2016 Presidential Race

Taking Down Donald Trump: Is It Too Little, Too Late?

Trump

Tomorrow is Super Tuesday, and the political machines are charging full speed ahead. Marco Rubio has been on a whirlwind tour hitting the states of Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Minnesota, all within a few days of the primaries. Cruz is staying a little closer to home, trying to increase the odds of a win in his home state of Texas, where a loss would be devastating. These top-tier candidates are focusing much of their attention on taking down front-runner Donald Trump, who has been hitting Ohio, Virginia and Kentucky during this same period. The stump speeches have shifted from wonky policy talk and resume building to schoolyard-like taunts, while Marco Rubio specifically has turned his message about A New American Century into a stand-up routine that slings insults at Trump about penis size, incontinence, and spray tans.

The insults have brought much needed media attention to the Rubio campaign, but it might be too little, too late.  Current polling shows Trump leading in most Super Tuesday states, but Rubio and Cruz have an ace up their sleeve: the internet.

As important as these personal appearances are, the real battle against against Trump is being waged by conservative pundits and commentators who run political websites with millions of visitors. The anti-Trump articles are garnering thousands of shares across Facebook and Twitter, and the hashtag #NeverTrump has been trending for several days.

In January, the National Review released short essays from over 20 conservative thinkers, many of whom have their own followings as well as their own media companies. These include L. Brent Bozell of Media Research Group, Erick Erickson, Cal Thomas, Glenn Beck, and many more influential conservatives. A look at the articles written by these individuals and at those on their respective webpages on the eve of Super Tuesday shows exactly how much mobilization against a Trump nomination has taken place. Bozell’s MRCTV.ORG leads with Donald Trump’s Ties To Organized Crime, while Redstate.com place stories like Trump Flip Flops on David Duke and Donald Trump Would Probably Nominate Worse SCOTUS Justices than Hillary on their front page. GlennBeck.com is also driving home the story of Trump’s weak response when asked to disavow former KKK leader David Duke and other white supremacist groups.

Are these attempts to discredit Trump too little, too late? It would appear so based on polling. The latest CNN/ ORC poll shows Trump leading nationally with 49% of likely Republican voters. This gives him a 33-point lead over his next closest rival, Ted Cruz.

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