With [mc_name name=’Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’G000359′ ] dropping out of the Presidential race, the conventional wisdom is to begin making calls for other candidates with low polling numbers and no money to drop out. Just because it is conventional wisdom, doesn’t mean it’s right. And the conventional wisdom this time is flat out wrong.
The media, despite knowing how volatile polling has been over the last 4-5 years, still allow current polls to drive the campaign narrative and most of the stories. This is why Donald Trump is constantly getting media coverage. He is leading in the polls, therefore he is “winning” and the media responds to that.
In addition to the mainstream media, some in new media has fallen into the same trap of calling on lower polling candidates to drop out so people can rally around one candidate who has the best chance of beating Hillary in November.
As someone who will not vote for Donald Trump, even if he is the GOP nominee (I’ll vote for any other GOP candidate over Hillary), one would think I’d agree with this mindset, but I do not.
If candidates such as Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker and now Lindsey Graham want to drop out for their own reasons, fine. They have every right to. But calling on other candidates to drop out before a single vote is cast, is absurd. It plays into the very narrative the media have created based on polling data with questionable accuracy that can change at any time.
A month ago, the media was wide-eyed over the idea that two non office holders, Ben Carson and Donald Trump had “50% of the vote” between them. Ironic considering there had not been any voting at that point. But where is Ben Carson now? His poll numbers have dropped faster than Bill Clinton’s pants in a room full of interns.
Take a trip back to December of 2011. On December 22, 2011 in the RCP polling average for Iowa, the only candidate Rick Santorum was beating in the polls was Jon Huntsman. The man was losing to Michele Bachmann. He was losing to Rick Perry, who had officially dropped out of the race months earlier.
Who won the Iowa caucuses in 2012? Rick Santorum.
It is a disservice to supporters of other candidates to say, “Drop out!” before they’ve even had a chance to vote. Yes, Rick Santorum, [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ], Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, Jim Gilmore and others have as much chance of winning the GOP nomination as a Big Mac does of surviving an encounter with Michael Moore.
Still, if [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ], [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] or Donald Trump (God forbid) are to win the nomination, they should earn it. Even if that means having to listen to Chris Christie bellow about 9/11 for another month.
Candidates should earn their victories. And supporters of those candidates should have enough confidence in them to win, despite a crowded field.