, he dies; and so everyone else has to keep moving, too. I think he’ll ruin Christmas for America.”