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. HVTs Inactive
    HVTs
    @HVTs

    donald todd: If I remember correctly, Palin was more vivid and brighter than the Maverick. Even she, as formidable as she was then, wasn’t sufficiently formidable to keep Maverick from losing.

    Voters vote for the President, not the Vice President.  That’s not to deny a home-state favorite phenomenon might have an Electoral College impact (Kasich in Ohio, perhaps).  But that’s at the margins. McCain lost because he was McCain, not because Palin was his VP choice.  You might even say McCain lost because he wasn’t Barack Obama and in 2008 Jesus Christ himself wouldn’t have beat Obama.  That amounts to the same statement, however: McCain lost because he was McCain.

    Cruz will or will not win because he’s Cruz or, if you prefer, because Hillary is the Hilldebeast.

    • #91
  2. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    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.

    Romeny ran an incompetent lackluster campaign. The idea that any of the other “real conservatives” would have fared better than Romney is wishful thinking.

    McCain made several unforced errors, among them playing nice with Obama and completely failing to make his pro-life credentials a point of appeal with voters to whom it would have mattered. Ditto Romney. He had Obama dead to rights after the Denver debate – the only clear glimpse of the mental shell that is the real Barack Obama most voters ever got- and he backed off instead of pressing the advantage.

    • #92
  3. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    HVTs:

    Voters vote for the President, not the Vice President.

    I know that’s historically true, and likely still is.  But the criteria for election, with the ever-increasing emphasis on identity politics, may be changing as well.  It’s at least possible that “the ticket” (not the nominee, not the VP) may matter, and may matter more depending on the opposition.  We know that a major factor in the Clinton campaign is going to be her gender, and her attempts to appeal to the majority sex in this country.  In some ways, in addition to having a (D) after her name, it’s pretty much all she has.  Against this backdrop, I’d suggest that very strong consideration should be given to having a female on the Republican ticket.

    • #93
  4. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    This is all great bump and giggles stuff, but the powers that be have decided that HRC will be the next POTUS. All this stuff with Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Sanders, etc are just bread and circuses for the masses and a way to extract money from donors. Getting excited about Cruz or Trump is just a waste of effort.

    • #94
  5. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Songwriter: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.

    ^ This!

    • #95
  6. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Songwriter: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.

    ^ This!

    +2.

    • #96
  7. carcat74 Member
    carcat74
    @carcat74

    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.

    Compared to the shrill, finger-pointing felon-in-waiting on the left, I’ll take the lawyer-in-good-standing….

    • #97
  8. thelonious Member
    thelonious
    @thelonious

    Fake John/Jane Galt:This is all great bump and giggles stuff, but the powers that be have decided that HRC will be the next POTUS. All this stuff with Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Sanders, etc are just bread and circuses for the masses and a way to extract money from donors. Getting excited about Cruz or Trump is just a waste of effort.

    Who are the powers that be?

    • #98
  9. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Paul A. Rahe: Cruz’ lack of likeability is a defect; Rubio’s boyishness may be a defect as well.

    Another way to say this:  Cruz’s lack of likeability is a defect; Rubio’s likeability is a defect as well.

    Same with electability.

    • #99
  10. NCforSCFC Member
    NCforSCFC
    @NCforSCFC

    At the risk of providing more anecdotal evidence, both my wife and my mother have a growing admiration for Ted Cruz after watching him through the debate process and other opportunities to hear him speak.  And this is coming from starting positions of liking Kasich and Rubio, respectively (and my mother recently moving from life-long Dem to GOP-leaning, thanks to my constant hectoring :) ).  Neither is a hardcore follower of politics but both were aware of Ted’s likability concerns.  I think he’s really grown through this process.

    • #100
  11. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha
    @PettyBoozswha

    I think we are discounting the impact of momentum on this race. Kasich had a long digression on how, in 1976, he was a young regional manager of Reagan’s bid against Ford. [so much for not having conservative bona fides.] Reagan was trounced in contest after contest until Jesse Helms helped him pull out a win late in NC. He then went on to come within about 100 delegates of unseating a sitting president. I reluctantly agree Rubio has had his shot, but I think Trump will fade a lot faster than most pundits think once he’s proved not to be invincible, and if the people that want to win in November rally around Kasich his upward glide-path would go far to cancel out Trump’s numerical advantage. I will vote for Cruz if I have to, but I cannot conceive of him winning anywhere outside the deep south. We will lose the Senate, lose the Court, possibly lose the House, and lose our chance to control redistricting next time. Cruz is not worth the gamble.

    • #101
  12. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    I see a lot of rationalizing and wishes mothering thoughts about the appeal of Cruz. I won’t try to disabuse you all of it any longer. It’s not a rational assessment, so rational arguments won’t dispel it.

    All I will say is thank God Hillary is the other candidate. That is little more than cold comfort, though, as we’ve already witnessed the extreme lengths the media has gone to put its foot on the scales, trying to upend the GOP with its promotion of Trump. They will be just as outrageous and underhanded in their efforts to drag Hillary over the finish line this summer and fall. And Hillary is a smarter politician with a lot more surrogates and resources behind her than Trump.

    Good luck to us. We will need all we can get and more.

    • #102
  13. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

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

    BT simply can’t stomach that the rest of the Right doesn’t think like he does or have his priorities. He’s ticked about who voters aren’t picking, and essentially blaming it on them and “the process”, when he should recognize the bloody obvious: if voters don’t like the dogfood you’re pushing on them, then they don’t want to buy it, whether you like it or not. The fact that Trump has been popular, and the not-Trumps have now basically been reduced to Ted Cruz is a big, flashing neon statement of just how much the Right hates the party establishment that is supposedly their voice in DC. And I don’t think “hate” is too strong a word here. Look at how the GOP was bleeding registered voters prior to Trump’s ascendancy, back when it was doing things “business as usual”. Every single guy that the GOPe conventional wisdom said was a “strong bench” was drummed out early, whether they spent 10 million or 100 million. Meanwhile, Donald Trump spent less up to South Carolina than Mike Murphy made in fees from Right to Rise.

    We’re tired of hearing “electable” because electable has become shorthand for go along to get along shills more concerned with making their millions in office than actually doing what the people that voted for them wanted them to do.

    • #103
  14. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Petty Boozswha: Kasich had a long digression on how, in 1976, he was a young regional manager of Reagan’s bid against Ford. [so much for not having conservative bona fides.]

    Hillary Clinton worked for the Goldwater campaign in 1964; therefore she has conservative credentials and we should elect her.

    • #104
  15. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    The Reticulator:

    Petty Boozswha: Kasich had a long digression on how, in 1976, he was a young regional manager of Reagan’s bid against Ford. [so much for not having conservative bona fides.]

    Hillary Clinton worked for the Goldwater campaign in 1964; therefore she has conservative credentials and we should elect her.

    Not so fast.  We only have her word for that.

    • #105
  16. Marion Evans Inactive
    Marion Evans
    @MarionEvans

    On my numbers, Trump will fall well short of the 1237 delegates needed for nomination. His results were below expectations on Super Tuesday, and even more so yesterday.

    • #106
  17. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha
    @PettyBoozswha

    I hate it when I type a seven paragraph response and Ricochet loses it.

    • #107
  18. Koolie Inactive
    Koolie
    @Koolie

    David Hume: “Beauty in things exists merely in the mind which contemplates them.”

    What did Tocqueville say about American presidential elections? He compared it to the passing of a storm. Well, the storm is gathering; dark clouds are about; shifting squalls afoot; but the storm has yet to arrive. But, like clockwork, moderate Republicans relying on “dispassionate eyes” are already a-whimper about strong conservatives being unlikable and unelectable. They sing this MSM song every cycle,  as if they have been so battered by the MSM’s narrative day in, day out, year in, year out that they know not but this dark narrative about conservatives—alas so chained are they to the MSM universe.

    Perhaps, they have also been so battered senseless by the repeated failures of their electability model they are no longer able to intuit that maybe their model is fraught with faulty assumptions and inherent uncertainty, in desperate need of an overhaul. But they persist in their faith that Ronald Reagan was an aberration, function of a time long gone, even as in the same breath, they advance Goldwater’s loss as mournful admonition, blissfully ignoring that Goldwater was of a time even longer gone. I for one tend to view Goldwater as the aberration coming after assassination.

    So, to the despairing moderates, do heed Tocqueville and that we know not as yet the shape of the storm to come, its shifting terrain, uncertain winds, and fluid masses. Un-blinker your “dispassionte eyes” discard the

    CONTD

    • #108
  19. Koolie Inactive
    Koolie
    @Koolie

    Contd from #108

    MSM model, fix your faulty assumptions, lest we are led to conclude yours are no more trustworthy than Dan Rather’s, whose “dispassionate eyes” saw NYT as neither a lefty nor righty rag but a straight down the middle moderate newspaper.

    Perhaps a rephrase of Hume might help: “Electability of candidates exists merely in the mind which contemplates them.” So, moderates, do pull up your pants, limber up, dry your eyes, and go cheer for Cruz.

    This may be your season of edification, if indeed we can get Cruz through as Rubio falters.

    • #109
  20. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    Koolie:Perhaps a rephrase of Hume might help: “Electability of candidates exists merely in the mind which contemplates them.” So, moderates, do pull up your pants, limber up, dry your eyes, and go cheer for Cruz.

    This may be your season of edification, if indeed we can get Cruz through as Rubio falters.

    First, I am not a moderate, nor is Rubio. Second, electability is a real thing, ask Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Todd Akin, and Richard Mourdock. Third, I’ve received plenty of edification about who this country is and how far it has fallen in the last two presidential elections.

    I see things very differently than I did back in 2008. In 2008 I would have bought all the arguments people are making now about the appeal of Cruz. In fact, in 2012 I was still willing to be fooled and believed Professor Rahe when he assured all of us that we couldn’t lose in 2012 and Barrack Obama was going to be defeated in a landslide.

    I don’t believe that nonsense anymore. To paraphrase GM’s gurus of Madison Avenue, “This isn’t your father’s America.”

    • #110
  21. HVTs Inactive
    HVTs
    @HVTs

    Hoyacon:

    HVTs:

    Voters vote for the President, not the Vice President.

    I know that’s historically true, and likely still is. But the criteria for election, with the ever-increasing emphasis on identity politics, may be changing as well.

    Having the right VP candidate can matter (at the margins), but gender will not matter enough to matter—if that makes sense.  Said another way, the right male candidate is far more useful to winning than a woman candidate just because she’s a women.  Voters are more sophisticated and nuanced about identity-candidates than the Democrats want to believe—they have Obama to thank for that.

    Try to imagine the voter that says to himself/herself, “I want to vote for the GOP’s Presidential candidate, but gosh darn it he doesn’t have a woman running mate!  So I’ll vote for Hillary.”  Only a political psychotic would do that, and that’s not a large demographic. To be blunt and borderline crude, if gender matters that much to you as a voter that what package the VP sports is vexing your mind, you have zero probability of voting GOP in 2016.

    • #111
  22. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha
    @PettyBoozswha

    Recap of lost post:

    Kasich’s digression was at CPAC.

    Kasich tried to tame the public employee unions, Scott Walker learned from him and became the conservative hero on that issue.

    Kasich’s management style is lightyears ahead of Cruz, who has been exiled to make work out-of-the-way assignments his entire professional career. No body  likes this guy, a handicap in a political career.

    • #112
  23. HVTs Inactive
    HVTs
    @HVTs

    thelonious:

    Fake John/Jane Galt:This is all great bump and giggles stuff, but the powers that be have decided that HRC will be the next POTUS. All this stuff with Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Sanders, etc are just bread and circuses for the masses and a way to extract money from donors. Getting excited about Cruz or Trump is just a waste of effort.

    Who are the powers that be?

    If you have to ask . . . {:-)

    • #113
  24. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    BThompson:

    Koolie:Perhaps a rephrase of Hume might help: “Electability of candidates exists merely in the mind which contemplates them.” So, moderates, do pull up your pants, limber up, dry your eyes, and go cheer for Cruz.

    This may be your season of edification, if indeed we can get Cruz through as Rubio falters.

    First, I am not a moderate, nor is Rubio. Second, electability is a real thing, ask Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Todd Akin, and Richard Mourdock. Third, I’ve received plenty of edification about who this country is and how far it has fallen in the last two presidential elections.

    I see things very differently than I did back in 2008. In 2008 I would have bought all the arguments people are making now about the appeal of Cruz. In fact, in 2012 I was still willing to be fooled and believed Professor Rahe when he assured all of us that we couldn’t lose in 2012 and Barrack Obama was going to be defeated in a landslide.

    I don’t believe that nonsense anymore. To paraphrase GM’s gurus of Madison Avenue, “This isn’t your father’s America.”

    You are right. It isn’t even the America of my youth. But it is an America up for grabs. The existence of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump is proof positive. And the old rules about electability do not apply. Had Trump run in 2004 or 2008 or 2012 he would have gone nowhere, and the same is true for Bernie. Barack Obama has left the country discontent, and the Republicans elected in 2010 and 2014 have not done anything to capitalize on the restlessness that swept them into office. This year damned near anything can happen.

    When I read what you write I think of what was written about electability in 1976 and 1980. That, too, was a moment of profound discontent.

    Let me repeat something. Marco Rubio was swept into office in 2010 by the very folks who seem disinclined to vote for him now. Electable? If he were running for the Senate in Florida, he would not be electable.

    Of course, he is running nationwide against Hillary, and she may not be electable.

    Here is something to ponder. Had Mitt Romney been able to turn out the people that Donald Trump is turning out today, he would have been president in 2012. I just read that, in Florida, most of the early voters for the upcoming primary are people who did not vote in 2012.

    • #114
  25. Benjamin Glaser Inactive
    Benjamin Glaser
    @BenjaminGlaser

    I love the line “Cruz can’t win outside the Deep South”, when the reality is not a single one of his victories (Alaska, Texas, Kansas, Iowa, Maine, and Oklahoma) have come from a state in the Deep South.

    He’s won in the West, Midwest, Far North, and Northeast.

    • #115
  26. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Koolie:What did Tocqueville say about American presidential elections? He compared it to the passing of a storm. Well, the storm is gathering; dark clouds are about; shifting squalls afoot; but the storm has yet to arrive. But, like clockwork, moderate Republicans relying on “dispassionate eyes” are already a-whimper about strong conservatives being unlikable and unelectable…

    In fairness, there’s more to Cruz’s unlikability than strong conservatism. His mode of address combines preacherly earnestness with lawyerly craftiness, an unsettling combination to people unused to the idea that it’s possible for an honest person to be both earnest and crafty (I believe it’s possible for an honest person to be both). He took a risk appealing to Evangelical voters in churchy terms when previously, his attitude had been more like, “My personal faith is something that’s integral to who I am. But in my view, in the public policy arena, the proper basis for public policy should derive not from the personal religious views of the officeholder but from principles of individual liberty and our Constitution.” And he is a huge dork.

    But I agree wholeheartedly with you that dispassionate eyes would not see these flaws as hopeless, as already consigning the non-Trump candidate who’s currently doing better than Rubio to inevitable loserdom. We’ve discovered that neither Rubio’s nor Trump’s rise has been as inevitable as their proponents previously made either out to be. Likewise, I distrust reports of Cruz’s inevitable failure should he be the nominee. Not because his likability problems aren’t real, but because assuming they’re insurmountable seems the most likely way of ensuring that they do become insurmountable, which, if he is the nominee, none of us should want.

    • #116
  27. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    Petty Boozswha:Recap of lost post:

    Kasich’s digression was at CPAC.

    Kasich tried to tame the public employee unions, Scott Walker learned from him and became the conservative hero on that issue.

    Kasich’s management style is lightyears ahead of Cruz, who has been exiled to make work out-of-the-way assignments his entire professional career. No body likes this guy, a handicap in a political career.

    Kasich embraced Obamacare. He embraced the expansion of Medicaid. How is he these days different from a Democrat?

    • #117
  28. HVTs Inactive
    HVTs
    @HVTs

    Petty Boozswha:I think we are discounting the impact of momentum on this race. … I reluctantly agree Rubio has had his shot, but I think Trump will fade a lot faster than most pundits think once he’s proved not to be invincible, and if the people that want to win in November rally around Kasich his upward glide-path would go far to cancel out Trump’s numerical advantage. I will vote for Cruz if I have to, but I cannot conceive of him winning anywhere outside the deep south. We will lose the Senate, lose the Court, possibly lose the House, and lose our chance to control redistricting next time. Cruz is not worth the gamble.

    Trump’s fade has already begun . . . see yesterday’s results.

    Uhh . . . “rally around Kasich”?  He’s got 35 Delegates.  Cruz has 300!  Rubio has 128.  You’ve got to be kidding.

    Is Alaska the deep South?  How about Maine?  Cruz won them both.  And Kansas—that deep South too?  Yeah, that’s not the General, but GOP voting is up hugely in the primaries . . . for the Dems it’s down by around 30ish percent, more in some places.  Hilldebeast is a fun-suck and no one cares if she gets her life-long ambition; they just don’t want to hear her annoying voice for 4 years.

    • #118
  29. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    Paul A. Rahe:

    When I read what you write I think of what was written about electability in 1976 and 1980. That, too, was a moment of profound discontent.

    You are very correct. But I’m also correct in noting that Ted Cruz is no Ronald Reagan. Not even close.

    Let me repeat something. Marco Rubio was swept into office in 2010 by the very folks who seem disinclined to vote for him now. Electable? If he were running for the Senate in Florida, he would not be electable.

    And what will you say if he wins his state on 3/15? Your assessment of his appeal in Florida is based on a few polls that preceded any serious campaign attacks or a real vetting of Donald Trump in the media. You have no clue whether Rubio would get elected if he ran for senate again. You are turning your bias into unfounded factual claims, you did that in 2012 as well.

    Here is something to ponder. Had Mitt Romney been able to turn out the people that Donald Trump is turning out today, he would have been president in 2012. I just read that, in Florida, most of the early voters for the upcoming primary are people who did not vote in 2012.

    Yes, but those people don’t want conservatism, they want tariffs, labor protections, mass deportation no candidate is actually proposing, and believe 9/11 was an inside job. They aren’t going to save the GOP.

    • #119
  30. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Benjamin Glaser:I love the line “Cruz can’t win outside the Deep South”, when the reality is not a single one of his victories (Alaska, Texas, Kansas, Iowa, Maine, and Oklahoma) have come from a state in the Deep South.

    My apologies if people said that here and I missed it, but I haven’t seen that sentiment widely expressed.  Trump appears to control the deep South,  so I’m not sure why anyone would say that realistically.

    • #120
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