In terms of the Republican nomination, we are down to two choices. It will either be Ted Cruz or Donald Trump. If you don’t choose, it will be Donald Trump. If you choose Ted Cruz, it still may be Donald Trump.
Of the five candidates left, Ben Carson is tired of having no chance and still running. He will not be ignored at the next debate because he won’t be going. John Kasich has not won a single primary. He could win Ohio and the measly 66 delegates it holds, but really has no path to victory.
Then there’s Marco Rubio. He swung for the fences and injured himself when he hit the fence. After an entertaining week of insulting Trump, he was only able to win Minnesota. This is the one state that chose Mondale in 1984 and elected a conspiracy nut former wrestler as governor. There’s a whole lot of contests before Florida on March 15 and they will have more than the 99 delegates Rubio would get if he ran the table there.
Ted Cruz won Iowa. He won his home state of Texas and two other states last night. He’s not exactly neck and neck with Trump, but he is the only real competition left. He’s the conservative iconoclast who is hated by the GOP establishment. Unfortunately, he’s not the guy who has to one-up the last guy (the wall got 10 feet higher).
This is not an endorsement, but a reality. A menu of 17 candidates was difficult to choose from. With a menu of four, one item will never show up and the other will be cold and distasteful by the time it arrives. The party is very close to skipping the menu altogether and asking the kitchen for a special request. They’re looking for a 49% outcome where Trump gets just under the majority of delegates and all of them defect on a second ballot. Then all hell breaks loose.
I’m pretty sure than the Republicans consider Cruz and Trump to be equally bad. They also don’t seem to be able to face the reality that Rubio’s unelectability will help get Trump to the majority votes he needs for winner take all delegates. At that point, they won’t even have the second ballot to rely on.