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Can Trump be Stopped?
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Three months ago, this writer sent out a column entitled, “Could Trump Win?” meaning the Republican nomination.

Today even the Trump deniers concede the possibility.

And the emerging question has become: “Can Trump be stopped? And if so, where, and by whom?”

Consider the catbird seat in which The Donald sits.

An average of national polls puts him around 30 percent, trailed by Dr. Ben Carson with about 20 percent. No other GOP candidate gets double digits.

Trump is leading Carson in Iowa, running first in New Hampshire, crushing the field in Nevada and South Carolina. These are the first four contests. In Florida, Trump’s support exceeds that of ex-Governor Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio combined.

If these polls don’t turn around, big time, Trump is the nominee.

And with Thanksgiving a month off, then the Christmas season, New Year’s, college football playoffs and NFL playoffs, the interest of the nation will drift away, again and again, from politics.

Voting begins Feb. 1 in Iowa. Super Bowl Sunday is Feb. 7. And the New Hampshire primary will likely be on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

We are only three months out, and Trump still holds the high cards.

After months of speeches and TV appearances, he is a far more disciplined campaigner and communicator. In a year when a huge slice of the nation is disgusted with political correctness, wants to dethrone the establishment, wipe the slate clean and begin anew with someone fresh, Trump is in the pole position.

His issues — secure the border, send illegal immigrants back, renegotiate rotten trade deals that shipped our jobs abroad — are more in tune with the national mood than pro-amnesty, Obamatrade or NAFTA.

Wall Street Journal conservatism is in a bear market.

Trump says he will talk to Vladimir Putin, enforce the nuclear deal with Iran, not tear it up on Inauguration Day, and keep U.S. troops out of Syria. And South Korea should pay more of the freight and provide more of the troops for its own defense.

A nationalist, and a reluctant interventionist, if U.S. interests are not imperiled, Trump offers a dramatic contrast to the neocons and Hillary Clinton, the probable Democratic nominee. She not only voted for the Iraq war Trump opposed, but she helped launch the Libyan war.

The lights are burning late tonight in the suites of the establishment tonight. For not since Sen. Barry Goldwater won the California primary in 1964 have their prospects appeared so grim.

Can Trump be stopped?

Absent some killer gaffe or explosive revelation, he will have to be stopped in Iowa or New Hampshire. A rival will have to emerge by then, strong enough and resourced enough to beat him by March.

The first hurdle for the establishment in taking down Trump is Carson. In every national poll, he is second. He’s sitting on the votes the establishment candidate will need to overtake Trump.

Iowa is the ideal terrain for a religious-social conservative to upset Trump, as Mike Huckabee showed in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012.

But Carson has preempted part of the Evangelical and social conservative vote. Moreover, Sen. Ted Cruz, an anti-establishment man, is working Iowa and has the forensic abilities to rally social conservatives.

Should Trump fall, and his estate go to probate, Cruz’s claim would seem superior to that of any establishment favorite.

Indeed, for an establishment-backed candidate — a Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal — to win Iowa, he must break out of the single-digit pack soon, fend off Cruz, strip Carson of part of his following, then overtake Trump. A tall order.

Yet, the battle to consolidate establishment support has begun. And despite his name, family associations, size of his Super PAC, Jeb has lost ground to Marco Rubio. Look to Marco to emerge as the establishment’s last best hope to take down Trump.

But if Trump wins in Iowa, he wins in New Hampshire.


The Iowa Caucuses then, the first contest, may well be decisive. If not stopped there, Trump may be unstoppable. Yet, as it is a caucus state where voters stick around for hours before voting, organization, intensity and endless labor can pay off big against a front-runner.

In Iowa, for example, Ronald Reagan was defeated by George H. W. Bush in 1980. Vice President Bush was defeated by Bob Dole and Pat Robertson in 1988. Reagan and Bush I needed and managed comeback victories in New Hampshire. One cannot lose Iowa and New Hampshire.

Thus, today’s task for the Republican establishment.

Between now and March, they must settle on a candidate, hope his rivals get out of the race, defeat Trump in one of the first two contests, or effect his defeat by someone like Carson, then pray Trump will collapse like a house of cards.

The improbabilities of accomplishing this grow by the week, and will soon start looking, increasingly, like an impossibility — absent the kind of celestial intervention that marked the career of the late Calvin Coolidge.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.”

Copyright 2015

• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2016 Election, Donald Trump 
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  1. is this a rhetorical question…he can be stopped the way any other candidate can be stopped

    will he win..idk..I hope

  2. After the back-stabbing the Republicans gave the base after the last elections, I think the establishment candidates can write the election off. Trump is probably the only candidate many Republican voters will vote for. Everyone remembers Rubio’s amnesty attempt, and nobody cares about his immigrant father or his love of Israel. Discontent from the base isn’t the problem that the establishment faces. Hatred of the establishment by the base is the problem.

    • Agree: Seamus Padraig
  3. Sherman says:

    I agree Trump is entertaining and he raises some good points.

    But he’s kind of like the wild girl you would date in college. You want to be around her and have fun with her but you would never want to marry her.

    Ultimately, I don’t think voters will want this guy in the WH.

  4. @Sherman

    Compared to who? The sober, reflective Barack “Arab Spring” Obama and his trusted Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton? George “Weapons of Mass Destruction” Bush? These people are bringing us to the brink of WWIII.

    El Jefe Bush and his peasant-wife?

    Striverpoor Marco Rubio?

    Ben Carson is a wonderful retired neurosurgeon but I think he would be in way over his head as Chief Executive.

    Cruz is well-qualified for his appointment by President Trump to the Supreme Court.

    • Replies: @bunga
    , @Marty
  5. @Sherman

    speak for yourself please. I would vote for him simply because bernie has no chance. and trump is the only other out-liner.

  6. bunga says:
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    “In one respect, Mr. Carson is the antithesis of the crude and boisterous Mr. Trump. In tone and style, Mr. Carson comes across as calm, reasonable and agreeable. But in fact he is more rhetorically intemperate than even Mr. Trump.

    Ben Carson is simply a bigot with lot of religious ideas that may evoke some soul searching both among the morons and among the educated .

    .Calm voice does prove one thing that is there is a calm voice. nothing more.

    • Replies: @Quartermaster
  7. LondonBob says:

    With Jim Webb dropping out of the race, would love to see Trump pick him as his VP.

    • Replies: @WorkingClass
  8. @LondonBob

    Webb would be perfect. In my dreams the general election features Trump/Webb vs Sanders/Kucinich.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  9. Marty [AKA "wick"] says:
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    You’re worried about a world war? You should be worried about your savings being transfered to blacks or something similar.

  10. @bunga

    A lot of ink and pixels have been spilled on that matter. Quoting the New York slimes on the matter doesn’t help your case. Bluntly, the comparison is apt. Much of what we are seeing is an echo of the 30s in Nazi Germany.

    If you want to call someone a bigot it would be best if you did some homework first.

    • Replies: @Minnesota Mary
    , @Wally
  11. @Quartermaster

    Quartermaster, have you done any research on what 7th Day Adventists believe, and how they view Catholics?

  12. Wally [AKA "BobbyBeGood"] says: • Website

    “Bluntly, the comparison is apt. Much of what we are seeing is an echo of the 30s in Nazi Germany.”

    Oh really? Tell us how?

    And yes, I’m setting you up.

    Get the facts at:

    • Replies: @Andrew E. Mathis
  13. Svigor says:

    I agree Trump is entertaining and he raises some good points.

    But he’s kind of like the wild girl you would date in college. You want to be around her and have fun with her but you would never want to marry her.

    Ultimately, I don’t think voters will want this guy in the WH.

    Yes, that’s the oldster/heeled GOP base opinion. Bunch of intangible miss manners slop. Everybody else has noticed that Trump is actually promising to address their concerns. Which is a step up from the rest, who are promising to screw the voters over.

  14. Svigor says:

    That’s the beauty of Trump, btw; he’s a non-pol with a long track record of running a large, successful enterprise. It’s not like we can’t look back into his past and check to see if he likes running around with his wig half off every so often.

  15. @Wally

    We’re not really going to dispute that the Nazis were bigoted, are we?

    Now quick: Post a bunch of links where you “beat me in debate”!

  16. MarkinLA says:

    Well I don’t want anybody else. If the RNC thought Romney’s defeat was bad, wait till they try and stuff Heb down our throats.

  17. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    With Biden bailing out, the race is Trump’s to lose. Who is his competition?

    In the primary, he’s leading everyone. Carson is in 2nd place, and will do well with evangelicals, but I don’t think the establishment is comfortable enough with him to fund him. They may just unload on Trump with attack ads in early primary states, but I don’t think that will be enough to get voters to jump ship.

    After Carson, there’s really no threat in the GOP. The base doesn’t trust unctuous Rubio, Jeb’s a whiney dud, Carly is a brasher Romney without any of his appealing qualities, and the rest are asterisks.

    In the general election, Trump will go up against Sanders or Hillary. Sanders would be the tougher one to beat, as he appeals to white men too, but if Sanders isn’t going to attack Hillary on her ethics, he’s not going to win the nomination. Hillary will win the single women vote and minorities, but by smaller percentages than Obama. Trump will siphon off 15-20% of the black vote, maybe 35% of the Hispanic vote, and he’ll get >60% of the white vote. Tough to beat that.

    • Replies: @WhatEvvs
  18. I think the Establishment would settle for Ben Carson beating Trump to the nomination, then losing gracefully to an Establishment Democrat. The Republican-Establishment would much prefer a Democrat to a non-Establishment Republican.

  19. WhatEvvs [AKA "Internet Addict"] says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    With Biden bailing out, the race is Trump’s to lose. Who is his competition?

    Quinnipiac has Carson ahead in Iowa. Bear in mind these are caucuses, which are controlled by the party elite. The plan is to destroy Trump’s destroy his aura of inevitability in Iowa, and replace him with Rubio, or some other stooge. Kristol says that the ticket will be Rubio/Fiorina. He’s no prophet – I think he’s repeating what Rove told him.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  20. @Sherman

    “Ultimately, I don’t think voters will want this guy in the WH.”

    There will be a lot of post-Labor Day soul searching, but in the final analysis, the majority of the voters (presumably representing a majority of the Electoral College) will prefer Trump to that horrible old woman the Democrats seem intent on nominating.*

    *I never thought Hillarious would be nominated, but after this week has seen the demise of the candidacies of both Jim Webb and Joe Biden, I’m not sure there’s any other plausible alternative. Bernie can’t seal the deal, and O’Malley is a non-entity. Chafee isn’t even being invited to the next debate.

  21. @WhatEvvs

    Bear in mind these are caucuses, which are controlled by the party elite

    Please explain how the Iowa caucuses are “controlled by the party élite”. (And is that the state or national élite?) I’ve been attending Minnesota’s since 1988 and while they often seemed futile, I’ve seen little evidence that they’re a puppet show. Unlike a primary, a citizen in caucus is not only permitted, but encouraged to speak his mind and sway opinion.

    Now, Iowa’s is more important than Minnesota’s, which comes in March, and maybe there are party shenanigans further up the line at district and state conventions. But if anything, caucuses are taken over by ground-level single-issue zealots.

    David Lebedoff, whose eye is as sharp as Pat’s, predicted this would happen, and a DFL caucus-goer confirmed it for me when he asked me the next morning if the Republicans had the same problem.

    No, we don’t. It’s a longstanding tradition in my city to knock off precisely at nine, and go to the bar. (Evangelicals and Mormons go straight home.)

    • Replies: @Carlton Meyer
    , @WhatEvvs
  22. @Reg Cæsar

    From my blog:

    Jan 21, 2012 – Did Ron Paul Win Iowa?

    A forbidden topic in our corporate media is vote fraud, or even suggesting that something is amiss. We all know that Mitt Romney won Iowa, unless you noticed a small article a few days later that the Iowa race is “unresolved” with details further down that Santorum probably won.

    It is possible that “unelectable” Ron Paul won, but we’ll never know, because votes from eight precincts are missing! Missing? Iowa vote counters had to “hunt down” the results from dozens of precincts, and found the results for 134 precincts had errors which “they” corrected. Is the Republican party in Iowa run by fools, or mobsters? After the hundreds of hours of corporate media coverage of the Iowa campaign, you might think our media would find that an interesting story to pursue. Where is the FBI investigation?

    • Replies: @WhatEvvs
  23. Johannes says:

    The Numinous Negro, Ben Carson, might beat him. The Democrats would enjoy that, I think, and Republicans, too, for both are subservient to White guilt and Marxist multiculturalism.

    I like Carson, just not for President. We need Trump. He’s the only man bold enough, to speak outside of the constraints of political correctness. Without him, we would not be speaking about placing restrictions on immigration and deportation of illegal invaders. And we have had a discussion about “free trade” since another outside candidate, namely Perot.

    It’s now or never.

  24. WhatEvvs [AKA "Internet Addict"] says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    A caucus vote is not a private vote. It favors naming, blaming and shaming. A person who goes against the system is subject to being Brendan Eiched. Simple.

    @Reg: puppets don’t know that they are being jerked around, that’s the nature of being a puppet.

    Of course, if my man Trump wins in Iowa, I’ll take this all back. I’ll get down on my knees and bark like a dog. I’ll do it just for you, Reg. Skype me.

  25. WhatEvvs [AKA "Internet Addict"] says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Please explain how the Iowa caucuses are “controlled by the party élite”. (And is that the state or national élite?)

    The Iowa caucuses are dominated by Evangelical females, brain dead specimens who are cuck-central. They don’t need to be told what to do. THEY have cucked the party but good. If it were up to their dear little Christian hearts, the US would adopt every African kid.

    Never heard of David Lebedoff and I don’t know what the “this” you are talking about refers to. Carson’s surge?

  26. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says:

    If Trumps gets the nomination, the GOP establishment still has Hillary.

    If Trump wins the presidency, the GOP establishment still has Congress.

    Trump won’t make a difference in the end.

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