Right after calling the South Carolina primary for Trump, the CNN political panel was borderline orgasmic and already calling the entire race for Trump. They claimed, incredibly, that it would take an unexpected and unforeseeable event for someone other than Trump to win. Take a look:
CNN is as slow to adapt to the reality of Trump as the Republican establishment has been. If Donald Trump were a traditional Republican, I would agree that this race would already be over. But what CNN is ignoring is the mounting evidence that Donald Trump does not receive momentum from victories like other Republicans in the past have done.
Donald Trump got about 35% of the vote in New Hampshire, which is exactly how much he was predicted to get by the polls for months. His second place finish in Iowa did not move him either locally or nationally one whit. It looks like Trump is going to get around 35% of the vote in South Carolina when the dust settles. That looks like exactly the same percentage of the vote that he has been predicted to get in South Carolina for months by the polls – in fact, for a while he was scraping 40%.
In other words, neither a second place finish in Iowa or a clear win in New Hampshire have moved the needle upwards for Trump at all. By comparison, John McCain rose 14% in the RCP average of national polling between Iowa and South Carolina. Mitt Romney rose 8%. Trump has gone down 1.5% in the RCP national average since the night of the Iowa caucus.
Right now, Trump’s base of 35% support looks pretty invincible. But the base of Trump’s opposition at about 65% also looks pretty invincible. This dynamic is not the same as it has been for any previous Republican campaign, and it’s silly of CNN not to realize that.