Donald Trump issued a blizzard of tweets today accusing Ted Cruz of employing sordid tactics to win Iowa. So sordid, according to Trump, that the entire outcome had to be dripping with fraud.
Some will speculate that, finally confronted with a loss, Trump is cracking up in real time. That could be, but I doubt it. One thing we’ve learned from months and months of watching Trumpentum grow is how dependent The Donald is on earned media. He doesn’t need to spend much ($300 per vote in Iowa) because of the free coverage he receives during each and every news cycle. And how does he do it? Controversial statements and hyperbole are the oxygen to his flame.
It’s probably a safe assumption he’s going to get wall-to-wall coverage this week with his allegation that the Cruz campaign did some hinky things in Iowa. This not only gets him blanket coverage, but shifts the focus to all of the bad things that Trump believes Cruz did. It plays right into his “Ted Cruz is a nasty guy” meme. Prospective voters will hear the grievances dissected and analyzed ad nauseam. The other candidates will be asked to comment on Trump’s accusations against Cruz. Trump will not only get more earned media, but earned media in the form of free “negative ads” against Ted Cruz. That’s gold, Jerry, gold!
Trump already looks well-positioned in New Hampshire, a state that’s better suited for him than Iowa. But he may be playing a longer game here in trying to blunt any momentum for Cruz by convincing voters that Cruz is a “nasty” guy.
All I know for sure it’s that this week is going to be like crack cocaine for the politically-obsessed!
Update: And Trump ally Sarah Palin is doubling down on the accusations via her Facebook page. It certainly appears there’s some coordinated “strategery” occurring.