The Washington Free Beacon’s Lachlan Markay appeared on Lou Dobbs Tuesday to discuss Donald Trump’s ground game in Iowa as well as his threat to skip Thursday’s Fox News Republican debate.
Markay said Trump’s excuse for skipping the debate probably would not hurt him, but that it was unnecessary.
"I thought it was interesting that … he went back to this feud that he had had towards the beginning with Megyn Kelly. I think if he thinks he doesn’t need to do this debate, he should say he doesn’t need to do it. Certainly nothing he’s said so far has hurt him," Markay said.
Markay said that Trump probably does not need the debate to boost his poll numbers, but that it was unbecoming of him to bring up his history with Kelly as an excuse to skip it.
"But … maybe he thinks he's just going to coast it out through New Hampshire. All the numbers are looking good for him, he doesn't need the debate," Markay said. "I think to revive this feud with Fox is just pointless and … is not going to help him. I don't think it will hurt him too much, but … it’s just unbecoming of a presidential candidate."
Markay also said that while Trump’s poll numbers are high, he was unsure of whether Trump had the ground game to pull off a win.
"What it really comes down to is the first two primaries. … Obviously, he's looking good in both of them, so … he doesn't see any reason to sort of upset the applecart. But, … when you start getting into the nitty-gritty of retail-style politics, …. you look at the structure of the Iowa caucuses for instance, and it requires a pretty tremendous ground game that no one is really sure if Donald Trump has at this point," Markay said.
Markay then discussed the delegate recruiting process and emphasized that vote percentage was not an absolute measure of a win.
"The delegate recruiting process is very rigorous, it’s a very convoluted process. … We actually saw Ron Paul get three times as many delegates as Mitt Romney, despite actually winning less of the popular vote [in Iowa]. So he'll get the vote of confidence if he comes out on top in terms of a vote percentage, but that’s not the whole thing," Markay said.