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. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Skarv: The best I have seen is http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/a-republican-nomination-process

    You have to be kidding.

    Republicans eventually followed the Democrats’ lead, even though the old process had not created internal rifts in the GOP the way it had among the Democrats.

    Goldwater-Rockefeller immediately comes to mind. That wasn’t an internal rift? I’m still laughing.

    Without doubt, one of the most troublesome aspects of the current system is its gross inefficiency. Whereas generations ago selecting a nominee took relatively little time and money, today’s process has resulted in a near-permanent campaign. Because would-be nominees have to win primaries and open caucuses in several states, they must put together vast campaign apparatuses that spread across the nation, beginning years in advance and raising tens of millions of dollars.

    Moving to a process that does not do this while Democrats have done this will give a huge advantage to Democrats. The authors are essentially saying not having a widespread organization is a good idea. Seriously?

    Today’s nominating process doesn’t just weaken the GOP candidate before he faces off against the Democrats:

    If the Democrats are following the same type of process (as the authors state), but it is weakening only the Republicans, I would suggest something else is going on.

    I think the authors hit upon the real problem in the first paragraph (all the different factions) and institutional weakness of the party.

    • #31
  2. Del Mar Dave Member
    Del Mar Dave
    @DelMarDave

    To paraphrase Stan Evans, we have 2 parties, the Evil Party and the Stupid Party. The Stupid Party is on its way again to seizing defeat from the jaws of victory.

    • #32
  3. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Folks, remember that we are not comparing Cruz to anyone but Hillary Clinton. Who has the more annoying voice or mannerism? Who has a harder time taking criticism without losing their nerve?

    One huge advantage Cruz has is that Hillary’s history gives him infinite ammunition. After all, anytime she says something he can just give an example of a Hillary Whopper, and ask the voters how sure they are that she is really telling that truth this time?

    • #33
  4. Redneck Desi Inactive
    Redneck Desi
    @RedneckDesi

    I would love it if Ted Cruz was elected president…he is a fighter and a true conservative. But can he win? Can he convince the 5% super squishy middle? Maybe if Hillary is indicted or implodes, but if she does not and the 1 billion dollars in attack ads comes down on “smarmy snake oil” Ted? Rubio is not as easy to caricature for the left. Their philosophic differences are minor to be honest, and it is troubling that so few of his colleagues are endorsing him.

    • #34
  5. Spin Inactive
    Spin
    @Spin

    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.

    I’ve been particularly nasty in my criticism of Trump.  I will no do that to Cruz.  He’s a candidate I can get behind.

    • #35
  6. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    The idea that in a ten way or seven way or five way race, the guy who wins a plurality is the favorite of the electorate is utter nonsense. You know who’d be the first to tell you this? Ted Cruz.

    Cruz lost his primary for senate to David Dewhurst, 45%-34%. Once the field got narrowed to two candidates Cruz won.

    Winning pluralities against a highly divided field in states that are demographically favorable to you doesn’t prove a thing about your electability in a one on one general election across the whole country.

    You ask who is living in a bubble. Anyone who thinks Ted Cruz appeals to anyone outside the republican base is living in a bubble.

    I do not say these things because I enjoy saying them or out of animus toward Cruz. I say them out of real despair for the future of our country.

    • #36
  7. Del Mar Dave Member
    Del Mar Dave
    @DelMarDave

    To paraphrase Stan Evans , we have two parties: the Evil Party and the Stupid Party. The Stupid Party is, once again, about to seize defeat from the jaws of victory.

    • #37
  8. Songwriter Inactive
    Songwriter
    @user_19450

    Let’s face it – neither Cruz nor Trump is a charm school graduate. One is a loud-mouthed bully and the other is a prickly debate champ.

    But my bet is that Cruz can learn to be a little more charming faster than Trump can learn the Constitution.

    • #38
  9. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    When I read what BThompson says about Cruz, I think back to what nearly everyone — except the supposed maniacs on the right — said in 1976 and again in 1980 about Reagan. I will confess that Reagan was more likeable than is Cruz. But his unelectability was the theme, and we were urged time and again to choose yet another New Deal Republican. Jerry Ford, Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney — all decent men. None of them genuinely conservative. All of them lost. As for Rubio, at this point, it looks as if he will be creamed in his own state. If he is so electable, what did he do to alienate the Republican electorate in his own state? I think that he brought this on himself.

    • #39
  10. She Member
    She
    @She

    Redneck Desi:I would love it if Ted Cruz was elected president…he is a fighter and a true conservative. But can he win? Can he convince the 5% super squishy middle? Maybe if Hillary is indicted or implodes, but if she does not and the 1 billion dollars in attack ads comes down on “smarmy snake oil” Ted? Rubio is not as easy to caricature for the left. Their philosophic differences are minor to be honest, and it is troubling that so few of his colleagues are endorsing him.

    Fourteen current and former state governors have endorsed Rubio.

    Twenty current and former United States Senators have endorsed Rubio.

    Twenty-seven current and former members of the United States House of Representatives have endorsed Rubio.

    So far, the highly-touted and significant endorsements from national politicians that Rubio has received seem to have done almost nothing for him.

    I am not sure that this is the year of the endorsement as an arrow in the quiver of political electability.

    • #40
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Paul A. Rahe: If he is so electable, what did he do to alienate the Republican electorate in his own state? I think that he brought this on himself.

    From what I understand, Paul, I think the Tea Party felt betrayed by Rubio. Also, we were never completely satisfied about his credit card use “mistake.” Plus, he lacked dignity in the way he attacked Trump.

    • #41
  12. She Member
    She
    @She

    BThompson:The idea that in a ten way or seven way or five way race, the guy who wins a plurality is the favorite of the electorate is utter nonsense. You know who’d be the first to tell you this? Ted Cruz.

    Cruz lost his primary for senate to David Dewhurst, 45%-34%. Once the field got narrowed to two candidates Cruz won.

    Winning pluralities against a highly divided field in states that are demographically favorable to you doesn’t prove a thing about your electability in a one on one general election across the whole country.

    You ask who is living in a bubble. Anyone who thinks Ted Cruz appeals to anyone outside the republican base is living in a bubble.

    I do not say these things because I enjoy saying them or out of animus toward Cruz. I say them out of real despair for the future of our country.

    Cruz got to the runoff because he did well in the primary.  I’d love to see Cruz in the runoff with Trump.  Or with Hillary.

    So I think you’ve just made my point about electability.

    Also, I think, if you look at the map, Cruz has done less well in some states that were thought to be his ‘base,’ and better in some states that were not.  So I am not sure that all the tried, tired, and true tropes from days of yore are applicable this year.  Maybe it’s time to start thinking outside the bubble.

    Perhaps we have a different idea of what constitutes the Republican base.

    • #42
  13. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    Paul A. Rahe:

    I will confess that Reagan was more likeable than is Cruz.

    Which is exactly my point and where you concede the argument. If  Cruz were half the candidate and communicator Reagan was, I wouldn’t be worried. Cruz isn’t Reagan in 80. He’s Goldwater in 64. And Goldwater didn’t give us Reagan, he gave us the Great Society followed by Nixon and fifteen plus years of disaster for the country.

    But his unelectability was the theme, and we were urged time and again to choose yet another New Deal Republican. Jerry Ford, Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney — all decent men. None of them genuinely conservative.

    Rubio is not any of those men. If Rubio were the nominee, we would have the most conservative nominee since Reagan. In fact, Rubio would be more conservative than Reagan was.

    As for Rubio, at this point, it looks as if he will be creamed in his own state.

    Well, I wouldn’t count your chickens yet, but if you are right, Ted Cruz is doomed, so you’d better hope Rubio turns it around. A Tarrance poll came out yesterday, though, indicating the race was within 5 points. So we shall see.

    1/2

    • #43
  14. She Member
    She
    @She

    BThompson:

    Paul A. Rahe:

    I will confess that Reagan was more likeable than is Cruz.

    Which is exactly my point and where you concede the argument. If Cruz were half the candidate and communicator Reagan was, I wouldn’t be worried. Cruz isn’t Reagan in 80. He’s Goldwater in 64. And Goldwater didn’t give us Reagan, he gave us the Great Society followed by Nixon and fifteen plus years of disaster for the country.

    But his unelectability was the theme, and we were urged time and again to choose yet another New Deal Republican. Jerry Ford, Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney — all decent men. None of them genuinely conservative.

    Rubio is not any of those men. If Rubio were the nominee, we would have the most conservative nominee since Reagan. In fact, Rubio would be more conservative than Reagan was.

    As for Rubio, at this point, it looks as if he will be creamed in his own state.

    Well, I wouldn’t count your chickens yet, but if you are right, Ted Cruz is doomed, so you’d better hope Rubio turns it around. A Tarrance poll came out yesterday, though, indicating the race was within 5 points. So we shall see.

    1/2

    Throwing out the specter of Goldwater in 1964 as a bogeyman is absurd.  If the Republicans had run the Angel Gabriel for President, twelve months after the assassination of JFK, they’d have lost then, too.

    LBJ in 1964 was like GWB in October of 2001.

    • #44
  15. Lazy_Millennial Inactive
    Lazy_Millennial
    @LazyMillennial

    BThompson:

    You ask who is living in a bubble. Anyone who thinks Ted Cruz appeals to anyone outside the republican base is living in a bubble.

    BT, I agree with you, BUT

    I’ve been watching the Dem side, and we’re going to face Clinton. Dem turnout is down ~26% from 2008, despite population growth. Down ~30% in states where Clinton wins in a landslide- all the enthusiasm and die-hard, “recruit friends and family” supporters, are backing Bernie. This woman is not a good candidate, and represents, even more than Jeb Bush, “the establishment” (both sides hate theirs), “business as usual”, “cronyism”, etc.

    Ted Cruz, while not Trump or Sanders, is still very anti-“establishment” and “anti-Washington”. He’s a lawyer who can attack Clinton’s huge weaknesses hard. I’m worried about our chances, but I don’t think it’s as grim as you’re painting. Especially given voter tendency to flip the White House after 8 years, and the weak economy.

    I will predict that whoever faces Clinton will face the biggest negative publicity machine ever seen by man, given Clinton’s complete inability to be likable. I also think that Cruz/Clinton would see a significant downturn in turnout, compared to 2012 and 2008. But Cruz could win it.

    • #45
  16. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    Paul A. Rahe:If he is so electable, what did he do to alienate the Republican electorate in his own state?

    Rubio did two things to piss off the Florida establishment. Take down Charlie Crist and not wait his turn, jumping ahead of Jeb Bush. This has lead to Rick Scott and Jeb Bush refusing to endorse Rubio.

    What’s more, Florida is a purple state. It is a purple state precisely because it has a huge number of the blue-collar, white, disaffected voters who aren’t especially conservative and often vote democrat, but love to hear a demagogue like Trump pander to them. That is, if Ted Cruz were from Florida, he never would have won his senate seat running the way he did in Texas, and even if he did, he’d be having the same troubles Rubio is against Trump in Florida.

    • #46
  17. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Paul A. Rahe: 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!

    Cruz had won 3 of 4 states where only registered Republicans were voting prior to yestarday. Yesterday he was 2 of 4.

    To me what this shows is Trump weakness among Republicans and Cruz weakness among Independents and Democrats willing to cross over where it is allowed. Can argue that it is Democrats trying to make a mess of the Republican nomination, but it is an assertion rather than something true in absence of evidence.

    Also think that Trump did much worse than his poll numbers because of what he said on stage about H1B visas. If you are going to make immigration a key issue, you don’t go changing your position on stage spur of the moment.

    A Trump-Cruz ticket is in the making.

    • #47
  18. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    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.

    The thing that’s broken is GOPe, which has no self-awareness of how it has caused all of this, and is not likely to get any.

    • #48
  19. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    Here is what the polls in Florida suggest: Trump crushes Rubio by a wide margin in his home state.

    This suggests that a lot of the folks who elected Rubio over Charlie Crist six years ago came to feel that they had been betrayed. Why? Perhaps he set out to run for the Presidency and ignored the concerns of his constituents back home. Perhaps because he ran against Crist as an opponent of amnesty and did a 180 not long thereafter.

    Don’t get me wrong. I like Rubio, and I suspect that he might be more attractive in the general election than Cruz. But he clearly did something that alienated a great many Republican voters.

    I do not buy the notion that Rubio suffers from competition in his supposed lane. That may have been half-true early on. It is not true now. Apart from Kasich who is an out-and-out liberal, Rubio no longer has any competition apart from Trump and Cruz. Had he not turned on those who supported him, had he not signed up with the Chamber of Commerce, had he not allowed the Republican establishment to dupe him, he might now be on top of the world. He blundered badly and had to back off, and a base sick and tired of betrayal wrote him off.

    Perhaps Rubio can turn it around. Perhaps he can pull a rabbit out of the hat. But it looks right now as if he is toast. I am not happy about this, but that is the way it is, and it is a blunder to blame the base. They have a reason for their misgivings.

    • #49
  20. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    She:

    Cruz got to the runoff because he did well in the primary. I’d love to see Cruz in the runoff with Trump. Or with Hillary.

    So I think you’ve just made my point about electability.

    No, you just dodged my point about how winning pluralities doesn’t show who’d win in a two way race, that is especially true when you are including caucuses, which produce different results than a straight vote would.

    The results to date don’t account for second choice preference that would become evident in a two way race. What’s more, Rubio has done very well with voters so far as well. Even after yesterday, if you take Texas out of the equation, Rubio has the same amount of votes as Cruz. At this point the air may have gone out of the balloon enough that Rubio doesn’t make up the gap after Florida, but we shall see.

    Also, I think, if you look at the map, Cruz has done less well in some states that were thought to be his ‘base,’ and better in some states that were not.

    The only states outside of Cruz’s core demographic that he won are Alaska and Maine, which were both caucuses that have an extremely small number of voters and which weren’t really contested by any candidates. Every other state Cruz has won outside of Texas are high evangelical turnout states where Huckabee and/or Santorum won.

    • #50
  21. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    Paul A. Rahe:Here is what the polls in Florida suggest: Trump crushes Rubio by a wide margin in his home state.

    All of those polls are 10-14 days out of date, so they don’t really tell us much about where things stand now.

    As I mentioned before, this Tarrance poll indicates things are good bit tighter than people seem to think.

    And I think you are wrong about the way Kasich is hurting Rubio. Without Kasich Rubio would have beaten Trump handily in Virginia, likely beaten Trump in Vermont, taken a very strong second in Massachusetts, and gotten over the threshold for delegates in Texas and Alabama.

    That would have given Rubio three wins on Super Tuesday, matching Cruz’s victories. It would have also greatly improved Rubio’s delegate count and completely changed the momentum narrative going into yesterday’s contests. Rubio would likely be neck and neck with Trump in the polls in Michigan right now if Kasich had gotten out before Super Tuesday as well. So, I find your dismissal of the lane competition problem completely off base.

    As for Rubio betraying Florida voters, I think that’s facile. As I posted above, Florida is prime territory for Trump with the disaffected blue collar white voters. Florida hasn’t had the economic fortune of Texas during this moribund economy so Trump plays better in Florida than he does in a much more conservative and economically healthy Texas.

    • #51
  22. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    Hang On:

    A Trump-Cruz ticket is in the making.

    I agree, as is a new right wing party.

    The only question is whether the Trump wing of the party will keep the republican brand and the traditional conservatives leave the party, or if the Trump wing will be the group forced out after the landslide loss of the Trump/Cruz ticket in November.

    • #52
  23. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    BThompson:

    Paul A. Rahe:Here is what the polls in Florida suggest: Trump crushes Rubio by a wide margin in his home state.

    All of those polls are 10-14 days out of date, so they don’t really tell us much about where things stand now.

    As I mentioned before, this Tarrance poll indicates things are good bit tighter than people seem to think.

    And I think you are wrong about the way Kasich is hurting Rubio. Without Kasich Rubio would have beaten Trump handily in Virginia, likely beaten Trump in Vermont, taken a very strong second in Massachusetts, and gotten over the threshold for delegates in Texas and Alabama.

    That would have given Rubio three wins on Super Tuesday, matching Cruz’s victories. It would have also greatly improved Rubio’s delegate count and completely changed the momentum narrative going into yesterday’s contests. Rubio would likely be neck and neck with Trump in the polls in Michigan right now if Kasich had gotten out before Super Tuesday as well. So, I find your dismissal of the lane competition problem completely off base.

    As for Rubio betraying Florida voters, I think that’s facile. As I posted above, Florida is prime territory for Trump with the disaffected blue collar white voters. Florida hasn’t had the economic fortune of Texas during this moribund economy so Trump plays better in Florida than he does in a much more conservative and economically healthy Texas.

    The Tarrance polls is an outlier, and it was not taken by a respected polling outfit. It was arranged by a group formed to support Marco Rubio and blast Trump. It is, to say the least, suspect.

    A lot of those “disaffected blue collar white voters” must have voted for Marco Rubio six years ago. Why have they turned against him in the interim? That is the question you are dodging.

    As for “lanes,” you keep telling us that Rubio is a died-in-the-wool conservative. Kasich is nothing of the sort. They are in the same lane only in your imagination.

    • #53
  24. She Member
    She
    @She

    BThompson:

    She:

    Cruz got to the runoff because he did well in the primary. I’d love to see Cruz in the runoff with Trump. Or with Hillary.

    So I think you’ve just made my point about electability.

    No, you just dodged my point about how winning pluralities doesn’t show who’d win in a two way race, that is especially true when you are including caucuses, which produce different results than a straight vote would.

    The results to date don’t account for second choice preference that would become evident in a two way race. What’s more, Rubio has done very well with voters so far as well. Even after yesterday, if you take Texas out of the equation, Rubio has the same amount of votes as Cruz. At this point the air may have gone out of the balloon enough that Rubio doesn’t make up the gap after Florida, but we shall see.

    Also, I think, if you look at the map, Cruz has done less well in some states that were thought to be his ‘base,’ and better in some states that were not.

    The only states outside of Cruz’s core demographic that he won are Alaska and Maine, which were both caucuses that have an extremely small number of voters and which weren’t really contested by any candidates. Every other state Cruz has won outside of Texas are high evangelical turnout states where Huckabee and Santorum won.

    I understand your point, which is that we can never know who will win in a two-way race.  I certainly don’t know for sure, and neither do you.

    Which is why I find it interesting that you’ve already decided it’s impossible for Cruz to do so.

    • #54
  25. She Member
    She
    @She

    This is the year that the Republican electorate is going to have to, in the words of Donald Rumsfeld, “go to war with the army that [it has], not the army [it] might want or wish to have at a later time.”  Those armies retreated in disarray many months ago when the circus came to town.

    Whoever the eventual Republican nominee is (and it looks as though it will not be one selected by the GOPe or the RNC), if voters can find one sliver of principled agreement with that candidate, then they need to do their best to get him elected.

    Just as they need to do everything they can between now and the convention to get their preferred nominee elected.

    The people who find the chosen candidate of their party utterly unprincipled and completely abhorrent can always exercise their freedom to vote for someone else, or to abstain from voting altogether.

    The likely larger number of people who split hairs, say that they agree with many of the candidate’s positions, but that he’s just not quite good enough, that he isn’t electable, that he’s not the guy they really wanted, that his appeal isn’t broad enough, that his voice is annoying, that he’s not telegenic, or that we are doomed before we start, are the people who will alter the course of the election.  (It’s happened before).   Because they will feed the media stories and the social media memes from now until November.

    If the problem last time was that voters wouldn’t support a flawed GOPe candidate, then the problem this time can’t be that they won’t support a flawed insurgency candidate.  The candidate is the candidate is the candidate.  Voters must deal with it.

    Gird your (generic your) loins.  Stiffen your spine.  Stand up and fight.

    Find a way to get the guy elected.

    Or, give up before you start, throw in the towel, wave the white flag, fold up your tent and go home.

    I never choose Plan B.  Failure should not be an option.  And it should certainly not be the default position.

    • #55
  26. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    BThompson:

    Hang On:

    A Trump-Cruz ticket is in the making.

    I agree, as is a new right wing party.

    The only question is whether the Trump wing of the party will keep the republican brand and the traditional conservatives leave the party, or if the Trump wing will be the group forced out after the landslide loss of the Trump/Cruz ticket in November.

    I think that you are both wrong. Cruz may beat Trump; and, if Trump is the nominee, Kasich is far more apt than Cruz to be the Vice-Presidential nominee. Trump is not a conservative. If he is any kind of Republican at all, he is a New Deal Republican . . . which is precisely where Kasich fits. Their only disagreement would have to do with abortion, and Kasich strikes me as a flexible man.

    • #56
  27. HVTs Inactive
    HVTs
    @HVTs

    BThompson:Without Kasich Rubio would have beaten Trump handily in Virginia, likely beaten Trump in Vermont, taken a very strong second in Massachusetts, and gotten over the threshold for delegates in Texas and Alabama.

    That would have given Rubio three wins on Super Tuesday, matching Cruz’s victories. It would have also greatly improved Rubio’s delegate count and completely changed the momentum narrative going into yesterday’s contests. Rubio would likely be neck and neck with Trump in the polls in Michigan right now if Kasich had gotten out before Super Tuesday as well.

    This would be compelling, perhaps, if writing alternative history narratives actually changed reality.  It doesn’t.  Woulda-Shoulda-Coulda doesn’t matter.  Rubio is not winning. Period. Full Stop. You can press the I Believe button but that doesn’t compel voters to do what they evidently are not willing to do: vote for the guy who lies (to this day) about his amnesty position and who sought to be the establishment’s irresistible 2016 candidate by cozying up to Chuckie Schumer on an issue of profound significance to a highly energized conservative voter base.

    • #57
  28. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    Paul A. Rahe:

    The Tarrance polls is an outlier, and it was not taken by a respected polling outfit. It was arranged by a group formed to support Marco Rubio and blast Trump. It is, to say the least, suspect.

    Well, perhaps but the polls you cited are two weeks old, all from before the Texas debate where the attacks on Trump began in earnest. so they are extremely suspect as well.

    A lot of those “disaffected blue collar white voters” must have voted for Marco Rubio six years ago. Why have they turned against him in the interim? That is the question you are dodging.

    Donald Trump wasn’t running six years ago, getting tens of millions of dollars of free air time over Rubio.

    As for “lanes,” you keep telling us that Rubio is a died-in-the-wool conservative. Kasich is nothing of the sort. They are in the same lane only in your imagination.

    Yes, but the moderates that are favoring Kasich would disproportionately go to Rubio. The demographics of the Kasich voters overlap a good chunk of Rubio’s support. And when you look at voting results maps, Rubio’s and Kasich’s maps look almost identical while Cruz’s map look very different.

    The difference between Rubio and Kasich is that Rubio would be the second choice of many more Cruz voters than Kasich would, precisely because Kasich is too liberal.

    • #58
  29. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Paul A. Rahe: I think that you are both wrong. Cruz may beat Trump; and, if Trump is the nominee, Kasich is far more apt than Cruz to be the Vice-Presidential nominee. Trump is not a conservative. If he is any kind of Republican at all, he is a New Deal Republican . . . which is precisely where Kasich fits. Their only disagreement would have to do with abortion, and Kasich strikes me as a flexible man.

    You certainly may be right, but if I’m Trump I would be asking myself what Kasich would bring? Trump has 3 or 4 things he has said he wants to do. That has resonated. Cruz is on a different resonance frequency that could potentially add. Kasich has no resonance. It’s about putting together a coalition that can win.

    • #59
  30. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    BThompson:

    Paul A. Rahe:

    The Tarrance polls is an outlier, and it was not taken by a respected polling outfit. It was arranged by a group formed to support Marco Rubio and blast Trump. It is, to say the least, suspect.

    Well, perhaps but the polls you cited are two weeks old, all from before the Texas debate where the attacks on Trump began in earnest. so they are extremely suspect as well.

    A lot of those “disaffected blue collar white voters” must have voted for Marco Rubio six years ago. Why have they turned against him in the interim? That is the question you are dodging.

    Donald Trump wasn’t running six years ago, getting tens of millions of dollars of free air time over Rubio.

    As for “lanes,” you keep telling us that Rubio is a died-in-the-wool conservative. Kasich is nothing of the sort. They are in the same lane only in your imagination.

    Yes, but the moderates that are favoring Kasich would disproportionately go to Rubio. The demographics of the Kasich voters overlap a good chunk of Rubio’s support. And when you look at voting results maps, Rubio’s and Kasich’s maps look almost identical while Cruz’s map look very different.

    The difference between Rubio and Kasich is that Rubio would be the second choice of many more Cruz voters than Kasich would, precisely because Kasich is too liberal.

    If this analysis of the demographics is right — and it may well be right — Rubio is losing because he tossed of the conservative bona fides that he possessed after beating Charlie Crist in 2010. The voters see him as another Kasich, and not many of them want that.

    • #60
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