Days of Change

A Fine Mess | March 16, 2016

Marco Rubio suspended his campaign last night, falling below the mathematical possibility of getting the majority of delegates. John Kasich has apparently sold his soul, either to be the “establishment” candidate or a spoiler to keep Donald Trump below 50% of delegates. Then there’s Ted Cruz, who is now in the two-man race he wanted but over 200 delegates behind. So, how did we get here?

It seems pretty clear that the Republican Party was pretty much outmaneuvered much like they’ve been for 4 years with Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress. The only thing that has saved the GOP over the last 7 years is that the Democrats are worse. Donald Trump had a low bar. He only had to be less bad than a Democrat.

My guess is that the GOP were looking at three different plans. The timing of them has to do with how willing they were to get involved and make a difficult decision. Not surprising, they chose inaction.

Plan A: Keep throwing establishment guys at the voters until they pick one. First, it was Jeb, then Rubio and now Kasich. Since Ted Cruz and Donald Trump had about 80% of the delegates for most of the season, this plan meant Trump gets the nomination.

Plan B: Get behind Ted Cruz. If Rubio and Kasich were forced out by their donors or the GOP two weeks ago, this would have been a viable option. As it is, Kasich is still acting like he won something, even though he literally has no path to the nomination left. As of today, this plan has a low chance of Cruz beating Trump and proves just how much the GOP hates Cruz.

Plan C: Chaos. Kasich pretends he’s as conservative as he was a decade ago and tries to draw off the anti-Trump vote Cruz can’t get. This plan is worthless in winner-take-all states and would, at best, result in a brokered convention where Trump has just under the majority of delegates needed to win a first ballot. Mostly, this will take Cruz out of the running, because the GOP hates Cruz that much.

Chaos worked in 2012 because there was no single Tea Party candidate and Romney was the only establishment candidate. This time, the anti-establishment crowd rallied early, and in my opinion, for the wrong guy. With 35% of the Republican vote, (about 38% tonight) Trump has the best chance of losing to Hillary Clinton. That would also suit the establishment just fine.

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1 Comment

  1. Trump has the best chance of losing to Hillary Clinton.

    Also the best–and I think, only
    — chance of defeating her.

    Comment by Mary — March 17, 2016 @ 5:09 am


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