The GOP establishment’s final stand will come in Florida

(AP)

(AP)

Donald Trump wins in Nevada, drawing 45.9 percent of the Republican electorate. He defeated both Marco Rubio (23.9 percent) and Ted Cruz (21.4 percent) by more than 20 percentage points, and in doing so raised his supposed “ceiling” of GOP support by another 10 percentage points.

We’re all astonished by it. Even Trump admits to being astonished by how quickly and easily it has come to him. And I can’t help but imagine the panicked reaction of the Republican establishment as they watch it all unravel. Surely, surely the wiser among them realize their own responsibility for what is happening to their Grand Old Party. Surely they know that this is their own plan gone awry.

They were the ones who decided decades ago that their grip on power could best be maintained by appealing to the worst instincts of its electorate. They were the ones who decided that with his name, race and background, Barack Obama offered the perfect opportunity for taking that strategy up several notches, to raise the emotional ante to a fevered pitch.

Thanks to them, Obama wasn’t allowed to be just another mainstream Democratic president, an honorable American whose ideas and policies were mistaken, at least as viewed from the GOP perspective. No. He was a foreign-born usurper who meant to “fundamentally transform” America in nefarious ways; he would destroy the country as we have known it, crumble the Constitution into a wad of paper to be tossed in the trash, and turn white people into the most persecuted majority group in the land unless patriotic, right-thinking Republicans could rally to stop him.

Yet stop him they could not. Maybe they can deny him a Supreme Court nominee in his last 11 months in office, but ObamaCare still stands, he succeeded in raising taxes on the wealthy, we have a treaty with Iran that has ended its nuclear program and an economy that was losing 800,000 jobs a month when he took office now boasts an unemployment rate below 5 percent and by far the longest sustained job growth in the nation’s history.

To top it all off, in 2012 the American people re-elected Obama to the White House, making him the first president since Ike Eisenhower to win two terms in office by drawing at least 51 percent of the vote in each election. Today, Gallup puts Obama’s job approval rating at 48 percent, comparable to that of Ronald Reagan at the same point in his second term (50 percent) and far better than George W. Bush (32 percent).  Rasmussen puts it at 51 percent, which ain’t bad for a Kenyan anti-colonialist.

So of course the GOP electorate is angry. Of course it’s frustrated and fearful. The party leadership and its propaganda machine sold them a powerful narrative of a beloved nation under siege from within, teetering on the brink of collapse. But they neglected to give the story the happy ending that it requires. They needed a hero, someone to ride in, vanquish the villain and save the day, and the likes of John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney and the rest of the GOP elite proved to be spectacularly ill-cast for such a role.

Enter Trump, a man whose head expands enough to fill any vacuum.

Trump is going to do well — “very well, very well indeed” — in next Tuesday’s voting. He’s up by 10 to 12 points here in Georgia; in Massachusetts he’s up 34 points. In Alabama he’s up 20, up six in Virginia, in Vermont up 15.  In Texas, he trails local boy Ted Cruz by just 8 points, and Cruz’s trajectory is down, not up.¹

After that comes Michigan on March 8, where Trump is up by 20. There’s no firewall in any of those states, only dry tinder to feed the flames.

The real day of decision is now March 15, the date of the Florida primary. Under GOP rules, delegates in all primaries prior to that date will have been awarded proportionately. Florida will be the first major state that awards all 99 of its delegates to the outright winner of its primary. It is also the home state of Rubio, the sole remaining candidate with any hope of halting Trump, the apple-cheeked boy upon whom the establishment is placing its remaining hopes.

The most recent polling in Florida is more than a month old, but it shows Trump up 26 points over Rubio. Yes, that polling was conducted when former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was still in the race. But even if you play the what-if game that has become the last solace of anti-Trump Republicans, the math remains brutal: Even if you shift all of Bush’s Florida support into Rubio’s column, Trump still has a lead of 17 points in the Sunshine State.

And he doesn’t need to win by 17 points. If he defeats Rubio in Florida by a single vote, Rubio loses any credibility as a viable alternative and the nomination is decided. Florida, the land of the hanging chad, will be the last stand of the GOP establishment.

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¹Here’s how perfectly the stars are aligning for Trump: He doesn’t really want to win in Texas, or at least he shouldn’t.  A loss there would suit his strategy perfectly. If he were to defeat Cruz in Texas, he would basically strip the Cruz campaign of its argument for existence and push him out of the race. And Trump wants to keep Cruz around as long as possible to siphon off votes and media attention, and to give him a convenient target for abuse.

 

 

Reader Comments 0

2281 comments
breckenridge
breckenridge

Is Trump a RINO?


No.  Trump is a Trumpican who just happens to be running as a republican.

InTheMiddle2
InTheMiddle2

@breckenridge Got that right. That is one of the reasons the GOP establishment wants him out. You think it was tough working with Obama, you aint seen nothing yet.

The Doom
The Doom

The "Bubba" card. 


When ya got nuthin just resort to mocking a specific group- namely white Southerners. 

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

Trump has practically done our work for us, people. 

He's peeled off Bubba from the trickle-down con-artist slime for us.

The mark (Bubba) is aware of the Republican establishment con artist scam. All we have to do reconnect with Bubba. We are not gonna win back Bubba to the Consumer side by mocking him.

He's been scammed by the Heritage/Rush caca and he feels pretty bad enough already.

We're gonna have to go in "Bob's Country Bunker" and win Bubba over like the Blues Bros did - if we really want to put a fork in that sleazy Republican pahhty.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_KtQ1BqfHM


gotalife
gotalife

A iphone was not used to slaughter Americans.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

They think white privilege is ending but not yet.


The New Yorker had a good take on this.


“Trump, on a gut level, kind of senses that this is about demographics, ultimately. We’re moving into a new America.” He said, “I don’t think Trump is a white nationalist,” but he did believe that Trump reflected “an unconscious vision that white people have—that their grandchildren might be a hated minority in their own country. I think that scares us. They probably aren’t able to articulate it. I think it’s there. I think that, to a great degree, explains the Trump phenomenon. I think he is the one person who can tap into it.”


http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/08/31/the-fearful-and-the-frustrated


Nailed it. That idea scares the hell out of some. And so they are running to Trump. 



Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

If the word "egalitarian" was in there, that tripe could have been written by that old hippie MES.

What garbage.

gotalife
gotalife

Apple is making an iphone that even Apple can't hack and I will buy one just on principle. Principles are not something you cut and run from when you get scared cowards. We don't hand over our freedoms due to cowardice. cons do that not real Americans.

rimsky
rimsky

@gotalife I used to have  an iPhone.  The battery went bad pretty fast.  The cost of putting a new one was as expensive as buying another one.

TBS
TBS

@gotalife


Well Obama gladly renewed the Patriot Act...

And it's his FBI who wants access to those phones.

Obama imo a better alternative to McCain or Romney but don't fool yourself.............

HE WANTS YOUR DATA

Peachs
Peachs

"Donald J. Trump has stoked crowds by promising to bring back jobs. But he has also pursued more than 500 visas for foreign workers despite hundreds of domestic applicants."  NY Times, today, 


And you wonder why he does well with Latinos in Nevada..

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@Hedley_Lammar 

Your conservative types were tories and loyal to the crown.

Mostly Southerners. Big shock there. 

**

A little contempt for your fellow Southerners there, Hedley?

gotalife
gotalife

Instead of blaming automatic guns slaughtering folks from a guy going postal in California, they blame an iphone.White folks have lost their freaking minds. Cutting mental health was our biggest mistake so far.

The Doom
The Doom

“As Mankind becomes more liberal, ..."


Context, please. Liberal in those days meant an entirely different thing than liberal today. Many if not most of the founding fathers were "liberals". John Stuart Mill was a "liberal". Hayek was a "liberal". The late Milton Friedman considered himself a "liberal". Doomy is a "liberal". Big difference between the true liberals and the modern progressives or Dems who would crush many of the ideals of true liberalism. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Doom Classical liberal  “The Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”


Does that sound like some a conservative or a liberal would say today ?


John Adams agreed with that statement. And he was probably the most religious of all the founding fathers. 

breckenridge
breckenridge

@Doom Classical liberal 

Doom in the 18th context liberalism also meant freedom of religion, but not as we define it in America today. In both England and France, the King was head of the both the government and the church.  So liberalism also meant freedom to pursue religious beliefs outside of the officially prescribed doctrine. 


In England you could dissent, but at a cost - you lost your right to vote and so forth. And Locke was the first to say that's not right, man should be free to pursue his beliefs without penalty.

The Doom
The Doom

@consumedconsumer @Doom Classical liberal


No doubt. Word's meanings often change over time. The basterdization of the word liberal started in the 1930s and gradually changed it to the disrespectable connotation that the word carries today. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Doom Classical liberal @consumedconsumer Conservatives did that with focus groups etc.


They are great at that stuff.


Call it estate tax nobody cares. Call it death tax and everybody hates it.


Death is bad you see.


BTW i'm proud to be a liberal. As are many Americans. 

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@Doom Classical liberal @Nick_Danger Disagree, Mr. Doomy.  What you characterize as "lack of personal responsibility" can equally be characterized as "helping the less fortunate." 

Both points of view are valuable, and, when society works properly, the debate between the two can lead us to a valuable compromise.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@Doom Classical liberal @Nick_Danger 

Also keep in mind that in the 18th Century nobody was really free - they were all subjects, and the king was the boss.  Liberalism meant freedom - as long as you followed laws you could do whatever the hell you wanted. And that was a brand new concept introduced in America.

The Doom
The Doom

@Nick_Danger @Doom Classical liberal


"helping the less fortunate." , or charity, is done willingly. 


When income is redistributed from those who earn it to those who didn't earn it then that, sir, is  coercion via the force of govt power. 

The Doom
The Doom

@consumedconsumer @Doom Classical liberal @Hedley_Lammar


Freedom was a rare thing throughout the world at that time. Many folks in all quarters of the world were subject to their overlords and were enslaved, mistreated, and or subjugated. 


The race card doesn't work considering that stronger African tribes enslaved smaller and weaker Africans of different tribes. Doesn't seem to stop you from constantly playing the race card though. 

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@Doom Classical liberal @Nick_Danger 

And, once again, the tension between those two positions often offers a reasonable compromise - a minimum standard below which a free man will not allow a neighbor to fall, if you wish. 

But for now, system's broke.