Donald Trump abruptly dropped out of speaking at CPAC Friday, leaving some to speculate why.
The Trump campaign claims it’s because they’re busy. Others claim it was because he was afraid to take questions.
The truth? Maybe it’s the questions, but more importantly: he did not want to face a hostile audience of young conservatives who are rejecting his message — and then go on to lose the straw poll.
Now, when he loses the CPAC straw poll on Saturday, he can claim it was because he didn’t show. If he showed up and lost, it would be a huge story of conservative rejection.
Trump’s problem? He isn’t popular with young conservatives, and more than half of CPAC attendees are young conservatives. While Trump has won 10-of-15 states, he’s lost the youth vote in a majority of the contests so far. His support leans older, while younger voters favor Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
At CPAC, our staff only saw one student with a Trump hat. His staff probably noticed and told Trump to spend his time elsewhere. Our interviews with students, as well as the Huffington Post’s interviews, demonstrate the anti-Trump attitude.
Red Alert Politics Editor Ron Meyer joined Fox Business to discuss this phenomenon, and what students were saying at the conference:
“You know, people here think he was afraid of the young audience. Half the people here are young conservatives. Young conservatives overwhelmingly do not favor Donald Trump. If you look at the polls, Donald Trump does the worst among millennials than any other candidate.”
“He loses millennials to Hillary — who by the way, isn’t very popular with millennials, look how much she’s losing to Bernie Sanders — he loses millennials to Hillary 70-to-30.
“Here at CPAC, we talked to them, Red Alert Politics talked to a lot of them, they wanted to hear from Donald Trump, but they don’t like Donald Trump. They don’t think he’s reaching their generation. They think he is a politician of the past reaching out only to older voters, not to the next generation. They think the other conservatives left in the race are really the ones speaking to them,”
Young voters see past Trump’s rhetoric and gravitas. They hear his insults and demeaning statements toward women, minorities, and other candidates and are repulsed. While they may be young, they want an adult to be president.
And, young people aren’t afraid to speak their mind. Trump was afraid to confront young conservatives who may have the courage to call him out on his harmful rhetoric and nationalist policies.
They won’t have that chance though, because Trump was too chicken to face them.