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.
Rubio … And The Damage Done. Isn’t that an awkward distortion of a Neil Young quote? Yes, it is. The needle and the damage done applies to senator Marco Rubio these days. Is Marco Rubio Dropping Out then ? Well no. Not just yet. Maybe.
Marco Rubio has struggled to gain traction in the polls and the voting booths for quite a while. In fact, he has never really capitalized on the narrowing of the republican field at all. The junior senator from Florida looks like the perfect candidate for the GOP. He is young (in political terms). He is good-looking. He is well spoken. He is of Latino ancestry. He holds office in a swing state. He is fairly mainstream (in Republican terms).
In other words Marco Rubio should be the perfect establishment backed frontrunner. Right now should be time when he was wrapping up his nomination with only a show-piece of a race left to excite the media against an ultra-conservative evangelical of the Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum or Ted Cruz left. Instead. Marco Rubio has lost 18 out of 20 states so far. Usually not even making it to second place.
Rubios Newscycle From Hell
This week some good news was finally heading Marco Rubios way. The polls were narrowing in Florida with the local senator closing in on frontrunner Donald Trumps lead. Marco Rubio further grabbed a resounding victory in Puerto Rico with almost 75% of the vote and all 23 delegates in the back. Obviously Puerto Rico is no essential part of any reasonable path to the nomination. But a win is a win. And most campaigns would expect a good few positive newscycles from an almost 60 point win anywhere.
Not Rubio. He had his worst news yet.
First. A leading Florida newspaper announced they wouldnt endorse any GOP candidate. Trump doesnt have the temperament to be president. Kasich simply can not win. Cruz is too scary. And the local boy Marco Rubio? He does not have the work ethics to be president. Wow. Where did that come from? The work ethics. In other words Rubio is too lazy. He wouldnt get things done. Exactly as the Attack Ad Donald Trump is currently running in Florida says: Marco Rubio is lazy, his senate record is worst among all senators.
In fact. Being absent from senate votes often could by all accounts be a sign of excellent work ethics. If Marco Rubio turns up mainly for crucial tight votes and spends the rest of his time investigating problems, talking to voters and constituents, drawing up grand proposals and negotiating across the isle to find common ground – well then he is doing wonderfully well. Is he actually doing that? We have no idea! And neither do the Florida voters. All they know now with a fair amount of certainty is that the young charlatan Marco Rubio rarely turns up for work. Was that a coordinated attack? Not likely. More likely one picked it up from the other. But the effect is strong and damaging.
Is Marco Rubio dropping out then from the Republic race for presidential nominee ? He says no. But that is problem in itself! The state of the Republican race is volatile. And Marco Rubio is the most likely next victim of a rough American campaign season. He lacks tracktion. And the news is terrible!
Marco Rubio Dropping Out ?
Speaking of damage. Here comes the needle. The needle that might poke a finale hole in the balloon that is the Marco Rubio campaign. Suddenly CNN fired up a banner live on air:
BREAKING NEWS: Marco Rubio Considers Dropping Out Of The Race for Republican Nominee
The story was backed by anonymous sources suggesting the Florida senator might drop out prior to voting in his home state of Floria for the sake of his political future. The Marco Rubio immediately went on air to dismiss any thoughts of dropping out. But the damage was done. The entire news narrative since that moment has been about whether or not Rubio should drop out, what the effect might be for the other candidates, when he might do it and so forth.
As the former leader of the Socialdemocratic Party in Denmark said after being dramatically ousted by his second in command Poul Nyrup Rasmussen: Never Threaten To Leave, Threaten To Stay.
The wisdom buried inthere is that the second people think you might leave, you become irrelevant. Nobody needs to worry about the guy who is about to leave. Nobody wants to spend time campaigning, donating to or voting for the quitter who is about to run away.
So what happened? Marco Rubio had a media-narrative knife jammed thoroughly in his back. Who did it? All arrows would point at Ted Cruz. The senator wants and needs Rubio out. Cruz has been caught in similar and rather dirty campaign tactics previously. And he has the most to gain. However. It could also simply be someone disgruntled within the Rubio campaign itself. The problem is it does not matter if the story is pure fantasy, the needle and the damage done. Once people speculate about your leaving. You might as well leave.
Is Marco Rubio dropping out then? Well yes. I think he is now. But probably not until the night of his defeat in Florida.
- Trump is winning. If someone in the GOP has the clout to do so he should get Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and John Kasich in the same room. Sit them down, lock the door and not let them leave until they have agreed to a pack going: We all endorse…