By now all of you are likely sick of my CPAC 2018 posts so you will be pleased to hear that other than a guest post (that needs integration of the graphics and the text) this post will close out my coverage of CPAC 2018.

My primary goal at CPAC was to answer some questions I had about the conservative movement and its relationship with the Trump administration after year 1. Here is what I found:

CPAC is Donald Trump’s event and will remain so as long as he is President and chooses it to be so:


The biggest difference between CPAC 2018 and CPAC 2017 was the fact that it was clearly a Donald Trump crowd that attended. Last year there were plenty of establishment types supporting different candidates and agendas and it wasn’t hard to find folks who didn’t care for Trump among the attendees. This year was very different, except in media the folks who did not support this president were few and far between or for the most part silent. This was a Trump crowd and as long as the president keeps deciding to show up it will remain primarily a Trump crowd and I suspect CPAC will act accordingly in terms of how it carries itself.

Ted Cruz has replaced the Paul Family as the other big presence at CPAC:

Dana at CPAC

When I first came to CPAC it and the straw polls in it were dominated by the Ron Paul (later Rand Paul) folks who generally came en mass to vote for their hero. With Donald Trump in office, Ron Paul now retired and any Paul for President Campaigns on hold for at least a decade there is no sign that the Paul organization is trying to get young people there. However I seemed to constantly run into Ted Cruz folks. This is not a surprise as Senator Cruz remains one of the most popular speakers at the event but also because while President Trump full fury was directed at Senator Cruz during the campaign he has with a few notable exceptions governed to the priorities of the Ted Cruz Crowd. In fact one might even say President Trump has made the Ted Cruz base his base and while I’m sure the Senator and his supporters (full disclosure like myself) would be delighted to see a president Ted Cruz, as long as he is moving our priorities forward they will stick with him.

The single biggest star for Trump are the Tax Cuts:

Before the storm CPAC

While I got a lot of assorted answers on what the folks liked best about Donald Trump the overwhelmingly most popular things about him was the tax bill and the economy. The strong Trump economy which is in evidence is and remains his single biggest selling point among the CPAC activists with one exception from a particular sub group…

Evangelicals and Pro-Lifers are with him all the way:

Houston Young GOP

…and that the Pro-Life voters of which I am one of. Pro-life voters are uniformly ecstatic about Donald Trump and the attention his administration has given to our cause. The religious people I talked to are willing to forget Trump’s past as they would any convert who has “seen the light” so to speak. As for the failure to defund planned Parenthood and repeal Obamacare those I questioned on the subject lay the blame squarely at the feet of the GOP in general and Collins, McCain and Murkowski in particular in fact this keeps with a particular pattern…

The GOP not Trump is taking the hit for any failures:

Stacy & Me CPAC

It’s very clear that when it comes to the blame game the CPAC crowd gives Trump very little of it for the various legislative failures. The GOP get the lions share of this and I suspect this might be a real driver during the midterms in decreasing turnout for the party in an election that they need to win there is one exception to this.

The #1 complaint about Donald Trump are the Tweets (particularly in conservative media):

Radio Row

This is a subject where I depart from the majority of both CPAC attendees and particularly my fellows in conservative media. While I and several Trump partisans think the President’s Tweets are an invaluable tool to bypass the media to get his message out (making them react instead of him reacting to them) most of those I talked to dreaded his tweets. It was considered not only a distraction from his agenda but I got a real sense that supporters in conservative media dreaded him saying something untoward that they might be obligated to defend or discount.

The Democrats should have made a DACA Deal while they could:

Arlington 1:30 AM CPAC

I asked people about a DACA deal for the wall. While there was a significant amount of folks who disagreed the clear majority of attendees were more than willing to swap DACA for a wall. Once the president speech was given saying DACA was dead, folks concluded that they could get a wall without DACA and that opinion seemed to harden. The wall remains a sine non qua for the Trump folks and if they get it I suspect it would cover a multitude of sins and it seems to me the President would like to do something for the DACA crowd but it’s clearly the opinion of the crew that they don’t need to give an inch.

The CPAC crowd is more optimistic about the midterms that the party as a whole:

Poker anyone?

A lot has happened in the intervening two months but at the time of CPAC with the tax cuts starting to kick in the crowd there were feeling pretty good about the midterms. While the President warned about complacency it seems that warning wasn’t enough to get the optimism out of them but if the GOP wants to overcome the energized Democrats they will need more than a vague confidence of victory.

The CPAC crowd wants Trump to continue being Trump:

Superbowl ring at CPAC

The final question I asked all there was this: How can President Trump help the GOP win in the midterms, the answer was almost unanimous: Keep doing what you’re doing. Trump votes like the Trump policies and as long as the economy keeps booming and jobs and wages continue to rise there will be voters who will think twice before turning to the party promising to raise their taxes.

The real question is this: Are the Trump voters energized enough to overcome both energized Democrats anxious to vote and Democrat machines that now know where they need to steal said votes?  The answer alas wasn’t at CPAC, it’s in the individual districts and I think the it’s going to come down to the warning that the President gave about complacency.  Fortunately for the GOP the Democrats are making it very hard to pretend that there are no consequences for defeat.

The second question is this, If the Trump votes aren’t energized enough to hold the house, who will get the blame? The media and the establishment will certainly blame Trump but who would the CPAC activist blame?  The answer to that question will determine what CPAC 2019 looks like.

DaTechGuy at CPAC 2018 The story (blogged) so far:

Wednesday April 11th

CPAC 2018  The Data Points and My Conclusions

Tuesday April 10th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Pastor Greg Young

Saturday April 7th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Robert Stacy McCain

Friday April 6th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Fingers Malloy and April Gregory
Voices of CPAC 2018 (abbreviated) Ed Morrissey of Hotair

Thursday April 5th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Vito and Vito of the Vito and Vito Show
Voices of CPAC 2018 Lee Stranahan

Wednesday April 4th
Voices of CPAC 2018 William Hoge of Hogewash
Voices at CPAC 2018 Byron York of the Washington Examiner

Tuesday April 3rd

Voices of CPAC 2018 Erik Svane of ¡No Pasarán!
Voices of CPAC 2018 Gregory Wrighforce Inconvenient Facts

Monday April 2nd
Voices of CPAC 2018 Becky Noble of Politichicks
Voices of CPAC 2018 Andrew Mangioni of the Association of Mature American Citizens

Sunday April 1st
Voices of CPAC 2018 Dave Weigel of the Washington Post
Voices of CPAC 2018 Walking Interview James O’Keefe

Saturday March 31st

Voices of CPAC 2018: Michael from Scotland.
Voices of CPAC 2018 Gina Roberts Log Cabin Republicans San Diego

Friday March 30th

Voices of CPAC 2018 The Great Evan Sayet
Voices of CPAC 2018 MaryAnn after President Trump’s Speech

Thursday March 29th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Kathleen Wepner of Patriot Guardians
Voices of CPAC 2018 William Nardy of Rousa News PLUS the Lone Conservative Kassy Dylan

Wednesday March 28th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Peter from Reno
Voices of CPAC 2018 Tyler from Florida Post Trump Speech

Tuesday March 27th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Ricard from NY post Trump speech
3 Clips of President Trump at CPAC 2018 plus Rachel from VA again

Monday March 26

Voices of CPAC 2018 Jeff Hulbert of Patriot Picket
Voices of CPAC 2018 Adam from NY of the Young Republicans

Sunday March 25

Voices of CPAC 2018 Betina Viviano of the Media group America’s Voice
Voices of CPAC 2018 Susanne Monk of Trump Talk

Saturday March 24th

Voices from CPAC 2018: Tyler

Friday March 23rd

Voices of CPAC 2018 Debra (Nice Deb) Heine

Thursday March 22nd

Voices of CPAC 2018 Traci Belmonte

Wednesday March 21st

Voices of CPAC 2018 Evan of the College Republicans

Tuesday March 20th

Voices from CPAC 2018 Chris from EWTN

Monday March 19th

Voices at CPAC Heather of Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty

Saturday March 17th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Seton Motley of Less Government

Friday March 16th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Leo from MA

Thursday March 15th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Yvonne from Illinois

Wednesday March 14

Voices of CPAC 2018 Kurt Schlichter

Tuesday March 13th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Tony (Don’t call him Anthony) Katz

Monday March 12th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Elizabeth of the Mt. Holyoke College Republicans (Yes you read that right)

Sunday March 11th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Grizzly Joe

Voices of CPAC 2018 Rachel from Virginia

Saturday March 10th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Connor Wolf of Inside Sources

Friday March 9th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Chase from the Houston Young Republicans

Thursday March 8th

Voices at CPAC 2018 Chris from NY Longtime Prolife activist

Saturday March 10th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Connor Wolf of Inside Sources

Friday March 9th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Chase from the Houston Young Republicans

Thursday March 8th

Voices at CPAC 2018 Chris from NY Longtime Prolife activist

Wednesday March 7th

Voices at CPAC 2018 Michael from Liberty University

Tuesday March 6th

Voices at CPAC 2018 Sarah Rumpf

Monday March 5th

Voices from CPAC 2018 Doreen from Michigan
Voices of CPAC 2018 Susan from New Mexico

Sunday March 4th
Voices of CPAC 2018 Myra Adams

Friday March 2nd

Voices of CPAC 2018 John Hawkins and Sierra Marlee

CPAC 2018: Two Men who made a Difference For Me

Wednesday Feb 20

Voices at CPAC 2018 Dylan and Watson

Voices at CPAC 2018 Kira Innis (Two Angles)

Monday Feb 26th

Voices of CPAC 2018 Greg Penglis of WEBY 1330 Radio

Sunday Feb 25th

CPAC 2018 Dutch Kitchen Cannoli Sicilian from Brooklyn Approved

Saturday Feb 24th

CPAC 2018 / Don’t give a VUK Meet the Voter the Media Narrative says Does Exist

Friday Feb 23rd

Voices at CPAC 2018 Senator Ted Cruz Answers Two Question for DaTechGuy

Thurs Feb 22nd

We Interrupt CPAC 2018 for CNN and their Gun Control Galaxy Quest Moment
Voices of CPAC 2018: Ron from PA

Wed Feb. 21st

Voices at CPAC 2018 Vicki from Minnesota

Voices at (or near) #cpac2018 Lea from National Association of Developmental Educators We talk Students and Math

DaTechGuy at CPAC 2018 The Calm Before the Storm and What I’ll be Asking

If you don’t want to wait or my blog posts to see my interviews my youtube channel is here.

Full CPAC 2017 list (for those who feel nostalgic) is here

A reminder I have copies of my Book Hail Mary the perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer available at CPAC with me, price $7 and I will happily sign them for you.

Or you can just order it on Amazon

If you don’t want to wait or my blog posts to see my interviews my youtube channel is here.

Full CPAC 2017 list (for those who feel nostalgic) is here

A reminder I have copies of my Book Hail Mary the perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer available at CPAC with me, price $7 and I will happily sign them for you.

Or you can just order it on Amazon