Did Trump Just Cost Himself South Carolina’s Fifty Delegates?

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Remember that loyalty oath Donald Trump signed promising to support the Republican nominee no matter what? On Tuesday night, Trump told CNN he was reneging on that promise because he “has been treated very unfairly.”

That reversal could have serious electoral consequences.

Zeke Miller from Time reports:

Donald Trump’s announcement that he no longer stands by a pledge to support the GOP has thrown his hold on South Carolina’s 50 delegates in doubt.

The Palmetto State was one of several that required candidates to pledge their loyalty to the party’s eventual nominee in order to secure a slot on the primary ballot. Though Trump won all of the state’s delegates in the Feb. 20 primary, anti-Trump forces are plotting to contest their binding to Trump because of his threat on the pledge Tuesday.

The loyalty pledge is nothing new in South Carolina, where it has been required for decades, but took on new focus in light of Trump’s public musings about a third party run or withdrawing his support from the eventual nominee if he is stopped at a contested convention.

Miller spoke with South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Matt Moore, who seemed to indicate the delegates were in play.

“Breaking South Carolina’s presidential primary ballot pledge raises some unanswered legal questions that no one person can answer,” [Moore] told TIME. “However, a court or national convention Committee on Contests could resolve them. It could put delegates in jeopardy.”

When Trump filed for the ballot in South Carolina he signed a pledge stating to “hereby affirm that I generally believe in and intend to support the nominees and platform of the Republican Party in the November 8, 2016 general election.”

South Carolina has yet to select delegates to the convention and it is a state where Trump may already be on the defensive with delegates.

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New Post-S.C. Poll: Can the Trump Train Be Stopped?

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

In the first national poll to be released following last Saturday’s South Carolina GOP Primary, Rasmussen shows Donald Trump increasing his lead to 15 points over the rest of the field. Trump registers 36 percent support in the poll, leading Marco Rubio (21 percent) and Ted Cruz (17 percent) by double-digit margins. John Kasich came in fourth, with 12 percent.

With 12 states voting next week on Super Tuesday, these numbers bode well for Trump’s chances, though tonight’s Nevada caucuses and Thursday’s CNN debate could alter the outlook between now and then. However, as Rasmussen points out, more and more Republican voters seem to be accepting the fact that Trump is now the clear favorite:

Rasmussen Reports’ latest weekly Trump Change survey, released the day before Saturday’s South Carolina primary, found that 71% of Republicans believe Trump is likely to win the GOP nomination, with 36% who say it is Very Likely.

More from Rasmussen:

Trump leads Rubio 33% to 21% among likely primary voters who identify as Republicans. Among independents who say they plan to vote in the GOP primary in their state, Trump posts a 44% to 19% lead over Rubio.

As Shane wrote yesterday, Trump has a clear advantage in open primary states, where he is able to profit from his huge lead among independents. Both his state wins so far, New Hampshire and South Carolina, were open primaries. And although tonight’s contest in Nevada is a closed caucus, nine of the twelve Super Tuesday states allow unaffiliated voters to vote in primaries, meaning Trump should not be at too much of a disadvantage in most of these states. Continue Reading

After South Carolina, It’s a Three-Way GOP Race

From left: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Donald Trump, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

I shared some post-South Carolina Primary thoughts on Facebook Saturday night, but I wanted to expand on that here. This is a three-way race between Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Currently Donald Trump is in the driver’s seat.

Finally after South Carolina pollsters can finally pat themselves on the back because the polling finally reflected the primary results.

The RealClearPolitics average of South Carolina polls showed:

  1. Donald Trump – 31.8%
  2. Marco Rubio – 18.8%
  3. Ted Cruz – 18.5%
  4. Jeb Bush – 10.7%
  5. John Kasich – 9.0%
  6. Ben Carson – 6.8%

With the South Carolina Primary results, the order was right and the close race for second was correct. Trump, Cruz, Rubio and Carson all slightly out-performed their polling. Bush and Kasich under-performed. The final results:

  1. Donald Trump – 32.5%
  2. Marco Rubio – 22.5%
  3. Ted Cruz – 22.3%
  4. Jeb Bush – 7.8%
  5. John Kasich – 7.6%
  6. Ben Carson – 6.8%

You don’t get it much closer than that.

Some thoughts on the primary:

  • Those who claim that Ted Cruz underperformed haven’t been paying attention to polling. Polling consistently had Trump leading this race by a wide margin. The highest that Cruz ever polled was at 23 percent, and the most recent polling had him under 20 percent, so I’m not sure how one can say he underperformed. Did they hope to do better here? Sure, but this is hardly a surprise.
  • Rubio to his credit recovered from the disappointment in New Hampshire.
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South Carolina’s “Golden” Legacy

Washington at Constitutional Convention of 1787, signing of U.S. Constitution, by Junius Brutus Stearns, 1856.

The Federal Reserve, and its management of its one-and-only product, Federal Reserve Notes (a.k.a. money), has turned into a really significant issue in the 2016 presidential race.  The GOP South Carolina primary happens on February 20th. The outcome will have a major impact both on our money and our ability to earn more: the economy. This matters.

In 2012, South Carolina gave its vote to Newt Gingrich who was campaigning, in part, on a Gold Commission. (Thereafter Gingrich strayed to moon colonies and, for that and other reasons, sank like a stone.)

This year, Sen. Ted Cruz has outright endorsed the gold standard. Less prominently, but truly, Donald Trump and Ben Carson have spoken sympathetically of it. Gold is in the air and, thanks to Cruz, in the debates.

Whether you love or hate the gold standard it’s a matter of historical record that South Carolina’s delegates to the original Constitutional Convention were strongly anti-paper money.  They were pro a “noble metal” monetary base, meaning, in contemporary terms, gold.

In the Constitutional Convention of 1787 South Carolina delegate Pierce Butler seconded the motion to strip the federal government of the power to issue paper money.  James Madison, in his almost verbatim Notes of Debates, recorded:

[…]

Read the full story on FitsNews.

Ralph Benko, internationally published weekly columnist, co-author of The 21st Century Gold Standard, lead co-editor of the Gerald Malsbary translation from Latin to English of Copernicus’s Essay on Money, is American Principles Project’s Senior Advisor, Economics. Continue Reading

Dr. James Dobson’s Call to S.C.: A Vote for Anyone but Cruz Is a Vote for Trump

From left: Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

The iconic Dr. James Dobson is telling South Carolinians via robocalls that a vote for anyone but Ted Cruz is a vote for Donald Trump:

Other Republicans are certainly worthy of consideration, but at this point it looks like a vote for anyone other than Ted Cruz is a vote for Donald Trump. For people of faith, who care about religious liberty, life and marriage, it’s time for us to rally around Sen. Ted Cruz.

The robocall is being paid for by one of the Cruz affiliated Super PACs. The New York Times, which obtained a copy of the robocall, manages to work into its story the idea that it could be a prelude to some kind of dirty trick, which is unworthy of Dr. Dobson if not The New York Times.

“Recorded phone messages are a time-tested political technique in South Carolina, often used as a difficult-to-trace method of disseminating harshly negative information to voters,” the reporter opined.

Yes, or in this case they are used by a profoundly sincere evangelical leader — who has helped millions of families for free — give his opinion: it’s time to rally around Cruz.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project. Continue Reading

Republican Campaigns Go Negative in South Carolina

From left: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Donald Trump, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

As the battle for South Carolina heats up, the GOP presidential candidates are not taking any chances with their words. The candidates are swinging attacks left and right to win the hearts and votes of The Palmetto State voters. Let the games begin.

We’ll start with Marco Rubio. At a town hall meeting in South Carolina this past week, Rubio directly attacked Donald Trump for his profanity, highlighting that The Donald acts in a way that our preachers and churches would be ashamed of:

You have a leading presidential saying profanity from a stage! All these things undermine what we teach our children.

Glenn Beck also used the S.C. spotlight to take a shot at the Trump campaign, accusing him of being a fake Christian:

Too many people right now are looking at a guy like Donald Trump and believing that that man has ever opened a Bible. That’s the biggest crock of bullcrap I’ve ever heard. We all know it.

Ted Cruz joined the group in the fight as well, attacking Trump for his pro-choice record:

If a candidate has spent 60 years of his life describing himself as very, very pro-choice. If a candidate has defended partial birth abortion for most of his adult life, we should not be surprised if, as president, he will not defend the right to life.

But the Trump Train remains in unfazed.

Trump continued with his same old antics. He went after Cruz (following an attack on Pope Francis) for “sleazy” surveys and polling. Continue Reading

Will South Carolina Decide the GOP Race? (VIDEO)

Frank Cannon is president of the American Principles Project and a respected conservative political strategist with over 30 years of experience.

South Carolina is an interesting state because it has — about a third of its population is establishment Republicans, about a third is conservative military-oriented foreign policy, and about a third of it is evangelical Christians. So it sets up for a very interesting dynamic after New Hampshire and is a very critical state for the possibility of Trump running the table. …

Because if Trump wins in South Carolina, and there is a fractured field like there was in New Hampshire, with various people going along, and Cruz is not able to consolidate enough beyond the evangelical conservative base and get to the libertarians and more of the general population, Trump will have won two of the first three primaries. You go on to a caucus state where he’s unlikely to do well in Nevada, but then you go to southern states where he’s been leading almost as decisively as he’s been leading in New Hampshire. And that gives him a very strong chance of racking up tons of delegates and tons of wins before we get to March 15 and the winner-take-all primaries.

[…]

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Is South Carolina a Must-Win for Ted Cruz?

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Must Ted Cruz win the February 20th South Carolina primary in order to have a clear path to the Republican nomination? In a word, no. While a distant second to Donald Trump could prove catastrophic, that is highly unlikely. Cruz need only place highly enough against the favored Trump and let the rest of field battle for elimination.

Here’s why:

1.) Cruz has the cash to compete. He invested little campaign cash or time in New Hampshire but came away with an unexpected third place finish, and surprised by finishing ahead of both Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush. 

The entire week prior to the vote, Cruz’s polling numbers remained remarkably steady while others jockeyed for position. It is testament to a smart campaign strategy, knowing they wouldn’t win but working and investing just enough to make a good showing. And while final percentages of the top five finishers is all most people see, the numbers behind them tell a different story. NRO details the carnage to the other campaigns:

Even more important, Cruz spent very few resources on New Hampshire: less than $1 million combined between the campaign and super PACs. Compare that to Bush, whose combined efforts spent $35 million in New Hampshire, while Christie spent $18 million, Rubio $15 milllion and Kasich $12 million. All of them were beaten by Cruz in a state that was supposed to be a bad fit for him.

Chris Christie bet it all and lost, and he has suspended his campaign, as has Carly Fiorina. Continue Reading

In S.C. Showdown with Trump, Cruz Needs a Winning Economic Message

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) (photo credit: Michael Vadon via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

So South Carolina is where the titans clash: where Donald Trump (clearly) is going to try to knock Ted Cruz out of the race, and where Cruz urgently needs to show he can go toe-to-toe with The Donald in the South before the big SEC primary on March 1.

Trump’s decision to release his nasty attack ad on Cruz the night of his New Hampshire victory shows he understands the campaign dynamic: Kasich will struggle for a 0-2-3 strategy and head for the big Southern vote with little to show for it. Rubio and Bush will be forced to attack each other to try to win the establishment lane.

Cruz was ready with an attack ad of his own, trying to hit the same lighthearted note he has in his past responses to Trump’s attacks. I do not think the ad is very effective — don’t put kids in front to attack a Trump. But it demonstrates Cruz understands the central problem with attacking Donald Trump: the voters who don’t mind mean candidates are already in Trump’s camp, so the challenge is how not to seem weak while also not sounding mean in taking on the Trump. It’s a conundrum.

Marco Rubio lost his chance to be the Great Unifier in one moment on stage with Chris Christie. It was not the content of Rubio’s response that was the problem, but the fact he retreated to canned phrases instead of seizing the opportunity to take it to Christie on the governor’s actual record in New Jersey. Continue Reading

South Carolinians to POTUS Candidates: Pass FADA in Your First 100 Days

Photo credit: American Life League via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

South Carolinians are banding together to request immediate, pledged support for the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) from all presidential candidates. Today, the “South Carolina Coalition for the First Amendment” sent a letter to each presidential campaign asking: “Will you pledge today to give priority and pass the First Amendment Defense Act in the first hundred days of your administration?”

The coalition includes:

  • The South Carolina Baptist Convention
  • The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston
  • The Palmetto Family Council
  • North Greenville University (Christian Worldview Center)

Oran P. Smith, President and CEO of the Palmetto Family Council, said, “By examining this pledge, South Carolinians can determine which presidential candidates they can rely on to protect one of their most basic rights: to freely exercise their religious beliefs without government interference. Religious freedom is an important issue in the South Carolina primary, and we hope that as many candidates take the pledge as possible.”

This South Carolina-centric initiative echoes the effort of American Principles Project (APP), which joined together with Heritage Action for America and FRC Action to request the same commitment — to pass FADA in the first 100 days — from each of the presidential candidates in December.

Maggie Gallagher, Senior Fellow at American Principles Project and a contributor to The Pulse 2016, asked, “Will the next president fight for FADA? South Carolinians want a clear answer about who is willing to lead the fight against the Left’s aggressive attempt to redefine traditional faith as bigotry.”

Four candidates still running for president signed APP’s FADA pledge, including:

  • Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
  • Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida)
  • Dr.
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