What a difference a week makes. One week ago: Trump under-performs polls badly in Iowa; Rubio out-performs polls in Iowa significantly; and the narrative gets formed (particularly after a few more key endorsements) that Rubio is on the march towards an incredible delegate pick-up. A few days go by; Rubio stumbles in one particular exchange in the debate against one of the last place finishers in the race; the media understandably jumps on it; and voila – Rubio under-performs expectations in New Hampshire, Trump wins by the large margin the polls had forecasted, and the path towards a thinning of the race gets much muddier. Let’s look at a few different things that took place last night and what it means in the country’s search for our next President …
– The worst thing that happened for Rubio last night was where he placed, or how Trump won so handily … It was that Bush did well enough to stay in the race (sort of), and Kasich obviously did phenomenally well. In other words, even with Christie, Carson, Carly effectively dead, the race is not going to the two-man or three-man (yet) that needs to happen for Trump to lose. What I should say is that THIS is the best thing that happened for Trump, which is the same as saying it was the worst thing that happened for Rubio.
– If we put in perspective what happened last night with Jeb Bush it becomes a lot less rosy for the former Governor. He spent $36 million in New Hampshire, more than double the $18 million Christie spent, and way more than double what everyone else spent. Trump, by the way, spent barely $3 million. Oh, and Cruz – 600k. So if Jeb loses to Cruz who spent 600k and was barely ahead of Rubio with well more than twice the spending, I think it is safe to say that “never before has so much been spent for so little”.
– For those who do not like Kasich (I like him) and those who do not like Jeb (I think he has proven himself to lack any semblance of integrity or self-confidence), there should be no worry, none, that they are about to win the nomination. I would pretty much take Kasich over anyone of the people running besides one, but the overall outlook is rather grim for him … I think he poured heavily into New Hampshire, picked up 5 points that would have gone to Rubio apart from the rough debate moment, and unfortunately is likely to peak. With Jeb, he is just the worst possible candidate for this moment, and there is no buzz, movement, momentum, or path for him. AND YET, both of these guys get to live to fight another day, which …
– Means Donald Trump is going to win this nomination, unless a bad stumble takes place, or a quick coalescing takes place. Can Rubio really hit it out of the park in South Carolina and Nevada? Does Jeb love his country enough to get out sooner than later? At the end of the day, Trump cannot win this nomination if it were a one-on-one race (whether that be Cruz or Rubio), and probably struggles in a three-man too. BUT, he pretty much can’t lose in a four or five man race, and that is what we may have up through Super Tuesday. Everyone needs to realize that THAT is the math here. Stay in – help Trump. Get out – beat Trump. It’s as simple as that.
– There is another factor I have been omitting, and it warrants consideration. Ted Cruz had NO BUSINESS doing as well as he did in New Hampshire. AFTER the atrocious scandal in Iowa where Ben Carson torched him for what was obviously dirty campaign work from a staffer, and after spending less than $600,000, he still beat Bush and Rubio. His first place finish in Iowa and his third place in New Hampshire means that he is far more alive than people think. Cruz remains someone who I think would really struggle in a general election, but right now NO CANDIDATE looks as weak, vulnerable, and beatable as HILLARY CLINTON. My handicapping continues to be (and it is always subject to change) – Trump has the best chance of losing to Clinton; Cruz has the second best chance. If things had to shake out in a way where we were left with Cruz taking out Trump, would I be happy? I would be happier than the result of seeing Trump be our candidate.
– Trump is winning a race where five people are splitting up the opposition, and it has been as high as ten people. A general election race will be one on one, and every single thing that no one on this Republican stage has been willing to say will be said. What scares me more? Trump losing to Hillary, OR Trump winning? I am not sure I can answer that. But what I do know is that Hillary has to be defeated – she is the most corrupt and reprehensible candidate in this entire race on either side, and represents a significant paradigm shift from the very essence of the American experiment. I wish the other candidates in this race could appreciate that the same way. The deplorable actions of Christie and Bush are serving to help guarantee a Hillary vs. Trump run-off. This is not an outcome anyone should want.
– I am well aware of the fact that I am talking all about my fear of Hillary winning, despite the fact that she just got schlacked by a Vermont socialist, and really essentially lost in Iowa as well. With her campaign desperation (her leading reps on the trail say that to vote for Bernie is to earn a place in hell for not supporting a woman, and that women only go to Bernie rallies to meet boys – yep; this happened), why would I be so sure Hillary will be their nominee with Bernie’s buzz and momentum? Here is why: The Democrats are not going to let Bernie win this nomination. They are smart. They are a self-serving party. We are the divided ones. We are the ones who relish in division and dysfunction. They will cut that guy off at the knees if they become remotely concerned he has a path to go the distance. Hillary has her server/email problems, and there are a lot of variables at play here. But they will prop Lyndon Johnson’s corpse up in the corner of a room before they will let a socialist be their nominee. They didn’t have to jump in to save Hillary from Obama in 2008 because they knew darn well that Obama was not only electable, but more electable than Hillary. The Democrat “establishment” knows that Bernie Sanders is never going to be President. Period.
– And yet, all I ever hear about is the Republican “establishment” and their incredible cabal of manipulation and bullying and pulling levers to game the system and deny “the people” the outcome they want. If only such an establishment existed, or if only it were as capable as the Dems’ establishment. Our highly coordinated and devious establishment is spending tens of millions of dollars per week to see third, fourth, and fifth place candidates diminish, while the debacle of Donald Trump sits at the top of the field untouched, and unscathed.
These are perilous times for our country, evidenced by the perilous times in our race. Time is running short.
Oh, and bye bye Chris Christie. May none of us ever have to hear another word from you again.