Call it “Real Candidates of the Republican Party”

These people belong in a Bravo reality show, not running for president:

If Lindsey Graham has to change cellphone numbers, he has Donald Trump to thank.

On Tuesday, Trump ramped up his attacks on the South Carolina senator — who made headlines Monday for calling the Donald a “jackass” — and even gave out Graham’s private phone number.

Trump began his rambling diatribe by calling Graham a “lightweight” and an “idiot.”

“He doesn’t seem like a very bright guy. He actually probably seems to me not as bright as Rick Perry. I think Rick Perry probably is smarter than Lindsey Graham,” Trump added, riffing on prior insults he had lobbed at the former Texas governor.

Then Trump transitioned to an embarrassing anecdote, which the billionaire real estate developer said was from a few years ago, in which Graham called Trump “begging” him for a good reference with Trump’s pals on the Fox News morning program “Fox & Friends.”

Trump said that he promised Graham he would put out a good word, and the South Carolina Republican then gave him his phone number to follow up.

Trump then read out what he said was Graham’s phone number, telling his supporters to “try it.”

Graham at least got a funny tweet out of the exchange:

Here’s my periodic reminder that Donald Trump is currently the front-runner to win the 2016 GOP primary, but there’s some reason to think he may have finally peaked with his John McCain kerfuffle. A Washington Post poll released Monday showed Trump a whopping 11 points (24% to 13%) ahead of his next closest rival, Scott Walker, but it also contained this nugget:

Support for Trump fell sharply on the one night that voters were surveyed following those [McCain] comments. Telephone interviewing for the poll began Thursday, and most calls were completed before the news about the remarks was widely reported.

Although the sample size for the final day was small, the decline was statistically significant. Still, it is difficult to predict what could happen to Trump’s support in the coming days and weeks as the controversy plays out.

This leads to two considerations. First, is that single panel the sign of a trend, i.e. are the next set of polls likely to show a real decline in Trump’s polling? Second, how big a freaking lead would he have had without that one-day dropoff? Graham, meanwhile, is polling a strong 0%, so he’s looking pretty OK too despite admittedly trailing strong contenders like “none of these” and “would not vote.”

"Would not vote" is a formidable candidate
“Would not vote” is a formidable candidate

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2 thoughts on “Call it “Real Candidates of the Republican Party”

  1. Watching the Donald’s self-immolation is the most political fun I’ve had in years. Pass the popcorn!

    1. Maybe. Maybe he’ll have his own fit of pique and run as an independent. It’s not like he couldn’t afford it.

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