Follow by Email

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Republican Party Only Has Itself to Blame

The Republican Party only has itself to blame for the rise of Donald Trump. Like the rest of us, they underestimated his popularity, but more importantly they failed to coalesce around a single "non-Trump" candidate, leading the anti-Trump vote was distributed across numerous candidates.

Results of recent polling suggest that if Cruz, Kasich, and Carson would have dropped out after the South Carolina primary, approximately 2/3 of their followers would support Rubio, while 1/3 would support Trump. That probably would have been enough for Rubio to win a few states, but (more importantly) prevent Trump from getting enough delegates to win by the convention. It's still possible for Rubio to pull something like this off. As Nate Cohn points out ("How Marco Rubio Could Lose Every State on Super Tuesday and Still Win"), Rubio can lose all 12 of the Super Tuesday contests and still amass enough delegates to keep Trump from getting too far ahead, as long as he attracts at least 20% of the vote in most of the states in play today. Since delegates are only committed to their state's winners on the first ballot, it would is possible (but highly unlikely) that a contested (i.e., brokered) convention would result. However, if Rubio can't start winning by March 15th, then his path to victory (or a contested convention) will probably dry up.

A similar scenario could probably play out if Cruz remained in the race while Kasich and Carson dropped out. Trump would end up with the most delegates, but Rubio and Cruz could win enough delegates to prevent him from securing the nomination before the convention. However, Kasich and Carson seem determined to stay in the race, which will pretty much hand the nomination to Trump. Democrats should hope that Rubio and Cruz stay in long enough, so that they can continue to attack him and along the way find the "Kryptonite" Hillary will need to prevent him from wining the general election.

No comments:

Post a Comment