Terrible news for the GOP establishment out of the CBS News/New York Times poll. Donald Trump is solidifying his hold on the party.
Forty-six percent of primary voters said they would like to see Mr. Trump as the party’s nominee, more than at any point since he declared his candidacy in June. Twenty-six percent favored Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, and 20 percent backed Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.
Fully three-quarters of Republican primary voters expect Mr. Trump to be their party’s nominee.
What’s more, when pollsters asked Republicans what they would do if each of the three candidates remaining became their party’s nominee, Trump got the greatest number of “enthusiastically supports” (35 percent, to Cruz’s 29% and Kasich’s 27%), and — get this — more Republicans said they would not support Cruz at all (19%) than feel that way about Trump (17%). Only 13% said they would not support Kasich under any circumstances.
Conservatism, Inc. may be freaking out about Trump, and they are right to. The GOP is becoming his party. Their favored candidate to stop Trump now, Ted Cruz, is less popular among Republican voters than Trump.
UPDATE: Here is the transcript of Trump’s meeting today with the Washington Post editorial board. This is just idiocy, pure self-aggrandizing idiocy. Excerpt:
HIATT: Just back to the campaign. You are smart and you went to a good school. Yet you are up there and talking about your hands and the size of private …
TRUMP: No …
HIATT: … your private parts.
TRUMP: No, no. No, no. I am not doing that.
HIATT: Do you regret having engaged in that?
TRUMP: No, I had to do it. Look, this guy. Here’s my hands. Now I have my hands, I hear, on the New Yorker, a picture of my hands.
MARCUS: You’re on the cover.
TRUMP: A hand with little fingers coming out of a stem. Like, little. Look at my hands. They’re fine. Nobody other than Graydon Carter years ago used to use that. My hands are normal hands. During a debate, he was losing, and he said, “Oh, he has small hands and therefore, you know what that means.” This was not me. This was Rubio that said, “He has small hands and you know what that means.” Okay? So, he started it. So, what I said a couple of days later … and what happened is I was on line shaking hands with supporters, and one of supporters got up and he said, “Mr. Trump, you have strong hands. You have good-sized hands.” And then another one would say, “You have great hands, Mr. Trump, I had no idea.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “I thought you were like deformed, and I thought you had small hands.” I had fifty people … Is that a correct statement? I mean people were writing, “How are Mr. Trump’s hands?” My hands are fine. You know, my hands are normal. Slightly large, actually. In fact, I buy a slightly smaller than large glove, okay? No, but I did this because everybody was saying to me, “Oh, your hands are very nice. They are normal.” So Rubio, in a debate, said, because he had nothing else to say … now I was hitting him pretty hard. He wanted to do his Don Rickles stuff and it didn’t work out. Obviously, it didn’t work too well. But one of the things he said was “He has small hands and therefore, you know what that means, he has small something else.” You can look it up. I didn’t say it.
MARCUS: You chose to raise it …
TRUMP: No, I chose to respond.
MARUS: You chose to respond.
TRUMP: I had no choice.
MARCUS: You chose to raise it during a debate. Can you explain why you had no choice?
TRUMP: I don’t want people to go around thinking that I have a problem. I’m telling you, Ruth, I had so many people. I would say 25, 30 people would tell me … every time I’d shake people’s hand, “Oh, you have nice hands.” Why shouldn’t I? And, by the way, by saying that I solved the problem. Nobody questions … I even held up my hands, and said, “Look, take a look at that hand.”
MARCUS: You told us in the debate ….
TRUMP: And by saying that, I solved the problem. Nobody questions. Everyone held my hand. I said look. Take a look at that hand.
MARCUS: You told us in the debate that you guaranteed there was not another problem. Was that presidential? And why did you decide to do that?
TRUMP: I don’t know if it was presidential, honestly, whether it is or not. He said, ‘Donald Trump has small hands and therefore he has small something else.’ I didn’t say that. And all I did is when he failed, when he was failing, when he was, when Christie made him look bad, I gave him the– a little recap and I said, and I said, and I had this big strong powerful hand ready to grab him, because I thought he was going to faint. And everybody took it fine. Whether it was presidential or not I can’t tell you. I can just say that what he said was a lie. And everybody, they wanted to do stories on my hands; after I said that, they never did. And then I held up the hand, I showed people the hand. You know, when I’ve got a big audience. So yeah, I think it’s not a question of presidential …
MARCUS: He said he regrets …
HIATT: Okay, let’s move on here. Let’s move on.
Even when Trump is right about something — and he sometimes is — he gives the impression of just being a loudmouth sitting on a barstool.
Look, I sympathize with the nationalist point of view on trade, and I sympathize with Trump’s earlier indications that he was going to be a realist on foreign policy. But this guy just says whatever comes to mind. There are no principles there. There are quite a few of us on the Right who can’t stand the Republican Party, and who desperately want someone different. Hey, I do! But we want to believe so badly that Trump is the guy that we are willing to overlook his massive flaws — such as, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He just talks.