Sunday, March 06, 2016


As you probably know, Ted Cruz was the big Republican winner yesterday. Here's Jonathan Martin in The New York Times:
Senator Ted Cruz scored decisive wins in the Kansas and Maine caucuses on Saturday, demonstrating his enduring appeal among conservatives as he tried to reel in Donald J. Trump’s significant lead in the Republican presidential race.

Mr. Trump contained Mr. Cruz’s advances by winning in Louisiana and Kentucky. But the Texas senator’s wins were sure to energize the anti-Trump forces who are desperately trying to stop Mr. Trump’s march to the nomination, and they left little doubt that Mr. Cruz, who has now captured six states, is their best hope.
I don't know if I agree that "the Texas senator’s wins" are "sure to energize the anti-Trump forces," given the fact that many of the anti-Trump forces hate Cruz, too (although some, like Lindsey Graham, seem to warming to the idea of holding their noses and voting for Cruz). The favorite of many (most?) anti-Trumpites, Marco Rubio, had a terrible day yesterday, as Martin tells us:
The results on Saturday represented another stinging setback for Mr. Rubio. He finished a distant third in Kansas, Kentucky and Louisiana, and was fourth in Maine.

Mr. Rubio ... has an increasingly narrow path and is confronting the prospect of a humiliating loss in his own state next week.
Politico tells us that a poll commissioned by the anti-Trump group Our Principles PAC has Rubio trailing Trump by only 5 in Florida, but I don't believe it; Trump has led every public poll of Florida since August, and in all the ones conducted since mid-November Trump has led by double digits.

So what happened yesterday? We know one reason Cruz did well: Even before yesterday's contests, it was noted that Cruz does very well in closed contests -- those in which only Republicans can vote -- while Trump does better in contests open to anyone, or at least to independents. Yesterday's Republican contests were all closed; Cruz won two, and he lost Louisiana and Kentucky by only 3 and 4 points, respectively. (I also wonder if Cruz got a large proportion of Ben Carson's vote.)

But what happened to Rubio? It's not just that he lost the way he always loses; he's facing fewer opponents, yet his vote percentages are going down. In earlier contests -- Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee -- his percentage was in the 20s (or, in Virginia and Minnesota, the 30s). Last night, with far less competition, he couldn't break out of the teens.

Maybe Rubio is another candidate who, like Trump, does worse when the field is limited to registered Republicans -- although he hasn't done very well in any contest (except the open Minnesota caucus, which he won)

It's odd, because just last Monday Gallup was telling us that Rubio has much higher favorable ratings among Republicans and Republican leaners than Trump or Cruz:
Ted Cruz's and Donald Trump's images among Republicans have dropped to all-time lows in recent days.... Cruz's net favorable rating among Republicans is now +14, his lowest to date and essentially the same as Trump's +15. Marco Rubio's image is less positive than it has been at previous points in the campaign, but at +34, it is the same as in early January. Rubio's net favorable score is now twice as high as the scores of either of his major two competitors.
Rubio is strong among "Republican identifiers," Gallup says. They couldn't vote yesterday. But he also does well with women, conservatives, those who are religious, and the college educated. Why aren't they voting for him?

I think there are two groups of Rubio non-voters. One group just hates him. Here's a post by George Rasley, editor of Richard Viguerie's It appeared just after Super Tuesday:
Much as the Republican establishment would like to present Senator Marco Rubio as a viable alternative to Donald Trump his candidacy is a non-starter for a huge percentage of grassroots conservatives who are simply not going to vote for a candidate who has the same position on amnesty for illegal aliens that Hillary Clinton has and wholeheartedly supported Obama’s failed policies in the Middle East.

... Marco Rubio['s] views on amnesty for illegal aliens, same-sex marriage and the cultural issues represent a tiny RINO minority in the Republican electorate.

Were Cruz to drop out and leave the field to Marco Rubio polls suggest few of his votes would actually go to Rubio – they’d go to Trump or be off the table entirely as cultural conservatives found it impossible to hold their noses and vote for a candidate whose lifestyle has strayed so far from the principles of Biblical living.
Other GOP voters may like Rubio somewhat, but they're friendzoning him -- whatever you want in a presidential candidate, someone else seems to do it in a more appealing way. Cruz is more defiantly religious. Trump hates Hillary Clinton more. Rubio's policies are more neo-conservative, but both Trump and Cruz sound tougher. And Kasich, despite his schlumpiness, sounds more passionate when he talks about governing responsibly, for the dwindling number of Republicans to whom that matters. Rubio struggles to be the first choice in any category.

Whereas Cruz may not be liked by nearly as many people, but he inspires more loyalty because he's a more dogmatically consistent Trump. Trump's success has proved that a lot of conservatives don't care about fealty right-wing dogma, but I think it still matters to some voters, and they're with Cruz.

That's why I agree with the title of George Rasley's post: "Memo to GOP Establishment: Ted Cruz is the Best Deal You’re Going to Get from Conservatives." If there's a brokered convention and the party manages to deny Trump the nomination, I think Cruz would be acceptable to the base (even though Cruz rejects the brokered convention idea). The Trumpites would recognize that he's also willing to burn everything down. The social conservatives would see him as one of their own.

By contrast, I think a Rubio pick would tear the party apart. Rubio is liked somewhat by a lot of people, but the only passion he inspires is negative. And that would cause the split.


Feud Turgidson said...

"a Rubio pick would tear the party apart"

You mean, more than Drumpf or Cruz. I think any of the 3 will do the same - just differently. If it were Rubio (which now looks a dead letter), Drumpf definitely savages the GOP. If Cruz, that's less likely because there isn't the overtly penile puerility; Cruz has been relatively "respectful"; & there's room for an 'artful' deal that simply doesn't exist with Rubio, especially since Drumpf wants to wear Rubio's hide like a trophy.

But whether Drumpf games it for himself, or there's a deal with Cruz, Drumpf will end up owning the GOP, "root & branch" as Mitch McConnell loves saying.

Victor said...

Rubio, besides seeming likeable - though certainly not to me - looks to immature, and I think that concerns folks. He's an empty suit.

Sure, in reality, Drumpfkopf IS more immature. But, him talk mighty tough, so the rabid sociopathic rubes love him.

Cruz is unlikeable, but a good strategist when it comes to primaties. He's Nixon minus the paranoia. But instead, he's a Theocrat, and so, scare me more than the other two.

Any of them could absolutely destroy this country, but so could Kasich with his idiotic Balanced Budget Amendment - which is dog-whistle for,"After paying for the military and 'security,' sorry, but we ain't got no money left over for social safety 'entitlements.' You should been born rich!"
Note: The 3 other sociopaths could easily be convinced to also adopt it.

One is the rock, another a hard place, the third one is the Devil, and the last one is the deep blue sea.
You pick which one is which, in your eyes.

Gerald Parks said...

Soooo ...after fucking up the first 8 years of 21st Century America with Bush/Cheney/GOP/Republican horrible and disastrous governance 2000-2008 THEN through massive obstructionist practices attempted to thwart Obama/Biden/DNC/Democratic good governance 2009 to present ..
The choice the GOP/Republican offer WE THE PEOPLE is
A) Fascism B)Theocracy C)Bush/Cheney 2.0

I think we will pass .....

Unknown said...

I just don't see how even the sickest Repub could view Cruz as the "last hope" for anything. If I was forced under threat of summary execution to to vote for Trump or Cruz, I'd pick Trump. I figure a vicious, ignorant, dictatorial buffoon is better than an evil, messiah-complex theocrat.

Unknown said...

I see no place for Marco in the race, is it time he stops spending millions on a hate campaign. I have to think Trump will Take the State of Florida. Can we change the toxic chater and not allow a has-been that failed in his own campaign that lost to the worst president this country has suffered under.

Trump is telling the grassroots what most of the people I here. Both Dem and conservatives alike. Talking with a 64 year old couple this weekend I was told that they have a home in Texas. The husband is fearfull to have his wife at the house. Today they have a 2nd home in Florida where they feel safe. He is a Republican his wife said she Has been a Democrat but will vote for Trump. This is a movement and I feel it's Marco's time to Bach out to save the party from self destructing.

Ten Bears said...

Wow. Just... wow. Do dipshits in Florida qualify as frogs in hot water?

My eighty year old mother lives in South Texas, 'round Livingston. Still keeps a garden, delivers Meals on Wheels, and is active in her community center and church. She ain't afraid of jack-shit, and she's as white as white gets. Damned Republican.

It'll be the weather that drives her home, not hordes of a people, of a religion and culture that has been a part of our lives for... all of our lives.

Of course, we grew up in culture that had nothing to fear but fear itself.

Feud Turgidson said...

Here's an odd thing: for months before the voting, it was all Who Got Th' Infra[structure]?

Jeb!'s Infra was B&W pics of empty rooms with no even take-out garbage; we could ALL see the dead people.
Kasich is Tailgate Infra, just so we know: apres Whitefolksland, he gone.
We've never even needed reporters to SEE Cruz Infra: like fire ants.
Drumpf's emerged as a different type: using the Age of Comms to connect flyover-by-flyover via Whiteyskype; like an old-style travelling medicine show with one emaciated hefalump, one geek, one broken ferris wheel & sad clowns, but made to seem better with a a lick of fresh glitter & a light the clowns are packin', & the beat's supplied courtesy the White Beatie Boys. It's 76 Drumpfbones Lead the Big Hate-in; Infra, Riefenstahl-style: Driumpf of the Mouth.
But Rubio has been all Michio Kaku Infra: 'There are 500n stories in the Naked Campaign; this is one - but you can't see it, like Dark Matter, parallel universes, hidden dimensions, collapsing wave functions, many worlds, b-waves, WIMPs, the weakest of gravitons - it's all INVISIBIBBLE!

But that's all by now banal, and not my point: my point is, for a party and process so fixated on the absolute necessity of having it, WHERE THE F is the R candidate who's talking up AMERICA needing a big Infrastructure do-over?

There's a big old opening here, and the fact it's not being filled by ANYONE in the R clown car is a tell. IMO there's some millions, ten maybe more, who can be moved just by going there, painting word pictures and putting up Sovietsky-in-the-Morning type New Deal graphics. It's sitting right there waiting to be picked up and used; and if HRC doesn't do it in the General, it'll be all our faults for not forcing her to.

Feud Turgidson said...

It strikes me as passing strange that we purport to judge pundits on their ability to foresee the emergence of crowd clouds, of which the crowd itself is blithely unaware and its constituent membership divided until after it has actually emerged.

'Oh, U little creepy crawly, what will U next? Butterfly?'

'A galactic lion with a trillion sun huntresses in my harem. I am to be Jesus Mahatma Shivavisubrahman Muhammed Luther Buddha-buddha-buddha Seth Rollins Khan with Holy Writ under one arm, an A/R under the other, & a bevy of slinky top-heavy supermodels competing to hang off the third.'
'Ah: a moth, then.'