It Ain’t Over Yet: Part Two

 

Yesterday, the Republicans held a primary in Louisiana and caucused in Kansas, Kentucky, and Maine. Ted Cruz stomped Donald Trump in Kansas and defeated him handily in Maine. In Louisiana, he lost to Trump by 3.6 percent, and in Kentucky, Trump beat him by 4.3 percent. Marco Rubio came in a distant third everywhere but Maine, where John Kasich forced him into fourth.

What we have here in states where only Republicans can vote in the primary or caucus is a real horse race, and that, I believe, is what we are going to see down the line. In Rubio’s absence — and I suspect that he will soon be absent — Cruz may well snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Stay tuned!

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  1. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    How our two least electable candidates look to be the last two men standing is a massive indictment of the GOP and our idiotic nomination process. Every part of politics is broken on the right. Every part, and the nation is going to pay a huge price for it, starting with another pathetic and crushing defeat in November. The only thing we can hope for now is a federal indictment of Hillary, which no longer seems plausible given that she’s likely wrapped up the Democrat nomination.

    • #1
  2. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    A month ago I would have told you I would be very surprised if it wasn’t all over before March 15. Turns out it’s not all over.

    BThompson: How our two least electable candidates look to be the last two men standing

    I would respectfully disagree in that only someone who can get into the cage with the Clinton Crime Family™ and fight fists, boots, and all will have even a remote chance of winning in November. Trump and Cruz are the only two that have shown me that they can do it. Trump clearly has a YUGE glass jaw to go with his hands and everything else so I’m glad to see Cruz moving up.

    The eventual candidate’s positions on issues will have virtually nothing to do with whether or not he’ll win. What will count is the ability to fight and run for the office like he really wants it.

    • #2
  3. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    From your fingertips to God’s ears Professor.

    I hope those people hoping for a brokered convention, or a process they can control, realize how that would be even worse than the acrimony we’ve experienced already and unify behind Cruz quickly. To those opposed to Trump, you have been given a lifeline – a chance to stop this and wind up with a candidate that ‘checks the boxes’ of those principles and issues we claim to want.

    • #3
  4. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    Nick Stuart:I would respectfully disagree in that only someone who can get into the cage with the Clinton Crime Family™ and fight fists, boots, and all will have even a remote chance of winning in November. Trump and Cruz are the only two that have shown me that they can do it.

    Neither Trump nor Cruz has received a fraction of the attack ads and resistance that Rubio has. Trump has started to crumble very quickly now that the attacks on him have started. Cruz will wilt as well once the democrats start demonizing him. Ted’s unlikeable persona and lawyerly, calculating  style will make the Democrat’s job easy.

    • #4
  5. katievs Inactive
    katievs
    @katievs

    BThompson:

    Ted’s unlikeable persona and lawyerly, calculating style will make the Democrat’s job easy.

    It’ll be easier if Republicans pile on about his looks and his unlikability, instead of pointing to his great strengths as a candidate.

    • #5
  6. katievs Inactive
    katievs
    @katievs

    Romney was great-looking, wasn’t he? Very telegenic. Wonderful voice and manners.

    But he was unreliably conservative. Lots of base voters couldn’t relate to him and didn’t trust him. Maybe pretty and polished is wanted less than tough and unafraid.

    • #6
  7. Freesmith Inactive
    Freesmith
    @Freesmith

    Go back to the Biltmore Hotel where Jeb is already poolside, Marco – the fat lady is singing.

    A temporary gig on Univision awaits.

    • #7
  8. katievs Inactive
    katievs
    @katievs

    Freesmith:Go back to the Biltmore Hotel where Jeb is already poolside, Marco – the fat lady is singing.

    A temporary gig on Univision awaits.

    No, no, no! We want him on the team! He can do a lot of good with his great rhetorical powers. Help soften Ted’s hard edges.

    • #8
  9. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    katievs:Romney was great-looking, wasn’t he? Very telegenic. Wonderful voice and manners.

    But he was unreliably conservative. Lots of base voters couldn’t relate to him and didn’t trust him. Maybe pretty and polished is wanted less than tough and unafraid.

    This is a simplistic analysis. Romney wasn’t running against Hillary, he was running against Obama, and the people who didn’t turn out for Romney didn’t reject him for being insufficiently conservative. They rejected him because he wasn’t promising to give them jobs, deport 12 million illegals, and start a trade war with China the way Trump has. That’s not a matter of being true to conservatism.

    You can be in denial as to the strengths of Ted Cruz in the general election, but only if you don’t talk to average voters who don’t pay much attention to politics. They believe he is a smarmy, snake oil, televangelist, and the dems will make sure that image gets amplified. Cruz has shown no ability to shed that persona.

    Cruz is an awful salesman for conservative ideas, as he appeals to no one outside of the republican base, just like Rick Santorum. The only chance he has in the general is that voters find Hillary even less likable or she gets indicted. The media and Obama justice department will do everything to help Hillary avoid those obstacles, though.

    • #9
  10. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    katievs:

    Freesmith:Go back to the Biltmore Hotel where Jeb is already poolside, Marco – the fat lady is singing.

    A temporary gig on Univision awaits.

    No, no, no! We want him on the team! He can do a lot of good with his great rhetorical powers. Help soften Ted’s hard edges.

    The sparkle of Rubio will only make Ted look more lackluster. That is why Rubio would be a bad VP choice, everyone would think the bottom of the ticket was stronger than the top.

    • #10
  11. katievs Inactive
    katievs
    @katievs

    BT, if he’s our nominee, will you rally around him or keep trashing him?

    • #11
  12. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    You don’t have to worry about me trashing him, no one outside of the base will be listening to the likes of me. Also, I’m not inventing a bogus attack, I’m observing who Cruz is with dispassionate eyes and pointing out reality. I’ll vote for Cruz, and weep as we blow another election and seal the disastrous legacy of Obama and the fate of our country.

    Welcome to Goldwater 2.0.

    • #12
  13. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    So Ted does have bigger hands than Marco.

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    It’s good to see things shaken up a bit. That allows for unexpected possibilities. I cling to my optimism–at least for another week.

    • #14
  15. Songwriter Inactive
    Songwriter
    @user_19450

    BThompson:

    katievs:

    Freesmith:Go back to the Biltmore Hotel where Jeb is already poolside, Marco – the fat lady is singing.

    A temporary gig on Univision awaits.

    No, no, no! We want him on the team! He can do a lot of good with his great rhetorical powers. Help soften Ted’s hard edges.

    The sparkle of Rubio will only make Ted look more lackluster. That is why Rubio would be a bad VP choice, everyone would think the bottom of the ticket was stronger than the top.

    That was the case for me with Romney/Ryan.

    • #15
  16. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    Songwriter:

    BThompson:

    The sparkle of Rubio will only make Ted look more lackluster. That is why Rubio would be a bad VP choice, everyone would think the bottom of the ticket was stronger than the top.

    That was the case for me with Romney/Ryan.

    It would be ten times worse with Cruz/Rubio. Cruz less likable than Mitt, Rubio more likable and charismatic than Ryan.

    • #16
  17. katievs Inactive
    katievs
    @katievs

    BThompson:You don’t have to worry about me trashing him, no one outside of the base will be listening to the likes of me.

    Am I to take that as a yes? You’ll trash him and spread doom and gloom on the grounds that no one will listen to you?

    I sort of think this is a moment for all sensible Americans, never mind Republicans and conservatives, to rally around someone who, though he may not have been our personal favorite, nevertheless has the makings of a great President—someone with brains and guts and principles. Someone far more conservative than any candidate we’ve had on offer since Reagan.

    • #17
  18. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds
    @RobertMcReynolds

    Geez someone on here is very upset. Ted mops the floor with Hilldabeast, make book on it.

    • #18
  19. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    BThompson, if Rubio is so great why isn’t he beating Ted?

    You could be right, we could have a repeat of 1964, which in that case won’t Rubio be ideal for a run in 2020?

    • #19
  20. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    katievs:

    BThompson:You don’t have to worry about me trashing him, no one outside of the base will be listening to the likes of me.

    Am I to take that as a yes? You’ll trash him and spread doom and gloom on the grounds that no one will listen to you?

    I sort of think this is a moment for all sensible Americans, never mind Republicans and conservatives, to rally around someone who, though he may not have been our personal favorite, nevertheless has the makings of a great President—someone with brains and guts and principles. Someone far more conservative than any candidate we’ve had on offer since Reagan.

    I won’t be sabotaging Cruz, I just won’t be cheering. And again, people on the right have to get out of the bubble. What we write and say in our echo chambers isn’t what sways the middle where the fight is won. The quality of the candidate, the media narratives of the MSM, and the memes on social media do.

    • #20
  21. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    Z in MT:BThompson, if Rubio is so great why isn’t he beating Ted?

    You could be right, we could have a repeat of 1964, which in that case won’t Rubio be ideal for a run in 2020?

    Because he has had way more competition in his lane and has gotten ten times the negative attacks aimed at him in the contested states so far. Tens of millions of dollars worth. Also, the early map has mostly been fought in states where evangelicals make up a majority of the GOP electorate. Cruz does disastrously with non-evangelicals which will become apparent going forward. Watch.

    • #21
  22. katievs Inactive
    katievs
    @katievs

    I just don’t buy that “in the middle is where we win” thing. McCain and Romney were in the middle. They lost.

    • #22
  23. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    katievs:I just don’t buy that “in the middle is where we win” thing. McCain and Romney were in the middle. They lost.

    Again, simplistic analysis. McCain had to bear the brunt of the financial meltdown a month before the election which was unfairly laid at the feet of Bush and the republicans.

    Romney had to overcome a historic incumbent. More importantly, he got defined as the plutocrat plunderer of the working class and ran an incompetent lackluster campaign. The idea that any of the other “real conservatives” would have fared better than Romney is wishful thinking.

    • #23
  24. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    BThompson: …Every part of politics is broken on the right….

    They’ve got Hillary Clinton facing indictment and Bernie Sanders on the left.  Politics is always a game of the lesser of two evils, and I’d say by that metric we’re way ahead.

    People on the right are sick of Progressivism in the Republican party, and the two candidates who have done the best job of being anti-Progressive are in the lead; Trump, being anti-PC, and Cruz, being anti-Progressive-“living Constitution”.  I’d say that’s progress! (Yes, that was intentional.)

    Republicans are way ahead in voter turnout in the primaries too, so the left seems pretty demoralized.

    • #24
  25. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    The trade war threatening, labor protecting, single payer healthcare promoting, Planned Parenthood defending, entitlement pushing crony capitalist is the anti-progressive champion Republicans need. Got it.

    What color is the sky in your world?

    • #25
  26. Skarv Inactive
    Skarv
    @Skarv

    BThompson

    How our two least electable candidates look to be the last two men standing is a massive indictment of the GOP and our idiotic nomination process

    I wish we could have a discussion on how we can change the nomination process. It is obviously not working for us. If we are trying to correct the Trump disaster at the convention, we will create a very bad situation with a lot of loud and unhappy Trump supporters. The media will love the situation and our nominee will lose to Hillary. Sorry to say but 2016 is unlikely to go well so we need to focus on 2020. Regardless if we are still Republicans at that time or moved to another vehicle for Conservatism, we need to have a better process than the primaries. The best I have seen is http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/a-republican-nomination-process

    • #26
  27. She Member
    She
    @She

    BThompson:I won’t be sabotaging Cruz, I just won’t be cheering. And again, people on the right have to get out of the bubble. What we write and say in our echo chambers isn’t what sways the middle where the fight is won. The quality of the candidate, the media narratives of the MSM, and the memes on social media do.

    OK.  I can agree with the last bit.  But I’m not sure about this ‘bubble’ you speak of, or your other point that the two ‘least electable’ candidates are the only ones standing (#1).

    Why is that, do you think?

    • Is it because the RNC, or the GOPe has a stranglehold on the process, and these are the candidates they want?
    • Is it because the RNC, or the GOPe has lost control of the process, and these are the last candidates they want?
    • Is it because the voters have a stranglehold on the process, are mad as hell, want to burn DC down (metaphorically) and they’ve chosen an inarticulate, vulgar, and buffoonish billionaire who is going to kick a** and take names, and that’s all that matters
    • Is it because the voters have a stranglehold on the process, are mad as hell, and they’ve chosen a buttoned down, dweeby constitutionalist with a nasally voice and an off-putting manner, who speaks substantively about the issues, and bores the media to death?
    • Is it because Trump appeals to the conservatives who’ve been dissed and overlooked by the GOPe for the last several election cycles, thereby bringing them back into the fold and starting to rebuild the “Reagan Coalition?”
    • Is it because Trump’s not a conservative, and he appeals to more moderate and left-leaning voters, thereby bringing them back into the fold and starting to rebuild the “Reagan Coalition?”
    • Is it because the media favors Trump 7x24x365?
    • Is it because the media is secretly anti-Trump 7x24x365?

    *

    Because all of these things cannot be true at once.

    It seems to me that the key to demonstrating electability is to win a few elections.  Trump and Cruz are the only two who’ve consistently done that.

    I am reasonably sure that Trump will lose to Hillary, though.

    I am not so sure about Cruz.  Rush Limbaugh, no matter what anyone says about him, has been pretty careful with his opinions, is, I think, very pro-Cruz.  Sure, the mainstream media will undermine him, ably assisted by Donald Trump, and Republican voters who can’t get over ‘that voice.’

    The competition is Hillary, and people are worried about Cruz’s ‘voice?’  Seriously???

    The biggest problem Cruz faces at the moment is not the Democrats.  It’s his own establishment party, many of whose senior members would have to eat a tremendous amount of crow to unite behind him.  I don’t know if they have the sense, or the humility, to do that.

    So, tell me please, how am I living in a bubble?

    • #27
  28. Skarv Inactive
    Skarv
    @Skarv

    On Cruz electability. This is anecdotal but still.

    A few months ago (September 2015), I worked (in an IT company) together with a city counsel woman. She was very D and loud about her liberal opinions. To her credit she saw the weaknesses in Hillary and expressed her hope that Republicans would pick a weak contender. At that point in time Trump was not inevitable and he was her hope as she saw him as a joke. She was quite dismissive of all the Republicans except Cruz who she considered both electable and “dangerous”. Cruz was clearly the only one she really feared.

    • #28
  29. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Washington Post headline summary of last night:

    Super Saturday results show Rubio collapsing, Trump stoppable and Cruz gaining momentum

    So Marco failed the “electability” test.  Stick a fork in him.

    A Trump/Cruz ticket would be pretty spectacular, I think.  No idea on what the odds of that are, but if Jeff Sessions has Trump’s ear, it’s probably higher than zero.

    • #29
  30. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    Skarv:On Cruz electability. This is anecdotal but still.

    A few months ago (September 2015), I worked (in an IT company) together with a city counsel woman. She was very D and loud about her liberal opinions. To her credit she saw the weaknesses in Hillary and expressed her hope that Republicans would pick a weak contender. At that point in time Trump was not inevitable and he was her hope as she saw him as a joke. She was quite dismissive of all the Republicans except Cruz who she considered both electable and “dangerous”. Cruz was clearly the only one she really feared.

    Yes, that is anecdotal. Very anecdotal.

    • #30
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