Donald Trump: How GOP Frontrunner Got His Groove Back

Donald Trump scored a massive victory in New Hampshire Tuesday night (Feb. 9) with No. 2 John Kasich finishing close to 20 percentage points behind him.

It was just the sort of win that the former reality TV star and real estate mogul needed to get his campaign on track.

His previous attempt at the Iowa Caucuses resulted in a No. 2 finish, which he almost lost to a surging No. 3 in establishment candidate Marco Rubio.

Heading into the second primary of the 2016 election season, Donald Trump did not have a choice but to win. His poll numbers hinted that he might, but he was also polling at No. 1 before losing in the Hawkeye State to Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

After the votes had been counted, he not only got the win he needed, but he also did it in such a convincing fashion that he managed to vault himself back to overall frontrunner status with 17 delegates to Ted Cruz' 11.

While there are still dozens of primaries to go, the New Hampshire win effectively negated Cruz' momentum. Helping Trump further were the self-inflicted missteps of Rubio, who "malfunctioned" at the last Republican debate after being challenged by Chris Christie.

There are a number of things that Donald Trump did in order to get his groove back. Here's a look at the big three.

1. He called Ted Cruz a "p***y."

"The Donald" made headlines in a major way the night before voting began, by basically calling Ted Cruz the dreaded P-word.

But it is not so much that he "went there" that helped him with late voters; it was the way that he did so, which has been pretty much exemplary of his entire campaign.

Rather than call Cruz the word directly, he, with a wink and a smile, "repeated" what someone in his audience had said about the senator for his unwillingness to embrace the waterboarding of terrorists.

This Donald Trump presented a textbook coyness and a penchant for political theater that continued to ingratiate him to rabid supporters, Cruz haters — there are a LOT on both sides of the aisle, and people who appreciate how Trump — serious or not — has lampooned the broken political campaigning system.

Trump even mock "scolded" the woman, who said it, in a similar way that he did to a Donald Trump supporter, who brandished a "Trump the B***h" sign referencing Hillary Clinton at a February 2 campaign rally.

By beating Cruz convincingly on top of "calling" him the name, Trump subtly painted his only real competition as an ineffectual candidate heading into Nevada, South Carolina, and March 1's Super Tuesday primary.

Or in other words, he built himself up by using language that he knew would tear someone else down, and he did it in front of the right audience.

2. He plays coy very well.

It was already mentioned above, but it bears repeating how talented Donald Trump is at playing coy.

It allows him to be bold and opinionated while saying things that would essentially kill any other candidate's chances, yet somehow it helps him to establish a unique voice that people either love or hate.

The key is to make sure he can motivate enough of those who love him to overcome the votes of those who don't.

Essentially, he understands the divisions in America perhaps better than any other candidate, and he uses that to his advantage.

After all, Americans were bitterly divided long before Donald Trump decided to run for President, so why not?

3. He's a surprisingly effective debater.

Not only does Donald Trump manage to escape every Republican debate unscathed, but he also usually sees a bump in his poll numbers as a result.

That's because he's actually quite good at it in an unconventional way.

He's honest. He doesn't divulge a lot of specifics about his plans, but he also has ironclad reasoning for not doing so — i.e. he doesn't want to give things away to the enemy, he wants to preserve the negotiating power that he would need to follow through on some of the trade deals that he's promised, etc.

He can get away with it because he has a successful business record, particularly as a negotiator, to back him up.

Also, he's not as dumb as partisan media sources try making him out to be. Just consider how well he handled Jeb Bush on eminent domain or various Republican challengers on the idea that he would rush the U.S. into war because of his temperament.

On the latter, he calmly reminded everyone that he was one of the only people onstage who at the time opposed the Iraq War.

One final thing about Donald Trump…

Trump has a more liberal background, as did Ronald Reagan before defecting to the Republican side. This, along with his over-the-top persona, could very well win votes from people who do not necessarily agree with the things that he says.

It's possible this is because these people understand Candidate Trump and President Trump could be two entirely different people.

So while they may not be too fond of the guy running for President, they may, if he wins, like the guy in the White House a lot better.

But what do you think, readers?

Has Donald Trump gotten his groove back, and do you think he can win in November? Sound off in the comments section below.

[Image via Joseph Sohm /]