Since Donald Trump came up empty in his quest for delegates at the Republican state assembly in Colorado Springs nearly two weeks ago, his angry supporters have responded to Trump’s own claims of a “rigged” nomination process by lashing out at Republican National Committee delegates that they believe won’t support Trump at the party’s convention — including House.
The mild-mannered chairman estimates he’s gotten between 4,000 and 5,000 calls on his cell phone. Many, he says, have ended with productive conversations. He’s referred the more threatening, violent calls to police. His cell phone is still buzzing this week, as he attends the RNC quarterly meetings in Florida, and he’s not the only one.
In hotel hallways and across dinner tables, many party leaders attending this week’s meetings shared similar stories. One party chair says a Trump supporter recently got in his face and promised “bloodshed” if he didn’t win the GOP nomination. An Indiana delegate who criticized Trump received a note warning against “traditional burial” that ended with, “We are watching you.”
The threats come months ahead of a possible contested convention, where Trump is all-but certain to enter with a plurality of delegates bound to him on the first ballot, but he could lose support on subsequent ballots as rules will allow delegates to vote however they choose. And although the harassers are typically anonymous, many party leaders on the receiving end of these threats hold Trump himself at least partly responsible, viewing the intimidation efforts as a natural and obvious outgrowth of the candidate’s incendiary rhetoric.
Earlier I reported on this happening in Colorado, but now it seems to be spreading.
That certainly does not bode well for the Republican party, but it can be extremely helpful to the Democrats in the general if the GOP remains a house divided.
And once again this is why it is so important for the Democrats to get their ducks all in a row so that they can show unity in response to a party in the political equivalent of free fall.