By throwing his latest hissy fit, Donald Trump, who had controlled the GOP presidential nomination conversation, lost control over the message to Iowa voters right when candidates are making their closing arguments. That’s foolish both from a PR standpoint and from a strategic standpoint. Based on his monologue, Rush Limbaugh apparently understands Mr. Trump but he doesn’t understand the typical Iowa voter. During Wednesday’s show, Rush said “Everything he’s doing goes against the book. Everything that any analyst or consultant or professional would tell you not to do, Donald Trump is doing it, and he’s leading the pack. This creates its own set of emotions and feelings and thoughts that run from person to person. Now, the political business, if you want to look at it that way, is like any other business. It has its people who are considered the elites in it, and like any business, they hate outsiders. They don’t want outsiders just storming in trying to take over, and much less succeeding at it.”

Rush is right from the standpoint that the GOP consultants and elites don’t want to relinquish control of the nominating process. There’s no disputing that’s part of the establishment’s upset with Mr. Trump. What Rush apparently isn’t taking into consideration is that Trump isn’t beloved by the voters. The voters loved Reagan. They don’t love Trump. This year, the voters are pissed at everyone and everything. They’re pissed because their wages have been stagnant, their jobs aren’t providing a path to financial stability and their freedom is getting crushed by an administration that puts a higher priority on regulating people than it puts on liberating them.

Donald Trump hasn’t met them with a message of shrinking regulations, cutting taxes on small businesses and letting families make most decisions. He’s yapped about making America great again without telling the people what that means. The closest he’s come to explaining his slogan is essentially to tell people to trust him, that he’s done this before. He’ll do it again for the entire nation.

The other component involved in picking a president is the people want to feel comfortable with the thought of him/her in a crisis. Trump created a crisis that’s mostly driven by his ego. He got full of himself and demanded that Megyn Kelly be removed from Fox’s panel of moderators. Anyone who’s watched Roger Ailes’ leadership at Fox knows that wasn’t going to happen. Trump thought he was painting Ailes into a corner. Instead, he painted himself into a no-win situation.

Immediately after confirming that he wouldn’t participate in Thursday night’s debate, Trump announced that he would hold a fundraiser for “veterans and wounded warriors.” Then he hinted that he’d get another cable network to cover it. CNN will cover the event but the damage to Trump’s campaign has already been done.

It’s great that he’s raising money for vets but that isn’t what’s important to Iowa voters. They want to take the full measure of each candidate. The long-standing joke in Iowa and New Hampshire is about 2 neighbors talking about who they like. Here’s how that conversation often goes:

Fred: George, who are you supporting?
George: I don’t know yet. I really like Rubio and Trump but I’ve only seen Trump 4 times and Rubio 5 times. Give me another week and I’ll probably decide.

The latest Quinnipiac Poll shows that 39% of all likely GOP caucusgoers are either undecided or say that they might change their minds. By stomping his feet and throwing another hissy fit, Trump is telling those undecided voters that he isn’t interested in their votes.

Saying that that’s a YUGE strategic mistake is understatement.

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