We Must Stop Hillary Clinton At All Costs. That Means We Must Stop Trump. #FreeTheDelegates

“To believe Donald Trump is going to beat Hillary Clinton requires one to believe so much that is not so and ignore reality. The reality is that this emperor has no clothes. The campaign, laid naked and bare, is a disaster built on top of a steaming divot.”

I do not believe that it is impossible for Trump to be elected President of the United States. Events change things. A major terrorist attack, an indictment of Hillary Clinton, or everyone in the United States dropping dead except for Trump’s family and supporters could all happen. But those events are highly improbable.

What is most probable and more obvious each day is that with Donald Trump as the Republican nominee, Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States. There is too much on the line for us to let that happen. The Supreme Court decisions this past week prove it. But to stop Hillary Clinton from becoming President, Republicans must stop Donald Trump from becoming the Republican nominee. Trump as the nominee makes it vastly more likely that Hillary Clinton will become President.

No amount of calls for rallying to Trump’s banner will help him. The Republican Party is already the smaller of the two major political parties. Even if I and all the Republicans who oppose him should suddenly support him, it would not be enough. His negatives are over 70%. He hovers around 30% in the polls. His fundraising is, politely, anemic. He is prone to gaffes of extraordinary size. He has no campaign apparatus to turn people out in November and his campaign surrogates have no compelling message to convert the undecided to supporters. His loudest existing supporters are seemingly working over time to turn off undecided voters and drive them into the arms of Hillary Clinton.

In the RealClearPolitics polling average, Hillary Clinton is now up 6.7%. Last week it was 5.5%. Trump has only been above 40% in four of the last eleven polls taken and in all of them he trails Clinton. Already Trump and his supporters are claiming the polls are rigged, they seek to “unskew” the polls, they claim too many Democrats have been sampled, and they claim the polls are simply wrong. These are all the same claims made by Mitt Romney and his supporters in 2012, but in 2012 the complaints came after Labor Day, not in June before the nomination is even secured.

For those who say variants of, “everybody said he’d lose in the primaries and look what happened,” they should be reminded that those of us, myself included, who did say that chose to ignore the polling in the primaries. The polling was right in the primaries. The polling is right headed into the general election as well.

The only reason Donald Trump is not doing worse right now is because the Democrats have nominated Hillary Clinton. 50% of the country finds her unfavorable. But Donald Trump is still losing to her. The most recent Washington Post – ABC News poll shows that “so strong is many Americans’ opposition to Clinton and desire for a change in Washington that even some registering their disapproval of Trump say that as of now they feel compelled to vote for him.” But Trump still loses to Clinton in that poll by 12%, even with that level of disapproval for Clinton. The disapproval for Trump is even more.

One of the chief problems for the Republicans is that distrust and disapproval of Hillary Clinton is already baked into the polling. We all know she is corrupt. We all know the scandals. What more can be added to what we already know about Hillary Clinton pales in comparison to what the public has yet to learn about Donald Trump. As much as we know about Hillary Clinton to make us oppose her, the public is just about to experience a $100 million ad campaign about Donald Trump to tell the public things about Trump they do not yet know. Hillary’s negatives are baked in. Trump has not yet reached rocked bottom.

On top of that, Trump has less than $2 million in the bank, the Trump campaign has shuttered its Nevada office, barely has a presence in New Hampshire, and keeps claiming a grand and glorious operation without actually having one. Trump claims he will be competitive in California, New York, and Maryland. In the first and second, Trump got less votes winning than Bernie Sanders did losing in the Democratic primaries. In the third, the state’s Republican governor refuses to endorse Trump. Every time Trump announces a path forward in newly competitive states, polling shows that not only is he delusional, but Republican states are the ones that are becoming competitive for Clinton. Major Republicans, including the governors of Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, and others refuse to endorse Trump.

Beyond the issues of Trump himself, the RNC has less money in its bank account in this Presidential cycle than any previous Presidential cycle in the past two decades. The Senate is now in jeopardy as is the House of Representatives. The RNC is seeing corporate sponsors flee the convention, which will require the RNC to cover more of the costs. All of these things are the direct result of Donald Trump being the presumptive Republican nominee. The fallout from Trump’s nomination is already affecting other races and overall GOP fundraising and Trump’s loss to Clinton will impact congressional races, gubernatorial races, and state legislative races.

To believe Donald Trump is going to beat Hillary Clinton requires one to believe so much that is not so and ignore reality. The reality is that this emperor has no clothes. The campaign, laid naked and bare, is a disaster built on top of a steaming divot. The last ground on which Trump’s voters stand is that Ronald Reagan was in the thirties behind Jimmy Carter in 1980 at this point. But even that is not so. Only the Gallup poll showed that. The other polls and the polling average itself in 1980 had Ronald Reagan ahead of Jimmy Carter by the end of May in 1980 and Reagan never again fell behind Carter.

The events that could lead Donald Trump to the Presidency are so highly improbable as to be absurd to think he stands a chance. The desperate claims that the Brexit vote makes Trump’s election more likely are vapid nonsense. The Supreme Court is deadlocked 4 to 4. The Democrats are letting our national security fall apart. The left circles the second amendment like a wake of vultures. The Republican Party must now choose between doing what is right and doing what is easy. What is right is denying Donald Trump the nomination so that we can stop Hillary Clinton. What is easy is just letting this play out and saying “I told you so” after the destruction. But there is too much at stake and too much at risk to do what is easy and Republicans, who got into this mess by consistently doing what was easy, must now do what is right.

We must stop Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is too flawed a vessel for the Republican Party to sail to victory against her. The delegates must unite and must reject any requirements to vote for Trump. To stop Hillary Clinton, they must stop Donald Trump. To stop Donald Trump, the delegates must free themselves. Donald Trump got only 44% of the vote in the primaries. In fact, Trump’s percentage of the primary vote on his way to the nomination was less than any Republican candidate in the modern era. Ford, Reagan, Bush, Dole, Bush, McCain, and Romney all got a higher percentage of the vote in the primaries than Trump. Only Richard Nixon, in 1968, received a smaller percentage of the primary vote than Trump and went on to be the nominee. Trump’s supporters claim he got a record number of votes, which is true, but it fails to account for the other candidates getting massively more than him and it fails to account for the fact that even without Trump’s voters there was still a record turn out in the Republican Presidential primary season.

Draft Scott Walker. Pair him up with Ted Cruz. Unite all factions of the party. Then harness the energy of those who detest Hillary Clinton with those who detest Trump and who will be thankful for his replacement. That coalition can win. There is still time too. Fortuitously, the Republicans have set their convention in July instead of the end of August. We have one full month longer after the convention that lets us build up this new ticket.

Donald Trump will not win. He cannot unite the party and he cannot build a winning coalition. Disaster is upon us, but we still have time to stop it. If you oppose tyranny, you must oppose Trump. If you oppose Hillary Clinton, you must oppose Donald Trump. If you oppose unqualified and dangerous Presidential candidates, you must oppose Donald Trump. If you oppose defeat, you must oppose Trump.

The delegates must set themselves free for the good of the party, the country, and our shared future.

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Erick Erickson

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