Diary

McConnell, you must choose between Cruz and Trump

Let’s start with dark horse candidates.  First off, a dark horse needs to have low name recognition and not have been already rejected.  Consider Santorum in 2012.  When Iowa went to vote there was little known about him and he had risen from ~2% in the polls not long before.  Several other candidates had peaked and slumped before Santorum.  Interestingly nobody peaked twice.  That is, once rejected you stay rejected.  This means that Bush truly is out, he has been considered and rejected.  Also out are Carson, Huckabee, Santorum, Christie, Paul, and Fiornia.  All of these candidates are either widely known or have been considered and rejected (either this cycle or previously).  This leaves in consideration Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Graham, Kasich, and Pataki.

While there have been many thoughts about Trump’s lead all of them discuss a general hatred for the D.C. elite and Establishment Republicans.  Of those listed above Graham, Kasich and Pataki are as establishment and elitist as they come.  These three are not getting traction.  This leaves only three who are still under consideration by the public: Cruz, Trump, and Rubio.

The surprising thing to everyone the whole time has been Trump’s consistent lead.  Apparently roughly a third of Republican voters would choose Trump over anyone else.  If Trump has 1/3 then there is only 2/3 of the vote remaining.  Cruz and Rubio both have backing and funding to remain in the race for quite some time.  The two are closely tied in most polls throughout Iowa, New Hampshire, and nationally.  There are some minor gaps, but they are generally very close.  This closeness has come with the establishment tacitly approving of Rubio over Cruz.  Rubio truly is a decent consensus candidate, I would gladly vote for him.  However, if the race continues as it is currently then we should expect Cruz to win Iowa, and Trump to win New Hampshire.  Nevada and South Carolina would be split decisions, and SEC Tuesday would split delegates between all three.  Rubio wins Florida and then Super Tuesday comes where Trump would actually pick up the liberal North East states.

This is if things continue as they are now.  It is a mess.  Currently there are conservatives and evangelicals behind Cruz, establishment and moderates behind Rubio, and rage and liberals behind Trump.  The thing is, the only say the establishment has is in who they back.  The whole process would clean up immediately if McConnell and Paul would come out in support of Cruz and pledge to follow and follow well if he were elected.  Barring that there would need to be some sort of game changer between now and March 1st.  Things that are not game changers: gaffes, terrorist attacks, previous liberal positions, and pretty much anything else I can think of.  The establishment is already backing Rubio and this is shaping up for a three way bloodbath.  The only way that does not happen is if they shift their allegiance.

I once again note that I still believe Rubio would be the most conservative president since at least Coolidge, and possibly ever.  However for the primary electorate that is not good enough.

** P.S. To the establishment this is your own dang fault.  You ignored the base in 2010, 2012, and 2014.  That is, every Republican currently in office ran on repealing Obamacare.  Every. Single. One.  You have majorities in both houses and a lot of states.  Yet it remains.  Your base despises you, and your only saving grace is that they despise liberals even more.  You will not get the candidate you want because you acted with the same good-will as the Whigs did.  The candidate who is nominated will be someone who is viewed as “at least he isn’t one of them.”  You have your choice between exactly two candidates who have that image.