The GOP nomination battle is raging at hitherto unseen intensities and ethical lows. However beyond the noise it is relatively clear that the GOP establishment has finally made a decision: They are reluctantly supporting the Ted Cruz campaign in order to avoid the nomination of Donald Trump as their presidential candidate. The clearest manifestation of the Republican establishment rallying to Ted Cruz is obviously the endorsement from no other than Jeb Bush.
Had anyone predicted a few month ago the Jeb Bush or Lindsey Graham endorsement of Ted Cruz the immediate recommendation would have been a reality check or indeed psychiatric treatment. That is however the situation today. Ted Cruz happily describes it as proof of momentum for his campaign. The devils advocate might instead label it a sign of complete GOP establishment panic.
Nobody among the powers that be in the Republican party would volunteer a single kind word for Ted Cruz without a gun to their head. Thing is. They have a gun to their head. The strongest field of Republican candidates in several decades have produced the unlikeliest and most unwelcome outcomes imaginable. The Republican shot callers having to back what they consider an un-electable and inflexible evangelical with few positive traits only to desperately attempt to avoid the even bigger evil is a nightmare scenario.
GOP Establishment Vs Ted Cruz
Are the GOP big Whigs going to attempt to nominate Ted Cruz then ? No! In a small piece of poetic justice they are setting him up to fail. The logic is fairly simple:
Donald Trump might well win outright by gaining 1237 delegates. In that case the choice is either rallying to Donald Trump despite his flaws and make the best of it. Or, alternatively run a third party candidate. Would that third party candidate be Ted Cruz? No. Obviously not. The third party candidate would be someone mainstream GOP candidates in primarily vulnerable blue states could cling to in their own election battles.
Donald Trump could fall short of 1237 delegates. Ted Cruz would have won significant victories in the primary battles against Donald Trump in this scenario. Thus turning up at a contested convention with a strong following of delegates in his own pocket, though not within reach of 1237. Would Ted Cruz be a potential nominee in this scenario ? Very unlikely. Cruz would have played his role as spoiler for Trump but few or no of his current reluctant backers would enter the mudwrestling contest of the convention with the intention of getting Cruz to 1237. Why would they? Largely every other option aside from Trump would be more attractive to the GOP establishment and besides Ted Cruz would be one of the hardest sells to unbound delegates. The Cruz delegates would be used to stop Trump and since captured to attempt to nominate an acceptable candidate such as Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, John Kasich or similar.
Ted Cruz could reach 1237 delegates himself. Well no. Mathematically it is not entirely impossible yet, but in practical terms he has no path to reaching the magic number. The failure of Ted Cruz path to nomination happened long ago when he missed the low-hanging fruit for an evangelical candidate in the Southern and strongly conservative states. Having missed those Ted Cruz would have to largely clean the table in primary battles much less favorable to him.
The Ted Cruz Path To Nomination
If we look at the Fivethirtyeight delegate target tracker Trump is currently at 96% whilst Cruz is at 53% – check the Fivethirtyeight Delegate Tracker to see it in action. The point of that tracker is that Ted Cruz has currently secured only 53% of the delegates he should have won in order to be on track to win at least 1237 at the end of primary season. The tracker takes into account where each candidate should secure delegates based on demographics, ideological makeup of the electorate and so forth. As such, the 53% is a mathematical expression of Ted Cruz having missed his best opportunities already. It is extremely hard to imagine a Ted Cruz surge to victory in places like New York and California. Such a surge is exactly what he would need though.
Where does it all leave Ted Cruz ? As very close to a sure loser. He can not win outright. A Donald Trump win earns him nothing and the paper thin support from the GOP establishment will vanish the second they have even a remote alternative. Nothing is certain. Especially not this year. But Ted Cruz looks set up to fail.
PS: Yes. We are aware that we are breaking current election cycle rules by not including any nude photos depicting family members of those mentioned. We have also failed to question the mental health, looks or endowment of the presidential candidates. We will leave that to the candidates but you can snoop in the Dirty Campaign Technique feature to see what they are up to or simply have a look at the Political Meme and Negative Campaign trackers. Largely everything uttered seems to fit there these days. Sadly. One day we will have a look at the potential effects. Not today.
The South Carolina primary is in the rear view mirror for the republican candidates for president 2016. However, Jeb Bush took the bus(h) straight home after another disappointing result.
Basically, as we discussed prior to the primary the South Carolina republican primary was make or break for Jeb Bush – and he broke! After a ferocious campaign effort by Jeb Bush splashing out million of dollars on advertising, wheeling out his big brother George W Bush and even his mother all failed to pay off. Jeb Bush badly needed to at least tie up with Marco Rubio to have a way forward as the establishment candidate. Instead, Marco Rubio surged to an impressive 22% of the vote and a second place ahead of Ted Cruz – whilst Jeb Bush only just squeezed home a distant 4th place with 8%. Slightly ahead of John Kasich and Ben Carson.
Thus, Jeb Bush graciously suspended his campaign. Thanked his supporters. Went home. And turned the lights out for the Bush dynasty that has dominated American politics for decades.
Republican Primary Satire
Republican Primary Satire – Clown Car Parade
They started out with a colorful lineup of 17 hopeful Republican candidates for presidents. Since then all but 5 have dropped out. Donald Trump leads the race followed by Ted Cruz and Marco Rubi – with John Kasich and Ben Carson still in but hoping desperately for traction.
Welcome President Trump ?
Hillary Clinton looks like the democratic nominee to be. Bernie Sanders has gotten some traction with his far-left message, enthusiast youth supporting him and a fairly positive media coverage of his campaign. However, the Sanders numbers do not add up. He can stay in the race to get his message out, but it is basically more than difficult to see a path to victory for him. His base is too narrow. The states he has a chance of winning to few.
So, right now it is looking like Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton in the general election. However. Donald Trump is far from a certain winner of the primaries yet. As the field of candidates narrow he needs to pick up support from those dropping out – and he is not first in line for it. Fivethirtyeight had an analysis showing him doing extremely poorly as second choice – meaning, he is less likely to pick up the majority of say the now homeless Jeb Bush voters, whereas Marco Rubio is in a better position to do so and thus closing the gap to Trump.
Much depends on Ted Cruz. He is very unlikely to actually win the nomination. He has a solid core of support among very conservative voters, evangelicals and so forth. But Trump eats into his base. And it is too narrow to begin with. But Ted Cruz is unlikely to drop out anytime soon – and when he does, where do his voters go ?
For now its all unknown. But a first clue will be found in the next contests. Does Rubio add approximately the volume of Jeb Bush´ to his column or are they going somewhere else? Does John Kasich gain traction or is he about to drop out too? Does Donald Trump break the 40% barrier ?
Time will tell. From what I see the field is narrowing too slowly and Donald Trump grabs solid portions of too many groups to make him an easy one to overtake – and Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Ben Carson are simply spoilers in a game that favors Donald Trump. If I was Donald Trump i would hurry up and send the Kasich super PAC a few million dollars, just to keep him going beyond super tuesday.
President Trump ? The Clinton vs Trump match up in polls are more less tied. Slightly tilting to Clinton usually. But, that is before the Republican party has to rally behind their nominee – even if his name is The Donald! Once that happens he might well have a shot at winning. Hillary is not a strong candidate and Trump has many sore points he can shamelessly attack.
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