The Republican brahmin who guided Ronald Reagan to his 49-state re-election in 1984 is answering the question that his party, and the pundit Politocracy are seriously starting to ask: Can Donald Trump really win this thing.
Edward J. Rollins, in a Reuters Op-Ed, essentially wrote: You betcha.
"One thing is for sure: Trump is not going away, and millions of his supporters may stay with him to the bitter end. Many believe this is not a protest campaign but a winning campaign — and they like their man!" he wrote.
The numbers are undeniable, he said.
A new Fox debate has him the favorite iof 25 percent. Niof the 16 other candidates in the cramped GOP field even come close.
The Fox News debate that turned into a blood feud between Trump and the network's Megyn Kelly was watched by 24 million viewers. That made it the most-watched cable news event EVER.
Trump, who is in New York City Monday for jury duty, has what another businessman who roiled the political waters did not: staying power. In the 1984, Texas businessman Ross Perot shook things up but eventually flamed out.
"The difference between Perot and Trump is that the Texas billionaire couldn’t deal with bad press or the continuing rough and tumble of presidential politics. When it got tough — Perot quit. Trump, however, thrives on it! And quitter has never been a term associated with Donald Trump," explained Rollins.
"Part of his advantage is that voters are fed up with the status quo. Many think the other candidates, mostly former or current elected officials, are part of the problem. Just more of the same."
But enthusiasm and good polling numbers do not a victory make, Rollins wrote.
The GOP primaries are state-by-state events and each state has different rules. Some award party their share of th 2,470 party delegates proportionate to the primary vote. Others make it a winner takes all contest,
"Trump has to build a state-of-the-art campaign if he wants to continue to do well and have the possibility of winning the nomination. This not a reality show. It is a modern, multimillion-dollar campaign with social media, sophisticated, up-to-the-minute positive and negative television spots, policy-development research, opposition research, grassroots organization, full-scale legal consultation, coalition building and a structured campaign in most of the 50 states.
"Donald Trump said that he will spend a billion dollars to win. That sum will guarantee no one will outspend him. But he needs to build a grassroots campaign with volunteers. You never have enough volunteers in places like Iowa and New Hampshire."