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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Whatever happened to the gracious Donald Trump?

Prior to the Iowa caucuses on February 1, Donald Trump promised he’d “win everywhere” and Americans would “get tired of winning.”

Of course Trump didn’t win on February 1 and instead of making excuses or explaining away the loss, he was gracious in his “concession” speech in Iowa that night, thanking the people of the state and even wishing congratulations to Ted Cruz for his big win.

Donald Trump IowaThe next day, however, revealed the other side of Trump. The New York reality TV star accused Cruz of cheating in order to win in Iowa, claiming Cruz and his staff had intentionally embellished an election night CNN report that Ben Carson was dropping out of the race and insinuated they actively tried to get Carson’s supporters to jump ship to Cruz during the caucuses.

“Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!” Trump tweeted.

And hence, Cruz’s win in Iowa was tainted in Trump’s world. There’s absolutely no evidence to show Carson’s people dropped him in any significant numbers that night, but the charges stuck nonetheless. Carson himself joined Trump in fanning the conspiracy flames and then endorsed The Donald weeks later after suspending his own campaign.

Trump’s behavior ever since February 2 has demonstrated a similar pattern. When he wins, he gloats. He loves everything – his voters, the people of the state that delivered him a victory, the people who endorsed him, the pollsters, his campaign manager and anyone who isn’t named Ted Cruz.

When he loses, which has become all the more frequent occurrence of late, he complains, insults his competitors, their voters, the party and the process itself.

In other words, his “loser” strategy is to plant as many seeds as possible in people’s minds that Cruz’s victories are illegitimate, despite Trump himself remaining fairly consistent in his share of the Republican vote and polls that show he’s becoming more unpopular by the day.

The Trump cycle was repeated after Colorado this past weekend. He loses, he cries foul, dispenses insults and makes threats. And perhaps because he’s running out of people to peck at in the Republican Party, he’s going after the Democrats’ process, too.

Rebecca Savransky of The Hill reports, “Trump referenced Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has won eight of the past nine Democratic contests, noting that people still say he doesn't have a path to the nomination.

“’I watch Bernie. He wins, he wins, he keeps winning, winning and winning, and then I see he's got no chance. They always say he's got no chance. Why doesn't he have a chance?’ Trump asked during a rally in Rochester, N.Y.

“’Because the system is corrupt. And it's worse on the Republican side.’”

Really, Donald? After all this time, does he honestly think the system is corrupt? People are corrupt, but all the system consists of is a bunch of rules that require study and adherence.

Trump’s simplistic view of the nature of American politics is astonishing. Again, to win a party nomination, you have to first know the rules and then play by them. That’s why “outsiders” just can’t walk in off the street and grab a party’s nomination.

“We’ve got a corrupt system. It's not right. We’re supposed to be a democracy. We’re supposed to be you vote and the vote means something ... and we’ve got to do something about it,” Trump said at the same rally.

Wrong again, Donald. We have a Republic where we elect representatives through democratic means. If it were pure democracy, we would have complete anarchy. LeBron James may be a popular guy (with almost 30 million Twitter followers, LOTS more than Donald Trump), but that doesn’t mean he can walk into RNC (or DNC) headquarters and say “I’ll run for president for you, because I can win.” That’s about what Trump is asking for here.

Trump’s sore loser behavior would be humorous if it weren’t so damaging. Americans’ opinion of the legitimacy of the system is already at its lowest ebb – and by perpetually acting like a crybaby and hiding behind Twitter, it’s not making things any better.

My kids often complain that something in school “isn’t fair” or so-and-so is “against me” and “school is no fun.”

My answer to all of that? “Welcome to the world.” Instead of whining about it, go out and make yourself better.

To steal a quote from legendary hockey coach Herb Brooks (as depicted in the movie ‘Miracle’), “You keep playing this way, you won't beat anybody who's even good, let alone great! You wanna make this team? Then you better start playing at a level that's gonna force me to keep you here!

If Donald Trump wants to win the Republican Party’s nomination for president, he has to earn it. If he wants to be president after that, he needs to win it. The system has rules. Play by them. And then, win or lose, shake hands with the other team and strive to fight another day.

And by all means, stay away from Twitter.

Trump’s daughter and son won’t vote for him next Tuesday

Hundreds of thousands or even millions of people will go to the polls next Tuesday to vote in New York’s presidential primaries, a healthy percentage of which will likely pull the lever for Republican frontrunner Donald Trump in his home state.

Trump and much of his family live there, including three of his adult children. Two of their votes won’t be going for their father, however, because they’re not registered as Republicans.

It turns out Father Trump isn’t the only one having difficulty with rules these days.

Al Weaver of the Washington Examiner reports, “New York voters were required to register for a political party by Oct. 9 in order to vote in their April 19 primary. Donald Trump, Jr., is the only one of Trump's children who did that, and will be able to vote for him next week...

In response to a question on the matter during an interview, Trump said, “They feel very, very guilty. They feel very guilty, but it's fine. I mean, I understand that. I think they have to register a year in advance and they didn't. So Eric and Ivanka, I guess, won't be voting.”

For as much as Trump laments the rules in every location where he doesn’t win, he doesn’t seem to have an issue when his children are the ones violating them.

Perhaps more damaging to Trump than this small PR blip regarding his adult children and voting is the fact the family aren’t registered Republicans. Trump’s had enough trouble as it is in making the case he’s fully onboard with the GOP – and with his kids registered as some other designation, doesn’t it give credence to the notion he’s only using the party as a vehicle for his own ambitions?

We’re not making a mountain out of a molehill here. Trump’s kinfolk won’t impact his chances to win the Republican nomination or the presidency – but it does bolster the impression that a rich guy’s family culture is one of apathy and irresponsibility, at least in the political sense.

If they don’t even bother to register to vote for the party you’re running to represent, why should anyone else?

Add in the fact it’s embarrassing and the whole affair is a downright shame.

Trump and Cruz already dropping big money in the Golden State

With most of the media’s attention looking ahead to next week’s New York primary, we should remember the campaigns are also gearing up for the end of the road in a couple months in California.

Because of the sheer size of America’s most populous state, organization will be crucial there. Just like in most other places around the country, Ted Cruz’s campaign went in months ago to begin the process of selecting slates of delegates for each of its 53 congressional districts.

Because every district gets three GOP delegates, several of the most heavily Democrat districts in the country are weighted the same as the reddest. Strange how this could be the determining factor in who ultimately wins the nomination.

All three of the candidates are well into the process of plotting their strategy and allocating resources as well. It’s going to be a hot one, that’s for sure.

Shane Goldmacher of Politico writes on what’s at stake. “If Cruz is to stop Donald Trump short of 1,237 delegates, the final, decisive stand will almost certainly come in California. And that realization has spurred a behind-the-scenes arms race, with Cruz, Trump, John Kasich and their allies making new hires, planning new field offices and forming new big-money groups in what is set to be the sprawling state’s most consequential Republican primary in a half-century.”

California is as diverse geographically as it is demographically, requiring local know-how and precise data to maximize potential in the state. I’d give the advantage to Cruz here.

Generally speaking, the Golden State has become one of the bluest in the country over the past two decades, but there are pockets of conservatives there as well. Therefore, each candidate will likely focus on certain areas; Trump in illegal immigration-heavy southern California (like Arizona), Kasich in the liberal bay area and Cruz in the conservative interior part of the state.

Trump currently enjoys a small statewide lead in the latest polls, but again, with delegates divided up proportionally, it’s easy to see how the most organized candidate could easily end up with the lion’s share of the take.

And if the race truly comes down to June 7 as it appears it will, there will be intense pressure on Californians to either stop Trump – or elevate him.

Kasich joins Trump tag team to attack Cruz over delegate strategy

Finally today, it isn’t just Donald Trump that’s whining about Ted Cruz’s professional and effective delegate operation.

Hopelessly irrelevant and increasingly annoying John Kasich is getting in on the act, too.

Rebecca Savransky of The Hill reports Kasich told reporters on Monday while discussing the results in Michigan over the weekend, “’The Cruz campaign tried to strong-arm and bully people, and they lost everything.’

“Kasich said Cruz's tactics to secure delegates in Michigan weren't appropriate.”

Apparently the Kasich people got together with the Trump forces just prior to the vote and decided to switch sides. They fixed the election.

But that’s beside the point. Why is John Kasich still even a part of this conversation?

Trump and Cruz need to get together as soon as possible and agree to retain Rule 40 at the convention, which requires a candidate to have won the majority of delegates in at least eight states to be eligible for the party nomination.

If they do so and announce it publicly, Kasich will have no leg to stand on. He’ll fall over…right out of the picture and we’ll be done with him.

Or do Trump and Kasich have a secret side deal to make the Ohio governor Trump’s VP?

It’s yet another thing to keep an eye on as time passes.

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Missdirected

In your headline description, you claim that Trump's son and daughter will not vote for him.
Now that's not exactly true and you know it Richard.
You imply that even his kids won't vote for him. The real reason is they didn't register in time and therefore they are not allowed to vote.
I'm not a Trump fan but I'm also no longer a Richard Viguerie fan either.
I thought you were different from all the others but apparently not.
Ray Gilmore

Meh

I don't believe there is any secret side deal. I don't believe in slamming other conservatives. I have respect for both Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz because they are both hated by the establishment. It's hard to say who they hate more but probably they hate Trump more openly. I hate GOP and most of the pretend Republicans in congress who are nothing more than sock puppets for socialism and global government.

I would whole heartedly support Trump or Cruz for president and be greateful that it's not self proclaimed socialist Sanders or "What difference does it make anyway?" Killary Corruption (who should be in jail and not running for president).

The sad truth is we'll be lucky if we can get rid of Obama in 2017. If we are blessed, fortunate, lucky and to be envied enough to get rid of him at election.. He's probably headed to Secretary General of the U.N. so he's not done destroying this country. Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly tried to squash his chances of making it to the U.N. so I completely believe it's a credible claim. Just do a simple search on that.

This is NOT an election we can afford to throw food at each other like spoiled children. We need the greatest conservative voter turn out at election time in the history of the United States no matter if it's Trump or Cruz. Pull our collective heads out and get up off our blessed assurance to vote enthusiastically and in unity!! Support who ever stands against Hillary.

Stop acting like if somebody is for Trump they are mentally ill or if somebody is for Cruz they are stupid. We are lucky we have 2 men that are willing to stand against the GOP establishment and the socialist machine which are really one in the same. God bless them both and protect them and their families from this terrible and great struggle for the direction of this nation.

God please help us and forgive our selfishness and pride. Let your will be done in this election and please help our country to repent and turn to you before it is too late to stop your judgment. In Jesus name Amen