It was not supposed to go down this way. How could a dominant alpha-male so strong and popular that he felt he could thumb his nose at the powerful lose Iowa? What will happen to Donald Trump now that his air of invincibility ranks him alongside MFC champion Rhonda Rousey’s stunning defeat in the Octagon? Trump could still win in New Hampshire, but if he does it will be extremely close.
The polls in Iowa, including the final one by respected Iowa pollster Ann Selzer, projected a Trump win. If those polls were wrong are the New Hampshire polls showing Trump with a big lead bogus too? It seems that they may highly overstate his voter traction, and fail to consider that many of his supporters may never get themselves to the polls. With a majority of his supporters at a level of high school education and their first time in the voting process, Trump must work harder than all other camps to ensure his New Hampshire turnout.
New Hampshire voters are known to take their voting process very seriously. Sure, Pat Buchanan had his biggest win in New Hampshire -- which helps Trump. But, there are also a high amount of undeclared voters who can vote for either party. This could even mean many Democrats who despise Donald Trump could vote against him in protest
Trump must fix the following pain points and fast:
First, he needs to swell his ground organization with more talent and soldiers than the ratio he had in Iowa in order to connect, and get voters to the polls.
Two, negative ads hurt Trump in Iowa, which targeted his support of eminent domain. Rubio is about to take it to Trump hard this week.
The Koch brothers and others may pile on, too, because like Lee Atwater (a Sun Tzu devote) you must strike the enemy at a time of weakness.
Trump needs to spend more on the air than the capital-efficient leader has done to date to counter balance the significant hits coming.
Third, he needs to keep himself in check and align his communication to be more presidential.
Presidential candidates do not take to Twitter and complain about a lack of credit for funding their campaign.
He went more presidential and calmed the conflict circus before the debate controversy, but destroyed that position with his debate related actions and exit. It said to voters who had not made up their mind that he was too fragile and not the Alpha he positioned himself to be.
Is this the man to take on ISIS if he cannot stare down Megan Kelly? His failure to show for the Fox debate was a deciding factor in his loss.
Fourth, he must win in the state. Trump is a master brander. The heart of any brand associates a message with it so often and consistently that consumers trust the brand.
Trump now has a congruency problem with his brand. Since brands are about trust, and when the trust in the premise of the brand is undermined consumers look elsewhere.
The Trump brand was crushed by his loss in Iowa because the belief in him as a winner became materially shaken.
If he doesn’t follow the steps outlined and loses New Hampshire, the Trump brand associated with winning will lose far too much trust in brand Trump for the campaign to result in a nomination.
Eric Schiffer is a best-selling author, and a successful entrepreneur. He has founded two companies listed on Inc. Magazine's 500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies, and serves as a trusted advisor to multiple Fortune 500 CEOs, foreign business leaders, and Forbes 400 billionaires. Follow Eric on Twitter @ericschiffer.