If you’re a #NeverTrump Republican, his magic wand is now pointed at you
First, he got won over those who are fed up with porous borders and the lack of enforcement of immigration laws. Then, he went after the anti-Muslim vote in the wake of the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino. He targeted the evangelical vote, easily winning the “lukewarm” Christians who are willing to look past his history, policies, attitude… pretty much everything about him. Finally, he grabbed a hold of the angry voters who hate Washington DC’s ineffectiveness and hypocrisy.
Many of us thought he was done. We imagined a Donald Trump that would hold as tight to his third of the Republican vote as he could and ride it to the nomination. Unfortunately, many underestimated him once again. A third is not enough. He wants all of the GOP’s voters. There’s a reason for this, which we’ll get to in a minute, but let’s first look at his latest ploy. He’s going for the haters. He’s going for the conservatives and other Republicans who oppose him no matter what.
He’s betting that he’ll be able to cast a spell on the #NeverTrump crowd and convert some of them to reluctant supporters.
We heard this in his victory speech following Super Tuesday when he uncharacteristically avoided attacking any of his competitors head on. He used the words “unity” and “unify” in a way that was clearly designed to embed it into the listeners. We’ll hear it again and again in interviews, stump speeches, and debates. He’s adapting. He’s adding decorum and humility to his repertoire of tricks. He’s going to try to demonstrate to the unwilling that he’s still a better bet than Hillary Clinton and that the sooner he can win the nomination, the better it will be for the party.
The reason he’s shifting now rather than doing the “logical” move of sticking with what’s worked in the past is that he’s a brilliant campaigner. It’s almost supernatural how he’s been able to buck the system and selectively pick out the proper things to engulf his supporters even when conventional campaign wisdom says otherwise. However, he realizes that it won’t work as well going forward. The reason: closed primaries. What he knows and what most pundits seem to ignore is that he’s been the beneficiary of Independent and Democratic voters who are trying to propel him to the nomination not because they support him but because they believe he’s the easiest target in the general election. It’s worked so far in every open primary, but there are fewer open primaries coming up. Now, he needs the haters to stop hating and hop on board.
The man that claims he can change whenever he wants is changing for the sake of anti-Trump vote. If he doesn’t get those votes soon, his path to the nomination narrows because of the upcoming closed primaries. The polls in the closed primaries have not held up, nor have the actual results. He needs you to suspend disbelief and believe his latest lie in order to win.