In the last few weeks a certain New York liberal's quest for the Republican presidential nomination is sounding less like an F-14 Tomcat piling up enemy kills and more like Jack Benny's Maxwell wheezing to a gentle death while backing out of his driveway.
Where, oh where has the momentum gone?
It doesn't help that Trump and his campaign organization either don't know the rules, or (by some accounts) those who do know are prevented from pursuing a successful strategy either by their candidate's stupidity or because he never actually wanted to win the nomination.
His supporters' triumphalism (Drumpf-alism?) of last month has given way to a new seething anger at the Republican Party -- distinct from the old seething anger at the Republican Party -- over what Trump is telling them is a system rigged to thwart the people's will.
Pointing out to them that Trump never had a majority of the vote before the field narrowed down to two, and that he's still getting the exact same share of the vote now that it has, makes no dent in the tinfoil. They were drawn to Trump by a preconception that the game was rigged, top to bottom, and the events of this phase of the delegate chase is only confirming that dogma.
Republican voters in New York are Trump's current focus, as Ohio was Kasich's (and Kasich hasn't won any other state), but even if he were to win all 95 delegates that would still leave him 400 delegates shy of the winning 1,237. And Ted Cruz's multi-pronged strategy has already ensured that Trump cannot win at all unless he wins on the first ballot.
A month ago Donald Trump was widely considered likely to be the 2016 GOP nominee. Now he's an ineffectual candidate running a hemorrhaging campaign. And some polls are showing him under 50% in New York.
To be honest, I will not be surprised if Ted Cruz arrives at the convention with just enough delegates to win on the first ballot. I don't see him as the kind of man who bets everything on Plan B.