Marquette is releasing a new Wisconsin poll out today that shows Ted Cruz with 40%, Trump with 30% and Kasich with 21%.Here's Google's cached version of the poll. (UPDATE: It's now up officially.)
Here’s the image from their PDF which they’ve just taken down (it was leaked early):
The ‘Valid Percent’ column is the one that matters.
Four polls have been taken in Wisconsin this month. Ted Cruz has led in three of them. Trump was only 3 points ahead of John Kasich in the most recent Pennsylvania poll and he beats Cruz by only 1 in the latest poll of California. He's struggling. And he has to do well
Trump will almost certainly have the most delegates going into the convention, but the party no longer seems to fear challenging him at the convention if he doesn't have a majority. Politico reports this:
All four early appointees to the rules committee for this year’s Republican National Convention told POLITICO they’re prepared to weaken or scrap a rule that could limit the convention’s alternatives to Donald Trump.On Fox last night, Karl Rove strongly suggested that the rules might be used to block Trump at the convention. We also know that Marco Rubio is asking state Republican parties to let him keep his delegates, presumably so they can be used to block Trump. And Trump, of course, lost some delegates in Louisiana in post-primary maneuvering.
The four took issue with a rule, originally imposed by Mitt Romney forces in 2012 to keep rival Ron Paul off the convention stage, requiring a candidate to win a majority of delegates in eight states to be eligible for the party’s nomination -- a threshold only Trump has exceeded so far. If preserved, the rule could block John Kasich or Ted Cruz from competing with Trump at the convention, set for July in Cleveland.
If the committee scraps the requirement entirely, it could open the door to multiple candidates, possibly even some who never entered the primaries, competing for the party’s nomination at a brokered convention. And even a lower threshold would make it easier for Trump’s rivals to challenge him.
I've been skeptical about the GOP's ability to agree on an alternative to Trump. I still think that might be a problem, though I think the party could get down to a short list very quickly. My guess is that Ted Cruz (unlike Trump) will be skillful enough at working the levers that he'll remain in contention, and that it'll be between him and Paul Ryan.
But won't the Trumpites riot? I've certainly thought so, but I keep mulling this Keith Olbermann clip from an episode of The View last week:
Olbermann said, “... At this point, from what I’m hearing, I don’t even think he’s going to get the nomination. Because I think the Republican Party is going to say, everybody who is in the Republican Party goes if he wins, we all lose our jobs. If he loses, we all lose our jobs. He’s probably not going to win. Let’s make sure he doesn’t lose. We’re going to lose the party to him one way or another. Everybody in the Republican Party, in the establishment, has a self-interest in keeping him away because he could bring down congressional results.”I don't know if the Trumpites are as hapless as he makes them out to be, and they're certainly willing to throw a punch or pepper-spray a teenager, but they really might not be willing to confront anyone with heavy weaponry (and we know that law enforcement in Cleveland is looking to stock up on riot gear). Besides, if the party wants to be completely cynical, it can point to the fact that even after the riots at the '68 Democratic convention in Chicago, Hubert Humphrey lost the popular vote to Richard Nixon by less than a full percentage point, after trailing Nixon by 15 points in the polls well into September. If there's unrest in Cleveland in July, it will be a dim memory by November. Attention spans are a lot shorter in 2016 than they were in 1968.
Keith Olbermann also shot down Trump threat of riots if he is denied the nomination, “To be fair, who are the people who are supporting him, generally speaking? What I’m saying is they’re mostly people who can’t really be trusted to find their own homes again once they leave them.”
The former ESPN/MSNBC anchor explained that Republicans are really good at preventing things that are supposed to happen from happening. Olbermann said, “This is their own house. This isn’t some governmental agency. They can do what they want. They can change the rules….Whatever rule they need to make to make sure that he doesn’t get the nomination.”
If I'm right about all this, the end result of this year's voter discontent will be ... establishment candidates winning the nomination in both parties.
And, quite possibly, a GOP victory in the general election.