Saturday, March 5, 2016

Politics -- March 5, 2016


March 29, 2016: Susan Sarandon prefers Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. Camille Paglia does, too.

March 15, 2016: I was wrong below regarding delegates in Missouri. Trump won with 40.8% of the vote; Cruz had 40.6% of the vote, but Trump will get all 15 delegates. I would have to say Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich really mismanaged Missouri.

March 15, 2016,  around midnight: one only has to win by one vote to be the winner in an election, but a contest this close would normally result in a recount. In this case, there won't be a recount since each of the two will get equal number of delegates, eleven (11) each. With 99% of precincts tallied in Missouri, Trump has 375,473 votes; Cruz has 373,006. They will both declare victory. It looks like the Kasich folks should have voted for Cruz in Missouri, just as the Cruz/Rubio folks voted for Kasich in Ohio if they wanted to stop Trump. 

March 15, 2016: the only question was Ohio, and Kasich will take that, the only state he will take in the primaries. Trump squashed Rubio in his (Rubio's) home state of Florida, 46% to 27%. It looks like Trump will sail through every other state. The entire roster of GOP contenders told their supporters to vote for Kasich in Ohio. But everywhere else, Trump cleaned the board. Rubio suspends his campaign; can't even take a closed primary in his home state. All's fair in love, war, and politics, but the GOP taking on Trump the way they are violates the spirit of all presidential candidates pledging to support the eventual winner. If Trump comes close but does not take it on the first vote at the convention, one can be assured his supporters won't change their vote no matter how many times the GOP delegates have to vote. It's very likely the brokered convention will go on an extra day, well through the night when voting starts. Gingrich says the GOP cannot stop Trump. I assume Gingrich imagines the convention hall with more than 50% of the folks there supporting Trump; those supporters are not going to go anywhere.

March 10, 2016: current polls show Rubio will be a Reuben sandwich in Florida; Kasich will krimp Trump's style in Ohio. Camille Paglia says she was wrong about Trump.

March 8, 2016: high stakes gamble ... countdown ... one week to go. Florida with a closed primary. If Marco Rubio loses his own state to Donald Trump -- in a closed primary -- it suggests Rubio's political career is over -- not just as presidential contender but also as a Federal senator. His flip-flopping on immigration; his poor debating skills; his call for an end crude oil exports (already in effect -- he missed the memo); and, to lose to Trump in his own state....

March 7, 2016: both the Michigan primary (March 8) and the Ohio primary (March 15) are open primaries. This should knock Kasich out. The real "test" for an outsider will be the closed primary in Florida on March 15. If Rubio can't take Florida, he's out. However, having won Puerto Rico is a great win for Rubio going into his home state.

March 7, 2016: Hillary will ban fracking. This is how the war on coal began: one stupid comment by a community organizer and we were off to the races to destroy US coal. 

March 7, 2016: flip-flop or lost in translation? I hear on the radio that Romney has now said he won't accept draft under any circumstances. That wasn't quite true. Back on March 4, he shut the door on any talk of a Romney draft. It appears that the media might be catching up with what he has said; and he is a bit unclear himself. When I read the totality of what's being reported, it appears that Romney is still willing to be drafted.

March 6, 2016: Romney throws his hat in the ring (sort of -- won't say "no" if asked); not one Trump supporter will vote for him; unlike Cruz supporters would vote for him. From Washington Times:
Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, refused Sunday to rule out becoming the nominee again this year at a brokered convention, though he insisted he couldn’t imagine that happening.
“I don’t think anyone in our party should say, ‘Oh no, even if the people of the party wanted me to be president, I would say no to it.’ No one is going to say that,” Mr. Romney said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Original Post
Without question, the most "instructive" primary today will be the Kansas primary, a closed primary, and it's going to be very, very close [later: wow, I was wrong on that; see below; Trump crushed by Cruz]. Trump did the right thing by skipping the CPAC convention and getting on down to Kansas. It's going to be a tight race and it will speak volumes if Trump can win Kansas.

Earlier today I sent this note to a reader:
I'm not going to blog about it but I think the most recent debate: Trump really hurt himself by his comments on torture, going so far as to say he would break international law (though he didn't use those words) and Cruz did very, very well. 
One could see it on the Drudge poll. Even before the debate was half over Trump was ahead 75% to Cruz 10% or something like (I'm exaggerating because I can't remember exact numbers) -- those were all the far right Drudge followers like me who voted for Trump and not even listening to the debate; by the time the debate was over, Trump came way down and Cruz way up: the thoughtful folks who actually listened to the debate were now voting. 
Rubio way at the bottom, 4% I think. Rush Limbaugh who had been really pushing Trump this past week, praised Cruz's performance, and taking Texas in the primaries did not hurt.  
I think their strategy to deny Trump's win on the first vote will work, but I can't see GOP going for Cruz -- it's hard to believe the polls are correct, that he could beat Hillary. But I could be wrong. It's possible that the media has made Cruz out worse than he is and once he starts debating Hillary one-on-one things will change -- Cruz easily out-debating Hillary. Hillary knows her stuff; Cruz knows his stuff.

If Trump starts to tumble, he will tumble fast. In politics it's all about momentum and when one peaks. I wonder if Trump might have peaked on Super Tuesday. And started to fall after his comments at the last debate (not to mention his flip-flopping?) on the immigration issue.
3:34 p.m. Central Time: As noted above, I had not planned on blogging about the primaries today, but this is quite startling, if the early results in Kansas hold. Prior to today, Trump had held a small lead. 
I just checked Drudge: the headline story: Cruz: 50%; Trump 25%. Only 11% of precincts reporting, but if that holds, I think Cruz has succeeded in taking this to a brokered convention.

7:13 p.m. Central Time: in two closed primaries Cruz crushes Trump. Granted, Kansas is ultra-conservative but up until recently, the polls suggested Trump could win by a small margin. Maine is not so much conservative as simply "different." Sort of like Iowa but even more "different." Maine is more like Missouri, the "show-me" stage. Mainers see through bullshit. Maine is not the kind of state that one would think Cruz could take, but Maine saw through Trump, and voted overwhelmingly for Cruz as the alternate. Although the win was not as big as his win in Kansas, by election standards it was a blowout. My comments earlier to a reader:
Most of the early states were open primaries which gave the edge to Trump.

In closed primaries, Cruz may have the advantage. Kansas is very, very conservative, but the interesting thing is that Cruz is even competitive in Kentucky, also very conservative, but Trump had a commanding lead early on in Kentucky.

One wonders if Ben Carson had dropped out earlier whether that would have helped Cruz earlier. Also, Rubio is fading and his support is probably going to Cruz.

I've been wrong so much of this primary season, I'm probably wrong again, but it looks like Trump has peaked, Cruz has the momentum, and will at least get to a brokered convention. At a GOP convention, Trump has no chance if he doesn't get it on the first vote.
If this all plays out like it appears to be playing out, on Monday Rush Limbaugh will a) be eating a lot of crow; b) be trying to walk back his support of Trump; and, c) come as close as ever to endorsing a candidate in the primaries, something he says he's never done. And, of course, he will tell us he knew it was Cruz's nomination from the beginning.

9:45 p.m. Central Time: more bad news for Trump. CPAC coalesces around Cruz. 

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