Donald Trump is right: The system is rigged. It’s rigged in favor of front-runners. That’s why Trump, who is leading the Republican nominating contest, has a larger percentage of delegates (46 percent) than of votes (37 percent). Unsurprisingly, Trump never mentions when the rules have helped him. He much prefers to whine and peddle conspiracy theories when they don’t.
Trump’s latest tantrum is over Colorado, where Ted Cruz just swept all 34 of the state’s available delegates. Trump is calling the results “totally unfair” and on Twitter he asked: “How is it possible that the people of the great State of Colorado never got to vote in the Republican Primary?” If Trump is so concerned about states’ not holding primaries, perhaps he should renounce his victory at Nevada’s caucuses.
This information was not concealed from the Trump campaign; the rules have been available online since September. If Trump is upset with the results in the Centennial State, it’s his own fault.
Trump is trying to bluster and bully his way to the Republican nomination.
And it shouldn’t. The overall primary process that has evolved includes a variety of different kinds of contests. That respects federalism. It also means that to win the nomination, a candidate has to show demographically and geographically broad support and build an organization that can master the details. Not coincidentally, those things are related to picking a strong general-election nominee and a good president. Trump wouldn’t be either of these, and his failure on the ground in Colorado — and Iowa, and North Dakota, and Louisiana, and Wisconsin, &c. — is yet another indication. Contrary to his endless boasts, he is not a quick learner, he does not run complex organizations well, and he does not hire the best people.
Trump is trying to bluster and bully his way to the Republican nomination. But that strategy — or, more accurately, lack of strategy — will not carry him through November. Cruz is proving himself the only candidate capable of running an effective national campaign, and the only candidate who stands a chance of going toe to toe with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic machine.