As I see it, we have two possible scenarios going forward:
1)Trump is the nominee, which is possible, although certainly not inevitable. If he’s the GOP nominee, he’ll lose in the general without a doubt because a big chunk of the grassroots conservative base will stay home. The exit polls show that. Even if you underestimate that percentage, it will still be more than enough to keep him from beating Hillary considering how massive his disadvantages are among minorities and other groups.
2)Cruz is the GOP nominee. I thought early on that Cruz could beat Hillary in a general election. But that was before the Trump train took off. Now I’m convinced that even if Cruz becomes the nominee, he’ll lose to Hillary.
The main reason is simple. Trump has poisoned the well between his supporters and the conservative grassroots base to such an extent that if anyone other than Trump is the nominee, the Trumpsters will simply stay home in November. Maybe not all of em, but enough of them to cost Cruz the election.
We have plenty of data to back this up. Exit polls from various states, the latest of which is Wisconsin, show that a big chunk of Trumpsters will stay home in November if anyone other than Trump is the nominee.
To be precise, in Wisconsin, 39% of Republicans said they would abandon the GOP if Trump is the nominee, while 35% would abandon the GOP if it’s Cruz.
Now, obviously some are just saying this because of how they feel at the moment, but will come back down to Earth and hold their nose for Cruz in November. But many won’t. We don’t know what that percentage will end up being, but I would guess it’s at least 5%, likely even higher than that.
Cruz can’t afford to lose even 1% of these crossover voters, let alone 5% or more, because he starts off with big disadvantages against any Democrat nominee.
He’ll have the disadvantages Trump has among minorities, suburbanites, and other groups, so he needs as many Trump voters as possible to beat Hillary, and they just won’t be there for him.
This is one reason why I wrote that Cruz’s strategy to ignore minorities would be a fatal flaw in the general. If you don’t believe he’s intentionally ignoring minorities, read the article linked above, and listen to a senior strategist for his campaign:
“In a plan detailed by a senior strategist, the Cruz campaign says that it aims to obtain only 30 percent of the Hispanic vote and 10 percent of the African-American vote, a mere 3 percent and 4 percent increase from 2012, respectively. They will allocate their resources to boosting turnout among more reliably Republican voters: whites.”
Cruz needs to make inroads among blacks and hispanics to have any chance at beating Hillary. There simply aren’t enough white people to do it. The demographics in this country are changing, and if we don’t bring more minorities into the GOP, we’re not gonna win the presidency for a long time.
Unfortunately, it appears Sen. Cruz doesn’t believe this. I believe that’s a fatal error on his part, should he get the nomination.
I think 2016 will be similar to 1992, in that the Republican nominee will lose because they’ll lose many blue collar voters who have no allegiance to either party, but can’t relate to or don’t trust the Republican nominee. The only difference is that back then, those Democrats and independents, many of whom voted for Reagan in 1984, had a candidate to vote for, his name was Ross Perot.
This time, if Cruz is the Republican nominee, there will be no viable 3rd party candidate. Trump won’t run 3rd party because he knows he has no chance at winning due to sore loser laws, plus he doesn’t wanna spend his money (he’s a notorious cheapskate), and there will be no other credible 3rd party for those democrats and independents to join.
So they’ll stay home, which is essentially the same as a vote for Hillary because Cruz can’t beat her with the grassroots conservative base alone.
That’s why, ironically enough, a phony populist will likely put another Clinton in the White House, only this time the phony populist came from within the Republican party itself, rather than outside it. But the effect he will have will be the same.
I believe Hillary will beat Sen. Cruz not because she’s a good candidate and he’s a bad one, in fact the opposite is true. Cruz is a good candidate and she’s a terrible one.
But when a party is split, it just can’t beat the opposing party. History tells us this. In ’76, the GOP was split between Reagan and Ford, and Carter ended up beating Ford in the general. In 1980, the Dems were split between Ted Kennedy and Carter, and Carter lost to Reagan big time.
In ’92, the GOP was split between Perot and HW Bush, even though Perot was an independent, he was drawing republicans and independents away from the GOP. Bush ended up losing to Bill Clinton.
I don’t believe the narrative that Sanders voters won’t vote for Hillary. I remember Hillary voters saying the same thing in 2008 about Obama, and they ended up voting for him almost without exception.
Modern Democrats always unite behind their nominee because they’ve gone so far left they have nowhere else to go. This wasn’t the case in the 70s and 80s, when you still had moderate democrats as part of the base of the democrat party. Now the base is dominated by hardcore progressives.
Basically, there are more big gov’t Republicans and independents than there are small gov’t-leaning Democrats.
Those big gov’t Republicans vote for Trump, whereas the fiscally conservative Democrats have nowhere to go because they’ll never vote for a social conservative like Cruz, and there’s very little difference between Trump and Hillary on many issues like Social Security, foreign policy, and healthcare, so they have no reason to vote for Trump. Thus they’re stuck with Hillary.
This is why if Trump is the nominee, I’ll be able to accept it. I won’t be happy with it, but I’ll be able to accept it, because there’s a silver lining in that cloud, which is that if Trump is the nominee, he loses to Hillary without a doubt. That means his political career is over, and his followers will scurry back into the woodwork like cockroaches, never to be seen again in the political arena unless and until another Trump-like figure rises out of the depths of Hell to bring them back out again.
It also means that the conservative movement will be able to rise out of the ashes of Trump’s demise, and will be able to have a fresh start. Furthermore, it means conservatives won’t be associated with a racist, sexist, narcissistic moron like Trump, and will at least have a chance to rebuild our brand, the way Rubio was trying to do before his campaign flamed out.
It means Hillary will be president for four years, which will be a disaster for the country, and will likely put the GOP in a position to beat her in 2020, if we actually nominate a Republican who is both conservative and able to win in a general election.
Finally, if Cruz won the nomination and lost to Hillary, I believe it would really hurt his chances to win in 2020. I’m almost 100% sure Sen. Cruz will run for president again in 2020 no matter what happens, but his chances will be significantly better if he loses in the primary compared to losing to Hillary in the general in my opinion.
First of all, he would be spared all of the attacks from the Clinton machine, which would hurt his reputation even more than Trump already has. But beyond that, not only Cruz, but all of his supporters will be able to say “I told you so” to trumpsters and “conservatives” in the media like Rush and Hannity, who tried to convince us that Trump could beat Hillary.
If Trump is the nominee and loses, which he would, Cruz could run in 2020 as the “I told you so” candidate, and he would have a strong argument to make that it’s finally time to nominate a true conservative. We haven’t had one since Reagan, and we keep losing elections (not counting the Bushes, who were big gov’t Republicans).
I’m not throwing in the towel yet, but I am looking ahead to the cliff this train is carrying us towards. It’s foolish to stick our heads in the sand or look the other way as this train continues full speed ahead towards that cliff. I think we need to at least mentally prepare ourselves for the reality of a possible Trump nomination.
That’s what I’m doing with this diary, and I’m also trying to show my fellow conservatives that a Trump nomination isn’t the end of the world, although it may seem like it initially. It certainly will be depressing for a while, knowing that conservatives don’t have a real choice in this election, unless a conservative runs as an independent third party candidate.
But ultimately politics is chess, not checkers, which is why we can’t become prisoners of the moment, and let our emotions get the best of us. We have to look ahead to the future and imagine the possibilities, both the good and the bad ones.
If we do that, I think we’ll realize that the Trump movement was just a fever that had to be allowed to run its course, and when historians look back on this time with the hindsight of history, they’ll say it was just a passing fad that had no long term impact on the conservative movement in America, and will be quickly forgotten once Trump disappears from the political arena, just like Perot did.