Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Conservatives Are Increasingly Frustrated by the Continued Support for Donald Trump on the Right (VIDEO)

I like all the top candidates, Cruz, Rubio, and Trump.

I'll be happy with any one of them and I'll fully support the GOP ticket.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump's making this the most memorable primary season ever. What's not to like?

Well, conservative activists aren't pleased by the surge in support for Trump. It gets ugly on Twitter, where battle lines have long been drawn. I don't let it bother me. Everybody's doing their own thing, pushing their own interests, so it's no skin off my back. I've been out here a long time --- this is the third presidential campaign I've blogged --- and the internecine battles erupt every time.

In any case, at WSJ, "Donald Trump, Ted Cruz Fight on GOP’s Right Flank":

MILFORD, N.H.—Jennifer Ouellette is like many conservatives two weeks before the first votes are cast: thrilled that Sen. Ted Cruz is a leading Republican presidential candidate but flummoxed that his top challenger is Donald Trump.
“How do I convince these people to stop looking at the shiny object and to understand who is the constitutional conservative?” the mother of two from Atkinson, N.H., asked Mr. Cruz at a gathering here Sunday night. “I am having a big fight with my sister about this.”

As the 2016 primary season barrels toward its first balloting, the GOP establishment wing’s split in support of multiple candidates would in previous years have buoyed conservative activists, who have typically been the ones to split among several contenders. But Mr. Trump’s unexpectedly enduring candidacy has complicated that.

In the most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 61% of Republican primary voters describe themselves as conservative. Messrs. Trump and Cruz split that potentially dominant voting bloc almost in half, with 31% saying they support the New York businessman while 27% are backing the senator. Mr. Cruz outpaces Mr. Trump among the most conservative Republican primary voters by a margin of 36% to 28%, by virtue of his support among evangelical voters.

To many activist groups who are beginning to coalesce around Mr. Cruz, Mr. Trump’s appeal among conservatives lies more in his antiestablishment rhetoric, particularly on issues such as immigration, than on most of his policy stances. As the first votes get closer, private gnashing of teeth among the ranks of conservative Republicans about Mr. Trump, and his support among many on the right, is beginning to burst into the open.

A case in point came Monday, when Mr. Trump was invited to speak at Liberty University, an evangelical Christian school in Virginia. Mr. Trump’s religious credentials have come under question by many during his campaign, and after he was given a glowing introduction by Jerry Falwell Jr., the school’s president, Russell Moore, who heads the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission with the Southern Baptist Convention, tweeted: “Politics driving the gospel rather than the other way around is the third temptation of Christ. He overcame it. Will we?”

Erick Erickson, a Georgia talk-radio host who founded the website Redstate.com, said he has “this conversation with conservative groups every day, ‘What can we do to stop Trump?’ ” Yet, he added, “a lot of them don’t want to burn bridges by going after him.”

Penny Nance, chief executive of antiabortion group Concerned Women for America, said socially conservative groups like hers are concerned at the prospect of Mr. Trump’s winning the nomination: They are practiced in combating centrist Republicans—not someone running as more of an outsider than they are.

“I’ve been very clear about my concerns and so have others, but at the end of the day, we’re not good at attacking this way,” Ms. Nance said. “We don’t enjoy it. It’s not what we admire, the negativity in campaigns.”
Still more.

Erick Erickson's no longer the editor of Red State, but folks there are going guns blazing against the Donald. Here's Caleb Howe yesterday, via Memeorandum, "Documents Show Donald Trump's New York Values Do NOT Include Giving To 9/11 Charities."