Opinion writer

Donald Trump, right, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)

With each batch of presidential contests, the MSM’s storyline that Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee takes another hit. After winning three straight (New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina), he won seven of 11 on Super Tuesday, and two of five over the weekend. In short, just looking at states, his percentage went from 100 percent to 64 percent to 40 percent. The latest Monmouth University poll from Michigan shows, “In interviews conducted Thursday and Friday, Trump held a solid lead with 39% support compared to 22% for Cruz, 17% for Kasich, and 14% for Rubio. The race was much tighter in Saturday and Sunday interviews at 32% for Trump, 26% for Kasich, 25% for Cruz, and 12% for Rubio.” Legitimate front-runners usually build support as voters get to know them. With Trump, familiarity is breeding contempt and losing him votes.

Not until the Feb. 25 debate before Super Tuesday did Trump get consistently attacked by both Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). This weekend’s performance, the worst to date for Trump (he won two contests narrowly and lost three by big margins), followed another onslaught at the Thursday debate. Mitt Romney spoke out forcefully against Trump for the first time last week. Meanwhile, the #NeverTrump movement has been gaining air cover. Liz Mair’s Make America Awesome, the Our Principles PAC and Rubio’s super PAC are just hitting their strides. (Our Principles did not air its first Trump TV ads on Trump University and hiring immigrants in Florida and other key states until recently.)

Beginning with the Feb. 25 debate, the MSM awoke and began exploring Trump’s record. There is now a steady diet of negative articles regarding his alleged Mob connections, Trump University, his hiring practices and his business record. The coverage has gone from reverential or placid to negative, as the image of Trump as the guy out to stiff the working man and woman emerges. Whether it is ripped off students or employees thrown out of work when he went bankrupt or taking foreign workers over Americans, the sort of voters he attracts at rallies (e.g., lower educated, lower income) have been the victims again and again. Trump? He just gets richer. Given every advantage one could hope for, including a multimillion-dollar inheritance, Trump still had to walk all over little guys to keep afloat. (Remember, if had put his inheritance in a safe investment instead of playing real-estate tycoon, he would be richer — and there would not be scores of victims of his alleged cons.)

The day after that debate the Christian Post, the nation’s most widely read Christian newspaper, for the first time in its existence took a position on a specific candidate in a scathing editorial, which read in part:

While God, in His wondrous creativity, has drawn people to Himself through the saving grace of Jesus Christ in many different ways, there are certain non-negotiable actions needed to become a Christian: One must repent of their sins and follow Christ as Lord and Savior. Trump doesn’t talk this way, even when urged to.

Further, his words and actions do not demonstrate the “fruit of the spirit.”

Trump is a misogynist and philanderer. He demeans women and minorities. His preferred forms of communication are insults, obscenities and untruths. While Christians have been guilty of all of these, we, unlike Trump, acknowledge our sins, ask for forgiveness and seek restitution with the aid of the Holy Spirit and our community of believers.

On Sunday, Trump’s apparent reluctance to disavow David Duke until late in the day was extremely distasteful. The Ku Klux Klan is an evil, unholy movement representing the worst of America. Anyone who will not immediately denounce their support is unfit to be president.

That is strong stuff, although the MSM barely noticed a major precedent had been broken in the Christian media. (Imagine if the New York Times editorial board declared Hillary Clinton unfit for president and said that no one should vote for her in the primaries or general election.)

Yes, he is still the leader. Yes, he still gets a disproportionate share of free media. Nevertheless, The #NeverTrump forces have made significant strides in just the past week or so. A week before the winner-take-all states begin, Trump is going in reverse. What the MSM tends to forget (or overlook) is that while they may know Trump’s entire story, most of America is learning about the real Trump for the first time — when there is plenty of time for his opponents to catch up and pass him.