Well, I’ve had too many beers, tonight, to adequately do this justice. But, I thought I’d jot a note about what happened last night. ….. at least from my perspective.
For Trump, Tuesday kinda went as it was suppose to. There were no big surprises. There were a couple of mild ones. Last polls I could see had Cruz winning Arkansas, but, Trump won that one. Cruz returned the favor in Oklahoma. Little Marco made it closer in Virginia than it was suppose to be, and Kasich made it closer in Mass than it was suppose to be. All in all, it was a solid for Trump, with just a little slippage. He did, pretty much, as well as he was expected to do. I’ve seen some pundits call it for Trump. I’ve seen others say that a “brokered convention” is the only other way. …….. They’re both laughable.
Ben Carson, for all intent and purposes has dropped out after last night stating that he doesn’t “see any way forward”. It’s about a month late, but, at least reality set in for Ben. He fell flat last night, as everyone knew he would. Oddly, he didn’t withdraw.
But, this brings me to the “winner” of last night, Ted Cruz. Not that he won more delegates than Trump, he didn’t. But, he delivered better than expected. It wasn’t just his wins in Texas (was expected), OK, and Alaska, but, it was his performance in the other states. The showing puts him as the only viable Trump alternative. He smoked Rubio in states where Rubio was suppose to finish second. Rubio’s only victory came from Minnesota.
Now, I realize some people may believe I’m jumping the gun a bit. After all, some big gems, Ohio and Florida, are still in the coming, and those are the home states of Kasich and Rubio, respectively. And, they are winner take all states. Let’s examine this ……
Yes, if Trump happened to lose Ohio and Florida (he’s polling ahead in both), then we’d likely have a brokered convention. For those who don’t know, by the rules of the Repub party, the nominee must have a majority of delegates. Having more than anyone else doesn’t win the nomination. It must be a majority. And, no, this isn’t a rule change, this is something that was known by all candidates prior to their entering the race.
But, as it stands, right now, the odds of Trump losing both states are next to nil. Indeed, the odds of Trump losing both are less than they were two days ago. Why? Because Rubio and Kasich got their a$$es handed to them last night. Both didn’t just fail to meet expectations, the they failed miserably. Sure, Rubio won Minnesota …… I can’t explain that one. The state which gave us Hubert Humphries and Jesse “the body” Ventura went Rubio …. I expected Trump. But, it was Rubio’s 3rd place finishes which smoked him. Places where they thought Rubio could possibly win, he placed 3rd. At the start of the night, he was essentially tied with Cruz on the delegate count and the popular vote. This morning, he woke up to having a yawning gap between him and the second place runner, and an almost insurmountable gap between him and the top delegate/vote getter, Donald Trump.
I read many people calling for Cruz to get out of the race (prior to last night) for the good of the party/country. Oddly, they stated Cruz couldn’t beat Trump and that Rubio (and in one occasion) or Kasich was the “only way” Trump could lose. Well, Cruz didn’t just win his home state, he won more than anyone else, other than people named Donald Trump. More than that, he took second more than he was suppose to.
The Brokered Convention
This brings me to the notion of a brokered convention in which by some scenarios, an establishment candidate still can win the Repub nomination. …….
Well, technically, yes, that can happen. But, it won’t happen. There are several scenarios which can still play out in terms of what is going to happen next in the nomination process. No one has a crystal ball, but, we can all see things for what they are. …….. As it stands, right now, with the same candidates remaining in for the duration of the process, Trump would have a very hard time getting a majority of the delegates. But, he would get more than anyone else. Cruz would have a distant second most. A Rubio or Kasich would have an even more distant 3rd and/or 4th. Rubio and Kasich, combined, don’t have near the delegates Cruz has, much less Trumps.
Now, let’s imagine it remains like this throughout the primaries, which is a distinct possibility (more on that in a second). Are we to believe the Repubs would forego both the 1st and 2nd place finishers to nominate someone else? Yes, it is technically possible, after all, the Republican party isn’t a government agency (by law), it’s a “club”, if you will. And clubs get to make their own rules. But, let’s pretend they would do this. ……… all hell would break lose! This would mean that they would tell the world that they don’t represent the majority of the people who voted in their primaries. For all intent and purposes, that would end the Republican party. Try being a Repub senator or congressman when the world knows you have no populace support. Even if you held the majority of a house (they would not if they tried that trick), no one would take them seriously. The only way Repubs and Dims exercise power is through the illusion of public support. If they bypassed both Trump and Cruz, there would then be no pretense. Remember, the nomination is months ahead of the general election. Every state where Trump and Cruz won, the people would just not. It wouldn’t just be that the Dims won everything, they would supplant Repubs all over the nation. For the power brokers behind the scenes, there’s no point in pulling strings on people who have no power. Seriously, if the Repubs would attempt such a thing, it would spell the imminent end of the Repub party. While Trump has enjoyed support of many people who have crossed party lines and independents, most of his support comes from people who have always voted Repub. The same can be said of Cruz. It’s not just a majority of Repubs voting against the establishment, it’s a super-majority. It’s always been the establishment’s MO to retain power, not take their marbles and go home. Yes, I wish they would, they won’t. They never do.
So, what of Cruz? What if Trump wins the most, but, not the majority? What if Cruz takes 2nd? What if they then decide to nominate Cruz? Again, that’s technically possible. But, it won’t happen. They could already support Cruz over Trump. After last night, anyone believing Kasich has a chance in heck of winning the majority of delegates are deluded even beyond Kasich himself. The same can be said of Rubio, but, I don’t know if little Marco understands how bad he lost last night. If Kasich and Rubio supporters preferred Cruz over Trump, they’d be out of the race today. They’re not. Even if Rubio wins Florida, and even if Kasich wins Ohio, they’re still going to finish 3rd and 4th. And, the odds of that happening (Kasich and Rubio winning their states) are slim to none. Both Kasich and Rubio know they’re losing their respective states. They were polling behind before last night, you know they’re doing worse today. But, both have essentially demonstrated that they’re in it, at least until they lose their home states. Why? Because they know that kills Cruz’ candidacy. If Rubio and Kasich both get out, soon, then Cruz will probably win the nomination.
Is there a Rubio supporter out there who would vote for Trump rather than Cruz? A Kasich supporter? Not very many. Damned few. (Carson is a different story.) So, why is Kasich and Rubio still in it? Because they hate Cruz that much more. Sure, if Rubio and Kasich get out, one can easily see where many of the establishment Repubs would sit this one out. But, we also know (this blog is a great example) that many would still vote to nominate someone. It would come down to Trump or Cruz ….. who do you believe they’d (Rubio and Kasich supporters) lean towards? It isn’t Trump.
But, that’s not what’s happening. Kasich and Rubio have vowed to fight on. They know Cruz can’t win if they stay in. They (the establishment power brokers) hate Cruz more than they hate Trump. The rank and file (establishment voters) hate Trump more than they hate Cruz.
Again, I don’t know what tomorrow brings. Everyday is different and surprising. But, as I see it, as of right now, the establishment is throwing the Repub race to Trump. And, no, I don’t believe there’s a chance in heck that they’d commit suicide to nominate someone other than Trump or Cruz at the convention.
However, I do see a different scenario ………. let Trump win the nomination, and then walk away from the general election. So, they will have Hillary to deal with for 4-8 years. We all know that won’t bother them in the least. Indeed, that will fill their coffers as they pretend to oppose Hillary. Let’s be honest with ourselves. We all know that’s already the contingency plan if Trump wins the nomination. They’re not going to commit suicide, they’re just going to go with what they’re good at, ……. losing and then pretending that they’ll fight the power for us.
Now, as I re-read this post it looks like another pro-Cruz op-ed. It isn’t. It’s just how I’m seeing it, today. As it stands, and if things don’t change (such as people running), Trump is going to have more delegates than the rest of the contenders. If they (Rubio and Kasich) stay in, then, it’s likely no one will get a majority of delegates. But, there’s no way the establishment Repubs, or their benefactors, will commit suicide and bypass the #1 and #2 leaders for a #3. A couple of 3rd parties would pop up even before the general election. Nearly all Repubs would be swept from office (including Governors and the like) and you’d have a machine apparatus that runs nothing. They won’t do that. They’d much rather lose the oval office and keep on doing what they’re doing today.
Now, if Rubio and Kasich get out soon, then, that’s a different ballgame. Because, as I said earlier, I see more of their rank and file supporters moving to Cruz, rather than Trump. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a slam dunk, but, it would be a much tighter race, with either Trump or Cruz actually winning the majority of delegates.
If Cruz got out, for some insane reason, I see most of his supporters going to Trump, they hate the establishment more than they hate Trump. Many of them like Trump, but, like Cruz more, so “hate” probably isn’t a good word in that case.
I found the tones and words of each contender/pretender interesting. Trump (who stole my “Rickles” line) was conciliatory, somewhat, towards Cruz, but, jabbed Rubio. He used the “little Marco” line on a couple occasions. It’s smart because it’s obviously under little Marco’s skin. It caused Rubio to do and say a couple of stupid things. And, it projects a dominance over “little Marco”, all the while showing a seriousness (which he needed) towards the process and his closest contender. I can just see Marco seething, but, afraid to do or say anything else about Trump because Trump already clowned him.
Cruz, OTOH, went directly after Trump. Again, that’s the only smart play. He’s not battling Rubio for 3rd place. 2nd place doesn’t get you a win. And, he shows that he’s the only legit contender against Trump.
Rubio, though, went after Cruz. …… Which, I think is a stupid play. It projects conceding 1st to Trump and trying to play for second. Even if that’s true, it’s stupid because it conveys a defeatist attitude for his supporters. It’s like saying “yeh, well, we may suck, but, we don’t suck as bad as this other guy!!!!” How many votes are you picking up with that line? Who’s going to vote for that? Let’s have a stadium full of people chanting “we’re number two!!!! We’re number two!!!!”
But, it demonstrates the maturity of Rubio. Trump was able to knock Rubio off his game by the clown act. Rubio responded in kind and got toasted for it. You can’t pretend you’re a unifying voice of optimistic vision when you’re babbling about someone’s hand size. The whole point is to contrast yourself to your opponent, not show that you’re a weaker version of your opponent.
There’s a debate this Thursday, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Last time, Rubio attacked Trump and Cruz piled on, drawing blood. But, now, Rubio seems to want to go after Cruz, while Cruz wants to go after Trump, while Trump seems to want to put Rubio out. <—– Which is a good strategy, because as that’s the only way Cruz can win a majority of delegates, it’s also the easiest way for Trump to win a majority of delegates. For all of them, Kasich should be ignored in the way Carson was.
Anyway, that’s how I’m seeing it, what do you think?