Even the businessman’s opponents agree that turning his failure to understand the process into an asset is a politically savvy, if hastily conceived, strategy that may help him galvanize supporters ahead of several important contests in the Northeast, which could propel Trump to the nomination after all. The tactical shift in tone also provides him with options, including a possible escape route from humiliation. If he falls short of the 1,237 requisite delegates, and can’t use this message to woo more his way before or at the convention, Trump can tell his supporters that the party establishment wronged him.

“If you’re a Trump supporter, the ‘we were done wrong’ theme is good for them,” says Russ Schriefer, a Republican strategist who has advised several presidential campaigns. However, “it is little ironic for Trump to be doing this because he is a guy who knows his way around a lawyer and a lawsuit.”…

“He’s going to need these very same people he is bashing to immediately help him organize a general election offensive across the country because he has not set up an effective infrastructure,” Republican strategist Ron Bonjean told RCP. “This is like a general severely admonishing his own special forces before ordering them to go into battle. Trump runs the risk of demoralizing grassroots party organizers when he is going to need every asset to help him beat the Democratic nominee.”