O’Connor: Republican Party’s success depends on unification for Donald Trump

Despite what the media tells us, the support behind Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump isn’t coming apart at the seams. Millions of Americans have come out of the woodwork to support the bombastic businessman and the candidate who shocked the world even drew an enthusiastic audience in Syracuse this weekend.

The crowd of more than 5,000 people filled the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center, creating a sea of red, white and blue. The afternoon showcased how fanatical Trump supporters are as they anxiously tried to push their way past security to get a better glimpse of the candidate who is a man of the people and is adored for that.

Trump’s recent loss of momentum among voters shouldn’t be all that scary for his supporters, but that doesn’t mean borderline Trump-backers should stay home from the state primary on Tuesday. Yes, Trump’s decision to run was once just a talk show joke. But now the reality has set in and conservative New Yorkers need to get out and vote at their local polling center to help secure Trump’s place as the most realistic choice for the GOP nomination.

The states ahead will surely prove to be vital for the campaign and it’s probable that more winning will come down the pike. According to polls, Trump is headed for a series of wins in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland — each of which Real Clear Politics shows him leading. Trump still has plenty of breathing room, but that will only hold if the voters follow through with what the polls predict.

Despite winning 20 states and having 755 delegates in hand, Trump has been ruled out by political media from attaining the magical number of 1,237 needed to secure the nomination. In response to the rumblings that the GOP might steal the nomination if he lacks delegates, Trump bluntly said at Saturday’s rally in Syracuse, “The system is rigged. It’s a bad system. It’s a dirty system.”

To not fall victim to the rigged system, it’s necessary that voters help Trump win by a large margin to show party strength against Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. And while receiving 1,237 delegates may be a stretch, many have also unreasonably gone so far as to say that the “Trump train” has come screeching to a stop due to structural problems. But that accusation couldn’t be more wrong. Even if he has lost the last five primary contests due to a lackluster team, it hasn’t stopped him from winning important states like New Hampshire and South Carolina.

No matter what the media reports, it’s clear that the Trump movement is far from dead judging from the size of the crowds reported at his rallies. The campaign has seen up to 30,000 attendees at a singular rally and has steadily garnered thousands. These numbers are remarkable because there was no sporting event, fair or concert going on at each venue: The appeal was only to hear a man talk about politics.

As Trump said at his Syracuse rally, “It’s a movement like they’ve never seen before. It’s a movement that maybe isn’t going to ever happen again. And the only way you stop the movement is if we don’t do a good job on Tuesday.”

These loyal supporters come out in droves to see Trump go through the motions because his message that the United States is falling apart resonates with many Americans. They’re angry with the establishment and feel that the country has been ripped off too many times, a sentiment that has allowed Trump to be extremely vocal with his opinions.

While the trip to Syracuse may have brought out some onlookers strictly for entertainment purposes, it’s crucial that Trump’s base continues to be strengthened and expanded. Conservatives who are on the fence about which candidate to vote for should realize that Trump is the Republican Party’s most logical path to the general election.

And in order to go full steam ahead for Trump, it will take unceasing reinforcement and active political involvement on Tuesday from voters.

Kyle O’Connor is a sophomore sport management major and political science minor. His column appears weekly. He can be reached at


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