What you are experiencing right now is called Trumpmentum: it’s a lot like popularity, only with less people.* If you walk backwards in time, Trump has now won a total of zero delegates (maybe one) from the last three states – Utah (where he was swept by Cruz), Colorado (which is still ongoing but looking like a Cruz delegate sweep) and North Dakota (where Trump got either zero or one delegates).
This upcoming weekend is Wyoming, where Trump will probably also get skunked. The only thing standing between Trump and a five state losing streak – or even a five state zero delegate streak – is Wisconsin. On the one hand, you have a garbage poll from garbage pollster ARG showing Trump with a lead. On the other hand, every reputable poll shows Cruz with a comfortable and widening lead.
Based on past experience, Cruz will likely overperform the polls and Trump will likely underperform them, which means that Trump might be lucky to escape Wisconsin with a handful of delegates from a Congressional district or two.
This is not something that is supposed to happen to Republican front runners. They aren’t supposed to have a losing streak of five states that happens more than a month after Super Tuesday. And what it shows is that the tide is finally turning on Trump. The last week of embarrassing debacles, all spawned from Trump’s own mouth, may have finally been too much for people to handle. And the next time voters go to the polls two weeks from now, all that will be allowed to fester some more.
And if Trump falls below 50% in New York on April 19th, that means he will probably lose around 30 delegates to some combination of both Cruz and Kasich. That would set up a do-or-die April 26th for Trump, where he would need to almost sweep the 170+ delegates up for grabs on that day in order to have a plausible path to 1,237 – which, it looks increasingly likely, he will absolutely need to clear because of the Cruz team’s work kicking the legs out from under Trump on the second and third ballots by stacking bound Trump delegates with people who are anti-Trump.
If Trump loses tomorrow, he will try to play it off as no big deal, but make no mistake, it will meaningfully dent his chances at the nomination.
*I ripped this joke off shamelessly from my colleague Dan McLaughlin
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