Polling is not out to tell us if Paul Nehlen will unseat Paul Ryan in this coming Tuesday’s primary, but some conservative media outlets are rooting for an upset. And Donald Trump is saying he is “not yet ready” to endorse the man who begrudgingly endorsed him after Trump’s victory in the GOP primary for the White House.
But is Ryan in trouble and should Trump continue his quiet feud with the highest elected Republican in the land?
We can start with Trump. He may be wise at choosing his friends but he seems rather cavalier about choosing his enemies. It’s one thing to have policy differences but Mr Trump seems too willing to launch into personal battles against any and all comers…..and not to be too magnanimous even when he beats his opponents.
In the rough and tumble world of high finance and real estate one can understand how and why Trump acts as he does. Making friends is really for losers and it really is all about the art of the deal. I have worked in sales and it seems brutal. But to win at politics one needs allies and friends, and even frememies, people who may disagree with you and try to outmanuever you but who at least somewhat like you and don’t feel emboldened to openly oppose you.
Trump keeps egging people like Paul Ryan on and they keep working with the Press behind the scenes to undermine him. The leaked stories about an intervention and that the GOP thinks Trump might pull out of the race are all arrows in their quiver. Deliberately antagonizing Paul Ryan and dismissing what good some might feel he has done might feel like sweet revenge but it ensures that Trump will always have a two front war.
But does Paul Ryan have a chance at losing to the upstart?
Polling just isn’t available. If Ryan loses and Trump is seen as being part of that then many will have more reasons to hate Trump. If he wins, as it seems he must, then he comes out with a fresh election win and a recent memory of how Trump tried to take him down and failed. Either way, the refusal to endorse has done Trump no good in those circles, though one can see his support base getting angry if Trump did endorse Ryan.
It is difficult to predict what will happen since we lack good intelligence on the election right now. But a groundswell of support for Mr Nehlen against Mr Ryan child be going undetected by the pollsters. So a Ryan loss is not outside the realm of possibilities. One could then see Ryan being activated against Trump more openly and the attacks from Trump’s rear and flanks distracting him from battling Clinton.
With the election now so close, this really could undermine Trump’s chances of success, though I would not count him out.