South Carolina has a solid track record of picking the GOP presidential nominee. But if one conservative group has any say in it, the nation’s first Southern primary won’t be a cakewalk for Donald Trump.
According to the Post and Courier, a last minute robocall released by pro-Ted Cruz forces paints the New York real estate titan as a carpetbagger who does not understand their way of life. Trump currently boasts a sizeable lead in nearly every poll and is expected to trounce his opponents in the Palmetto State primary on Saturday, but candidates like Cruz can still hope to narrow the gap.
Courageous Conservative Political Action Committee released a pre-recorded message that all but accuses Trump of attempting to burn through Dixie like General William Tecumseh Sherman. Alluding to the 2015 fight that brought down the Confederate flag, the caller says, “People like Donald Trump are always butting their noses into other people’s business.”
“People like Trump,” of course meaning people with “New York values” who won’t fight for the brand social conservatism one might find in places like Rock Hill or Bethune. The downing of the Confederate flag remains a point of tension for many who believe it embodies their heritage and who reject the notion that it has racial implications.
“Trump talks about our flag like it’s a social disease,” the voice goes on to say.
Pollsters at fivethirtyeight.com give Trump a 78 percent chance of winning. Cruz comes in at a measly 10 percent and—after winning the Iowa caucus—this may be his last opportunity to prove that his candidacy is viable. Despite his recent rise in national polling, the Texas senator appears to be locked in a race for second with at least five in other candidates in South Carolina, particularly Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
The pro-Cruz PAC wants South Carolinians to know that Trump isn’t on their side and that he agreed with removing the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds.
“Put it in a museum, let it go,” the announcer says, parroting Trump.
Bu the truth is there may not be much that can stop Trump at this point. The pro-Cruz robocall feels like a Hail Mary pass in the fourth quarter, on a fourth down with four seconds left on the clock.