Yesterday a number of states held primary elections. Political junkies were watching carefully for clues to the future. I have chosen three articles that I think best explain where we are. The first article was posted by Andrew Malcolm at Investor’s Business Daily. The second article was posted at The Hill. The third article is from The Federalist. Before I continue, I would like to add one caution–this is the silly season. Most of what you are going to hear in the next two weeks is not true. Be very careful what you believe.
Investor’s Business Daily points out:
The bottom line — or one of them — is that not much has changed. No one new dropped out, which helps Trump by keeping his opposition divided heading into the big Fox News debate in Detroit Thursday evening.
What we do know for sure now is that the GOP is split by deep fissures heading into peak primary season. Rubio and Cruz think the other should drop out.
Kasich, who’s been getting in the 4%-5% range, called on the others to quit and declared: “We have absolutely exceeded expectations.”
The governor is holding on to very little except the prayer that lightning will give him a victory back home in Ohio on March 15 and, who knows, maybe some VP consideration from Trump as a reward for denying Cruz and Rubio enough votes to catch the billionaire.
Trump had a good night, although he under-performed his polling heading into the biggest voting day of this cycle so far. That and Rubio’s late surge to second in Virginia could be a sign the Florida senator’s mocking attacks are having some impact.
Rubio declared Tuesday evening: “Donald Trump will never be the nominee of the Republican Party. We are not going to turn over the party of Lincoln and Reagan to a con man.” He called Trump “a creature of the media, the same media that’s going to tear him to shreds if he ever becomes our nominee.”
Does anyone remember Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment?
The article from The Hill points out that the precinct that includes Liberty University did not follow the lead of Jerry Falwell Jr., the school’s president, and vote for Donald Trump. The total’s from that precinct are as follows: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) took first with 44 percent support in Liberty’s precinct and 513 votes, followed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at 33 percent, Ben Carson at 14 percent and Trump at 8 percent.
The article at The Federalist made a number of observations. The first observation is that Trump underperformed:
He lost Texas to Cruz, as expected. But he lost it bigly — some 17 points. He also lost Oklahoma to Cruz. And then Cruz went ahead and won Alaska to boot. Minnesota went for Marco Rubio, his first state victory. Trump also underperformed in other states, such as Virginia. The Real Clear Politics average of polls headed into the contest was near 15 points. He won by 2.8% over Rubio. That meant Trump got 17 delegates to Rubio’s 16. His wins in Vermont and Arkansas were by similarly small margins.
The difference between the Republican and Democratic voter turnout is dramatic:
These Tuesday contests continued a pattern of record-breaking turnout for Republican primary voters and decreased turnout for Democratic voters (Colorado saw more Democratic voters than they had in 2008). Only Vermont didn’t have record-breaking turnout for its Republican primary, and it was still way up over the last contest. Many of the states whose contests were held on Super Tuesday hold open primaries, which means traditionally Democratic voters could be crossing over to vote for Trump or another candidate. No matter the cause, the excitement of both Trump voters and those seeking to stop him is palpable and contributing to the voter turnout.
One wonders if this is Democrats crossing over because they feel Trump cannot beat Hillary Clinton or if it is enthusiastic Trump supporters. At this point I have no idea.
The article at The Federalist also states:
And while Cruz has previously shown much strength, many of the upcoming primaries are in states with demographics more like Minnesota than Texas or Oklahoma. Cruz and Rubio have shown strength in states with closed primaries, where Democrats can’t switch over to vote for Trump.
Trump is dominating and on path to the nomination. No one else has a good path, except if they all keep fighting to keep Trump from getting the delegates he needs. Expect much more discussion about whether people need to get out or stay in.
The question for those who would like to see a Republican president elected in November is simple, “Will the Democrats who are voting for Trump in the primary elections vote for him in November?” I honestly do not know the answer to that question, but I suggest that the people running the Republican presidential campaigns find that answer quickly.