Trump: for the Long Haul

| November 9, 2015


Gary M. Wisenbaker, Valdosta Today Opinion Contributor

GARY WISENBAKERIn less than 90 days the country will observe a tradition brought over to these shores by German immigrants in the 1800s. February 2 is Groundhog Day, a ritual utilized to predict the onset—or delay—of spring.

You know how it goes: if the groundhog sees its shadow there will be six more weeks of winter. If not, then spring is nigh.

In 2016 Groundhog Day will come the day after the much ballyhooed Iowa presidential primary caucuses.

Unlike other states, Iowa’s system of selecting delegates to national conventions begins with meetings in homes and public places where candidates score by getting their supporters to attend and select delegates to county conventions, who then select delegates to district and state conventions, who then select delegates to the national conventions who then, well you get it.

And this is done in person: no machines, no early or absentee voting allowed.

That the Democrat caucuses will start the Hillary Clinton coronation process restates the obvious. But as for the Republicans, it will begin the winnowing process: many of the 15 candidates will see their shadows and return to their burrows never to emerge again; others will forge ahead until the money runs out.

One candidate, however, says he’s “in it for the long haul.” And money is no object. More than that, he’s got a blend of support that may well see him through Iowa and on to New Hampshire, the nation’s first primary six weeks later on March 8.

So don’t look for Donald Trump to scurry away, shadows nothwithstanding.

Fund raising is not an issue in the Trump campaign. He’s a billionaire several times over and ten percent of a billion is $100 million. That’s a lot of cash he can lay his hands on and hardly make a dent in his net worth—and it’s his, not donor, money.

And Trump’s support is broader than one might think. The bulk of Trump’s support is not “out of the box” as many suggest. He draws support across the GOP board from candidates already in the race, but mostly hurting Cruz and Rick Perry, who eventually dropped out.

While his support is certainly right of center, 78 percent identify themselves as “conservative” or “very conservative”, less than a third identify with the Tea Party movement (they trend toward Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina). Additionally, at least 20 percent self-identify as “moderate” or “liberal”.

Given that Hillary gets nothing from the former and needs every single vote of the latter spells trouble for the Democrats in November 2016 under a Trump headed GOP ticket.

Indeed, the recent elections bode well for Republicans next November as their gains have them now holding 32 governorships and 76 percent, in whole or in part, of all state legislatures.

A Trump nomination is simply not far-fetched. He’s consistently held his present leadership position (in averaged polls) since the summer. Similarly positioned GOP candidates have gone on to secure the party’s nomination since 1976 with the exception of John McCain, who was second to Rudolph Giuliani at this point in 2008.

Trump is no Reagan but he is Reagan-esque: he will not be rolled over (“I’m paying for this microphone, Mr. Green”) and he messages a palpable alternative to Washington’s current governing paradigm (“Are you better off than you were four years ago?”).

And his display of authenticity and media mastering resonates on many levels as evidenced by Trump’s resiliency in retaining a top spot in most polls. Even his critics acknowledge that his campaign has morphed from what they once called “clownish” to respectable and something to be reckoned with, and reckoned with seriously.

Trump is certainly taking his campaign seriously. The funding and popular support he enjoys is above and beyond some ephemeral shadow.

The Donald’s in it for the long haul.

Gary Wisenbaker, B.A., J.D. is a native of South Georgia where he practiced law in Valdosta and Savannah for 31 years. He has served as state chairman of the Georgia Young Republicans and Chairman of the Chatham County (Savannah) Republican Party. Gary is a past GOP nominee for State Senate, past delegate to the Republican National Convention and has consulted on numerous local Republican campaigns as well as chaired or co-chaired campaigns for President and US Senate on the county and district level. He is the principal and founder of Blackstone, LLC, a political, corporate communications and public relations concern as well as Wiregrass Mediation Services, LLC, a general civil litigation mediation firm.

Gary ( hosts his own blog at and recently published his first fictional work, “How Great is His Mercy: The Plea”, on His columns are regularly published on and the Valdosta Daily Times.

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4 Comments on "Trump: for the Long Haul"

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  1. Same Guy? says:

    Isn’t this the same guy who predicted Romney would win in a landslide? How did that one turn out Gary?

    • MommaLissa says:

      Are you actually admitting you voted for Obama? Twice? No wonder you don’t list your real name. I would be embarrassed too.
      TRUMP 2016!
      Ms. Martinez

  2. Elmore Wrathmore says:

    Trump has been historically a Liberal/Leftist/Democrap (except when it comes to his money and business). All of a sudden in the last 18 months he has become a Rethuglican? Now he spouting all the Facebook cliche’s that the uninformed right keep sharing. Yea something is surely fishy here. Oh and he was a huge contributor to the Clinton’s campaigns and a noted friend of Hillary. Tell me he isn’t a plant to split the Right wing vote.

    • MommaLissa says:

      So the “uninformed right” posted on Facebook that they were going to “build a wall and have Mexico pay for it”? Please supply that post. We wait with baited breath…
      Trump 2016!