The Trump Prisoner’s Dilemma

 

Alexandra Petri at the Washington Post sums it up. “If Candidate A and Candidate B are really in it to win it,” she writes, “Congratulations, Nominee Donald!”

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 06.24.51

After Marco’s comparatively poor showing, it seems to me he’s the one who should drop out. This pains me, because I like him more than Cruz. Heavy stress on “like,” I don’t necessarily have exceedingly good arguments for preferring him. I just find his a much more appealing personality. But I thought he’d do better in the general, and after today, it looks as if I may have been, again, wrong. Numbers are numbers. Cruz has excelled him in delivering the delegates.

That said, Texas is his home state, leaving just enough uncertainty that Marco may be able to convince himself not to believe the numbers yet.

I reckon one of these men must drop out now, because if they wait until more data comes in, they’ll be waiting too long. I hate to say it, but looks like it should be Marco.

Anyone disagree?

 

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  1. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    We didn’t need Cruz or Rubio out to flip a lot of these states, Claire. We needed Kasich out.

    (That was the case here in VA, and I am indeed bitter about it. If Kasich were out, tonight is a completely different story)

    Rubio shouldn’t get out yet because 1) his home state votes soon, and he’ll probably win it, and 2) he’s doing harm to Trump in a way Cruz can’t, I believe. Cruz shouldn’t get out because it’s impossible to say the guy who’s second in delegate count should withdraw.

    So let the senators see if they can wrestle Trump further down.

    • #1
  2. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Put another way, tonight happened largely in natural Cruz/Trump territory. We’re moving away from that.

    • #2
  3. Gabriel Sullice Inactive
    Gabriel Sullice
    @GabrielSullice

    Can we afford to wait for Florida? If yes, I disagree. If no, I agree.

    Anyone know the hard numbers on this? Can we wait? If we wait, do we risk allowing both Rubio and Cruz to stay in too long because they’ll be too close to one another?

    • #3
  4. J. D. Fitzpatrick Member
    J. D. Fitzpatrick
    @JDFitzpatrick

    Leigh: 1) his home state votes soon, and he’ll probably win it,

    Hmm. That outcome seems possible, but hardly probable. Trump +16 last week.

    • #4
  5. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Roy Orbison sums it up nicely:

    • #5
  6. J. D. Fitzpatrick Member
    J. D. Fitzpatrick
    @JDFitzpatrick

    It’s better for the GOP if Rubio drops now.

    Cruz would have a chance to win FL (99 delegates), and Kasich would have a chance to win Ohio (66 delegates). Trump’s path to the nomination gets harder.

    Rubio stays in, Trump still has a strong chance of winning FL and a strong chance of winning OH.

    FL folk know Rubio; what can they learn about him in the next few weeks that would improve their opinion of him?

    • #6
  7. Fred Cole Inactive
    Fred Cole
    @FredCole

    It really depends on whether Rubio wins Florida. If not, he should drop out.
    You can’t win if you can’t win contests, the Minnesota caucus notwithstanding.

    • #7
  8. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    We can probably wait for Florida. But we do need to get Kasich and Ben Carson out of this thing now. They are just shaving enough points here and there to really tilt things to Trump, and in the winner take all cases this will be terrible.

    Rubio has been merciless at attacking Trump in a way that makes him lose his cool, which I think we need to have more of. I am starting to think the way to do this is to have Cruz’s better organization in play to win the delegates and Marco needs to be the guy who takes Trump on personally. I really want them to come to some agreement. They don’t have to share it with the public, but they need to start coordinating. If the two of them can stop Trump from running away with it, then they will have reached Folk Hero status in my mind.

    For the Republic, boys!

    Also can I say, thank God for Texas, Oklahoma, and Minnesota. Especially Minnesota, not because they gave it to Rubio, but because they were the only state to put Trump in third.  Sure on the whole they are a Scandinavian heck-hole, but their Republicans are just better than other states’ Republicans it would seem.

    • #8
  9. J. D. Fitzpatrick Member
    J. D. Fitzpatrick
    @JDFitzpatrick

    Leigh: 2) he’s doing harm to Trump in a way Cruz can’t, I believe

    I doubt it. The people who like Rubio are–well, Minnesotans. Given a choice between Cruz and Trump, I think Ole, Sven, Carl, Orville, and Garrison are going to give another in a long life of resigned sighs and vote Cruz.

    • #9
  10. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Oh yah, you betcha!

    • #10
  11. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    I shall shortly return with reinforcements. Don’t lose heart.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #11
  12. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    J. D. Fitzpatrick:It’s better for the GOP if Rubio drops now.

    Rubio is running five points better than Cruz in Florida, with Bush still getting 8.5% of the vote. Additionally, Rubio is showing signs of appeal in “Florida-like” states not loaded with evangelicals (e.g., Virginia) that Cruz is not showing.  This does not add up to Rubio dropping out to increase Cruz’s chances, which would be slim in Florida to begin with.

    • #12
  13. J. D. Fitzpatrick Member
    J. D. Fitzpatrick
    @JDFitzpatrick

    Hoyacon:

    J. D. Fitzpatrick:It’s better for the GOP if Rubio drops now.

    Rubio is running five points better than Cruz in Florida, with Bush still getting 8.5% of the vote. Additionally, Rubio is showing signs of appeal in “Florida-like” states not loaded with evangelicals (e.g., Virginia) that Cruz is not showing. This does not add up to Rubio dropping out to increase Cruz’s chances, which would be slim in Florida to begin with.

    Rubio is running 16 points behind Trump in Rubio’s home state.

    That’s what’s decisive to me.

    EDIT: And Rubio voters are generally not Trump voters, while Cruz voters are more likely to be.

    • #13
  14. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    J. D. Fitzpatrick:It’s better for the GOP if Rubio drops now.

    Cruz would have a chance to win FL (99 delegates), and Kasich would have a chance to win Ohio (66 delegates). Trump’s path to the nomination gets harder.

    Rubio stays in, Trump still has a strong chance of winning FL and a strong chance of winning OH.

    FL folk know Rubio; what can they learn about him in the next few weeks that would improve their opinion of him?

    I don’t believe those polls — all pre-debate, all before the anti-Trump offensive that barely even had time to register. The polls showed Rubio down double digits here in Virginia too.

    Valiuth: [Minnesota’s] Republicans are just better than other states’ Republicans it would seem.

    I’m going to stick up for Wisconsin here.

    • #14
  15. Knotwise the Poet Member
    Knotwise the Poet
    @KnotwisethePoet

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:Alexandra Petri at the Washington Post sums it up. “If Candidate A and Candidate B are really in it to win it,” she writes, “Congratulations, Nominee Donald!”

    After Marco’s comparatively poor showing, it seems to me he’s the one who should drop out.

    This is pretty much where I’m at, too.  Perhaps I’m panicking and jumping the gun early, but I really want one of the two big non-Trumps to make way for the other NOW, and right now I’m thinking Cruz has the better chance (with the exception of James of England I can’t imagine other Rubio-fans breaking for Trump instead of Cruz).  And if Rubio were to drop out and throw his full support behind Cruz he’d earn a TON of good will from me personally (not that I don’t already like him).

    And, yes, for the love of all this holy, Kasich and Carson GET THE HECK OUT OF THERE!

    • #15
  16. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    J. D. Fitzpatrick:

    Rubio is running 16 points behind Trump in Rubio’s home state.

    That’s what’s decisive to me.

    And the fact that Cruz is running well behind Rubio isn’t decisive because  … ?

    The question stands, but I missed your edit.  This is the second time tonight I’ve seen a suggestion that Cruz supporters would prefer Trump to Rubio.  I have a higher opinion of them than that.

    • #16
  17. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    It looks like Rubio is polling way behind Trump in Florida. That’s not good.

    • #17
  18. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    J. D. Fitzpatrick:Rubio is running 16 points behind Trump in Rubio’s home state.

    That’s what’s decisive to me.

    MarciN:It looks like Rubio is polling way behind Trump in Florida. That’s not good.

    Just noting again that actually we have absolutely no idea what Rubio is running in Florida.

    Literally, this is a fluid race. Those polls mean nothing. Remember what Romney did to Gingrich in Florida?

    • #18
  19. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Leigh:

    Literally, this is a fluid race. Those polls mean nothing.

    The last Real Clear Politics composite had Trump +14.5 in Virginia.  He won by less than +3.

    • #19
  20. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Cruise with Cruz, or stump with Trump.  Those are the only viable choices remaining.

    • #20
  21. J. D. Fitzpatrick Member
    J. D. Fitzpatrick
    @JDFitzpatrick

    Leigh:

    J. D. Fitzpatrick:It’s better for the GOP if Rubio drops now.

    Cruz would have a chance to win FL (99 delegates), and Kasich would have a chance to win Ohio (66 delegates). Trump’s path to the nomination gets harder.

    Rubio stays in, Trump still has a strong chance of winning FL and a strong chance of winning OH.

    FL folk know Rubio; what can they learn about him in the next few weeks that would improve their opinion of him?

    I don’t believe those polls — all pre-debate, all before the anti-Trump offensive that barely even had time to register. The polls showed Rubio down double digits here in Virginia too.

    FWIW, compared to the last poll, Trump lost 5, Rubio gained 5, Cruz lost 5, Kasich gained 3, Carson gained 2. (I realize polling is inexact, but I suspect that some Trump voters went for Kasich.) It still wasn’t enough for Rubio to win, which is all that matters in FL. And again, this is his home state.

    Of course, I’m willing to wait and see what FL polls say this week.

    Also, if Carson drops out, there’s an argument for Rubio staying.

    • #21
  22. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    I question the premise.  So far Trump hasn’t cracked the 50% threshold anywhere.  Has anyone run the numbers on this thing?  Suppose for the sake of argument all 5 candidates stay in until the end, does Trump win a majority of the delegates, or do we end up with a brokered convention?

    Maybe a brokered convention is our only hope to stop him.  And in any case it would be fun.

    • #22
  23. T-Fiks Member
    T-Fiks
    @TFiks

    Claire, yours is the same argument Ace of Spades made yesterday on his blog. If Cruz dropped out, his voters would probably prefer Trump to Rubio. If Rubio dropped out, his voters would eventually migrate over to Cruz.

    It seems awfully strange to say this, but the bristly Cruz has now become the compromise candidate.

    Regarding Kasich and Carson, their respective choices to continue really confirm what I’ve suspected about politicians for a long time: Once they get into competition, personal affirmation means much, much more to them than advancing a particular set of ideas.

    • #23
  24. Knotwise the Poet Member
    Knotwise the Poet
    @KnotwisethePoet

    Joseph Stanko:I question the premise. So far Trump hasn’t cracked the 50% threshold anywhere. Has anyone run the numbers on this thing? Suppose for the sake of argument all 5 candidates stay in until the end, does Trump win a majority of the delegates, or do we end up with a brokered convention?

    Maybe a brokered convention is our only hope to stop him. And in any case it would be fun.

    There’s part of me that wonders if a brokered convention would feed into the “GOP Establishment conspiracy screws over the base” narrative that is driving much of Trump’s support and might lead them to sit on their hands come election day.  I feel one candidate beating him mano-a-mano might bring better results in the long run.

    • #24
  25. Knotwise the Poet Member
    Knotwise the Poet
    @KnotwisethePoet

    T-Fiks:Claire, yours is the same argument Ace of Spades made yesterday on his blog. If Cruz dropped out, his voters would probably prefer Trump to Rubio. If Rubio dropped out, his voters would eventually migrate over to Cruz.

    It seems awfully strange to say this, but the bristly Cruz has now become the compromise candidate.

    Regarding Kasich and Carson, their respective choices to continue really confirm what I’ve suspected about politicians for a long time: Once they get into competition, personal affirmation means much, much more to them than advancing a particular set of ideas.

    This primary season nothing now counts as strange.  We are through the looking glass, folks.

    • #25
  26. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    T-Fiks:

    Regarding Kasich and Carson, their respective choices to continue really confirm what I’ve suspected about politicians for a long time: Once they get into competition, personal affirmation means much, much more to them than advancing a particular set of ideas.

    What I don’t understand is why anyone would waste their vote on Kasich or Carson at this stage in the game.  One might as well vote for Bush, Walker, or Perry, as they have just as much chance of winning now as Kasich or Carson.

    • #26
  27. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Knotwise the Poet: There’s part of me that wonders if a brokered convention would feed into the “GOP Establishment conspiracy screws over the base” narrative that is driving much of Trump’s support and might lead them to sit on their hands come election day.

    No doubt it would.  I suspect many Trump voters would sit on their hands though even if he lost mano-a-mano — just as many of us will be voting third party if Trump wins.

    All roads lead to President Hillary Clinton.

    • #27
  28. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Tonight, John Kasich had this to say about Marco Rubio:

    “Senator Rubio has been more hyped than Crystal Pepsi, but he has flopped even worse. Even a well-conceived, high-financed marketing campaign won’t work if people don’t want to buy the product.”

    • #28
  29. Sash Member
    Sash
    @Sash

    I think they are all in for Cleveland.  The strategy seems to be that if someone drops out, at least some of that support goes to Trump, and boosts his numbers.

    If Trump can’t get a majority before the Convention–the Party, at very least, has a whole lot more leverage.

    They can tie him down at least some. They will try to make sure he doesn’t make deals with Democrats, for a while at least.

    It’s very likely they can pick his VP.  Pick one that would be acceptable upon his certain Impeachment.

    No one can beat him full out, but together they can stop him, and control him.

    Additionally, if the voters learn the truth between now and the convention, and his poll numbers tank, it might be fine with everyone to replace him.

    Plus, there is always that third party thing.

    In five days of Rubio showing people his true colors, Trump under performed his polling by quite a bit.

    Education is a beautiful thing.

    Rubio out performed his polling especially in VA, he was up 15 points since the debate.

    • #29
  30. J. D. Fitzpatrick Member
    J. D. Fitzpatrick
    @JDFitzpatrick

    Hoyacon:

    J. D. Fitzpatrick:

    Rubio is running 16 points behind Trump in Rubio’s home state.

    That’s what’s decisive to me.

    And the fact that Cruz is running well behind Rubio isn’t decisive because … ?

    Because it’s Rubio’s home state. The Crubio crowd is going to go for Rubio in FL. If Rubio is off the ballot, most are going to vote for Cruz, far more than would vote for Rubio if Cruz leaves.

    The question stands, but I missed your edit. This is the second time tonight I’ve seen a suggestion that Cruz supporters would prefer Trump to Rubio. I have a higher opinion of them than that.

    We’ve got at least one on this site.

    Anyway, people upset about immigration are voting either Trump or Cruz. That’s what I take away from reading threads on Ricochet. If Cruz drops, those people go to Trump, not Rubio.

    Look, it’s too bad that the guy who looks better in the general election can’t get the support of his own party. Maybe he just needs to try again when he’s older.

    • #30
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