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Lachlan Markay Analyzes GOP Primary and What to Expect Going Forward

• December 23, 2015 8:49 am

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Washington Free Beacon reporter Lachlan Markay appeared Tuesday on Fox Business to discuss the 2016 Republican presidential primary and how GOP frontrunner Donald Trump will fare in the early voting states next year.

Fox Business host Lou Dobbs asked Markay how important a recent poll is that shows Trump leading the rest of the primary field by a wide margin, and Markay expressed skepticism about the real estate mogul's ability to gain more electoral support than he already has.

"I've been saying for weeks or even months right here that I think Trump's ceiling of support is a lot lower than most people think. His floor of support is high, but I don't think you're going to see him get above 40% nationally in really any poll of Republicans, certainly not in any poll when it comes to a general election. He really has to start getting worried about the three early states because if Ted Cruz takes Iowa, he's in real trouble," Markay said.

Dobbs then downplayed the historical importance of the Iowa caucus to a primary's outcome, to which Markay replied, "I don't think it's Iowa on its own necessarily, but I think you have to take New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina as one. New Hampshire, I think  you're looking at probably a [Chris] Christie or [Marco] Rubio victory there. South Carolina, Cruz has been very active in organizing there, has a really strong ground game."

Markay reemphasized that if Trump gets "locked out of the first three states," he may find himself in "serious trouble."

The conversation then turned to Trump's use of the word "schlonged" on Monday night to bash Hillary Clinton's Democratic primary loss to then-Sen. Barack Obama during the 2008 election.

Trump received widespread criticism for his verb choice, which some have cited as vulgar and inappropriate. The GOP frontrunner has defended himself, saying the term simply meant that Clinton was "beaten badly" in her last presidential bid.

When asked if he was offended by Trump's comment, Markay said, "Hey, I was raised on Yiddish, so this is just sort of part of my vocabulary. But I do think it's probably the best thing that could have happened to … Donald Trump today in terms of the media reaction and just lots of attention being focused on things that he's saying. "

Dobbs then asked whether Trump intentionally used the term "schlonged" or if it was a spontaneous accident.

"I don't think it's an accident, but I do think … this strategy that he has of playing up sort of the outrage that gets his fans riled up, that's really all it's good for is getting his fans riled up. But it's not expanding his base of support and that gets back to my point about his ceiling of support. He really needs to bring that up, and he's not going to do that by making these sorts of comments," Markay said in response.

Markay appeared on Fox Business along with columnist and Fox contributor Jedediah Bila.