According to Karl Rove and other Republican insiders, if Donald Trump doesn’t win tonight in Wisconsin, it could be the end for the Trump campaign.
Karl Rove, the infamous George W. Bush aide, told Politico today that in his estimation, a win in Wisconsin for Donald Trump would put an end to the race, but so would a Donald Trump defeat. Trump is still around 500 delegates shy of clinching the Republican nomination outright and preventing a contested convention this summer. But, says Karl Rove, Donald Trump is close enough that a win tonight in Wisconsin could push him over the edge and make the math “difficult” for Ted Cruz and John Kasich.
“If he wins Wisconsin, the contest is over. If not, it’s gonna go on and the math becomes somewhat more difficult,” said Karl Rove today, speaking with Politico.
Milwaukee snubs Trump https://t.co/16LEzTqzsh
— Charles Sykes (@SykesCharlie) April 5, 2016
Tonight’s Wisconsin primary comes at a critical time for the Trump campaign, after some high profile defections and some internal conflict. Politico reports the Trump campaign is in troubled waters tonight, after a series of behind-the-scenes layoffs and defections by critical campaign staff. Since March, the Trump campaign has laid off thousands of field staff and volunteers on the grassroots level in several key states which would be critical for the Trump campaign in a general election contest.
“Presidential campaigns are a team sport and [Trump] doesn’t have that mentality,” said an anonymous source within the GOP, reports Politico.
Donald Trump’s personality may be driving away key staff, and leading to behind-the-scenes turmoil for the Republican frontrunner. Just last month, the Trump campaign fired the head of its internal data team, Matt Braynard, who reportedly didn’t leave behind a successor – the Trump data team is currently effectively leaderless, and in an election season this close, it’s a crucial role for parsing campaign data and polling numbers. As a result, the role of Trump data czar fell to a recent college grad with minimal political experience – reportedly, his last job was an internship for Colgate.
“That’s why they’re missing a lot of these opportunities that are passing them by. [Trump] might be a great quarterback, but every quarterback still needs a strong offensive line,” said an anonymous GOP operative speaking with Politico.
Trump’s embattled campaign manager, still weathering a legal storm for allegedly assaulting a female reporter at a Trump event, denies allegations that the campaign is suffering behind the scenes — many outlets are reporting that the Trump campaign is suffering from a morale crisis after a number of high-profile setbacks, including Trump’s statements on abortion.
AP VIDEO: Donald Trump makes a last-minute pitch to voters, predicts a 'big surprise' in Wisconsin: https://t.co/GiW2j6C2cy
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 5, 2016
“We have the most cohesive, loyal staff, the most loving staff I have ever had the privilege of working with on a campaign,” said Corey Lewandowski on the matter of Trump campaign morale.
Still, the Wisconsin primary tonight could very well decide the Republican race for or against a Trump nomination – a decision that Karl Rove speculates will shape the landscape of the Republican party. Trump, Rove claims, typically does better in states with open primaries where he can attract “Reagan Democrats” and cross-over voters, and typically does a little worse in states with closed primaries in part due to Trump’s controversial status within the Republican party.
“Trump has done slightly better in states where there is an open primary, where Democrats and independents can come in and vote and has done slightly worse in states that have a closed primary, where only registered Republicans can vote,” said Karl Rove in an interview today, discussing tonight’s Wisconsin primary.
Trump’s performance in Wisconsin might not be a deciding factor for Cruz or Kasich, but according to Rove, a strong showing in Wisconsin could very well seal the deal for the Trump camp and deliver a morale boost for the Trump campaign, reports CNBC.
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]