In that CNN poll that showed Trump way ahead among Republicans, 35 percent said they would “definitely not” support him and 13 percent said the would “probably not” support him. There’s a certain percentage of primary voters who will only vote for Trump; there’s a percentage that will never vote for Trump. There’s no way to square that circle.
Every vote has to be earned; if a Trump supporter thinks Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio won’t improve the country and won’t do anything for them, they’re free to stay home. You can’t make them vote for a candidate they don’t think is any good. But the reverse is true: if a Cruz or Rubio supporter thinks Trump is a dangerous, erratic demagogue serving no cause higher than his own ego, insisting Trump won the nomination fair and square -- with the help of overwhelming media coverage, as our Stephen Miller points out -- isn’t going to make them sign on for a foul-mouthed vindictive narcissist with no concepts of limitations on state power.
ADDENDA: Over the weekend, Saturday Night Live featured a fake “Racists for Trump” ad. . . . This is the same program that had Trump host the show a few months ago. Some might see this as a sign that the media will build up Trump and then destroy him. A little while back, I argued that the media is blind to the ways that they already partially insulated him from these attacks:
If Trump wins the nomination, we’re likely to see the national media turn on a dime and start talking about him in the harshest of tones: He’s a racist, he’s a demagogue, he’s a maniac, he’s uninformed. Except . . . all of these powerful voices have already established Trump as a ubiquitous, delightfully unpredictable, fearless figure who can’t be ignored. If Trump is this repugnant, nasty racist, so undeserving of public office . . . why is he hosting Saturday Night Live and joking around with Fallon and Colbert? If he’s so self-evidently unsuited for the presidency . . . why has the national media spent a full year dissecting his every move? If he’s such a vulgar embodiment of reality-television narcissism, why the soft-focus profiles of his lovely family? If his economic plans are so wildly unrealistic and reckless, why has the business media written those glowing profiles about his keen mind and eye for opportunities?