Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich are all losers. Ted Cruz, winning just one state, is still one - just a little bit less though. It's exactly why none of them will become the GOP nominee and Donald Trump will be. After a surprising loss in Iowa by the billionaire businessman and real estate mogul, headlines like "Donald Trump Becomes the Biggest Iowa Loser", "Donald Trump, 2016's first loser," and lastly the most petty and trivial of them all - "Dead Clown Walking", quickly ensued. Many pundits, desperately grasping for relevance, pronounced the loss 'the end of the Donald!".
Needless to say, they were dead wrong. Because three strong victories and 81 delegates later, the Donald is still standing and winning - big time.
Since the beginning of his candidacy, Donald Trump has drawn the ire of both the media elite and power hungry political class. So unlike Marco Rubio, after placing a mediocre third place finish in Iowa, he didn't have the opportunity to ruthlessly spin his failure as "the moment they told us would never happen" as he so eloquently put it.
He had to accept his loss.
After Trump's resounding victory in New Hampshire, once again, the spin ensued. With Ted Cruz saying, "A conservative, we were told, could not do well in the state of New Hampshire." Come on guys, let's be honest. If placing a distant third is "well", we should all be concerned about the Senator's self-esteem and more so, his confidence in his own candidacy.
However, these comments were certainly not the biggest flub of the night.
After a personally satisfying performance in Iowa, Team Rubio leaked their '3-2-1' strategy, which required their already achieved third place finish in the state, a hopeful second place finish in New Hampshire, and an outright victory in South Carolina. However, when the polls closed, the final results hit Rubio like a bus. He didn't place in second but found himself in a devestating 5th place behind the likes of John Kasich and Jeb Bush.
You can't spin your way out of fifth place. You have to own it. Thankfully, for the sake of my sanity, he did. Shortly after his loss. Rubio conceded that the finish was a disappointment, saying
"I know many of you are disappointed with tonight. I'm disappointed with tonight. Our disappointment is not on you, it's on me. I did not do well on Saturday night. That will never happen again."
But then came South Carolina.
Aided by conservative powerhouses Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, and Trey Gowdy, Rubio was pressured to outperform expectations. Backed by the most popular politicians across the Palmetto State, in any conventional election year, Rubio would have won South Carolina.
However, 2016 isn't a conventional election year. It's the year of Donald J. Trump.
Without any wins under his belt. Rubio was still losing and losing badly at that. But even after his second place finish in the first primary in the south, finishing 10 points behind, he remained optimistic and probably rightfully so. Even though he hadn't clinched a win, he had changed the narrative.
However, Cruz was becoming increasingly desperate. After another close but still mediocre (based on prior expectations) third place finish, he entered into the spin zone once more, telling a room full of supporters that "once again, we have made history."
But, hold up...
Winning third place isn't "making history". It's actually quite depressing.
Losers don't win the presidency. They go home.
Donald Trump won't be stopped by attack ads, op-eds, or petty, vindictive headlines. He'll only start losing when the others start winning and that requires help from the voters. It requires giving them what they want and what they're looking for.
Because if they don't, Donald Trump will undoubtedly be the GOP nominee and to no one's fault other than the silly politicians who had the audacity to think they become President chasing after participation awards rather than an actual victory.
It's just that simple.