While at its core politics should be a fact-based subject, far too often it’s not. Typically there’s a lot of misinformation, knee-jerk emotional reactions, blatant lies and hype driven by partisan cheerleaders with an agenda. And when it comes to presidential election years, all of that is a million times worse, which can sometimes make it really difficult to decipher fact from fiction.
But make no mistake about it, and spin it as they might, Super Tuesday was an unmitigated nightmare for the Republican party.
1. Donald Trump was dominant: Granted he didn’t sweep all the Super Tuesday states, but he did win seven. While his margin of victory in a couple was smaller than expected, he’s still the overwhelming frontrunner with no real signs of slowing down anytime soon. There’s still a long way to go for the Republican candidates, but each state Trump wins makes it more and more difficult for the GOP to prevent him from eventually becoming their party’s nominee – especially with Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio splitting the vote against him.
2. Ted Cruz outperformed Marco Rubio: As if Trump winning seven states wasn’t bad enough, it was Sen. Ted Cruz, not GOP “golden boy” Marco Rubio, who was the second strongest candidate. While he only won three states, he finished ahead of Rubio in most of the others. At this point, the strongest two candidates for the Republican party are the two individuals who the RNC absolutely does not want to win the nomination.
3. Marco Rubio’s hype is becoming embarrassing: Since his rather strong third place finish in Iowa, Rubio has essentially been crowned the candidate the Republican party clearly wants to win the nomination. To see the amount of endorsements he’s accumulating, along with the big money donors and the attitude of the party in general – you would think he was on the cusp of winning it.
Except, he’s not. The reality is that he’s 1-14 in states thus far and he’s compiling quite the “impressive list” of third place finishes. Not only that, but in a few of the states on Super Tuesday, he didn’t even get enough of the vote to qualify to earn any delegates. In fact, by delegate count, he’s closer to John Kasich and Ben Carson than he is Ted Cruz or Donald Trump.
At this point the hype that continues to surround Rubio, mostly being driven by the party itself, is becoming rather comical.
4. Neither Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz performed poorly enough to push them out: The general belief by most Republicans seems to be that if they can get the race down to just two candidates, the anti-Trump vote will be greater than those who support Trump, thus blocking “The Donald” from becoming their party’s nominee. The only problem is, both Rubio and Cruz are performing just well enough where neither individual is likely to drop out within the next couple of weeks. Certainly not Rubio who’s basically hedging his entire campaign on a strong showing in his home state of Florida on March 15th. But with several states going to the polls between now and then, Rubio and Cruz are likely to continue to split the vote, allowing Trump to score easy victories like he’s been doing for the last month. And as long as both Rubio and Cruz continue to stay in the race, it’s very unlikely either candidate will be able to overtake Trump.
5. It’s reaching a point where the only way for Republicans to defeat Donald Trump might be a brokered convention: Without getting into a lot of the boring details, what a brokered convention basically means is that no single candidate secured enough delegates to win the nomination outright so the nominee is chosen at the convention. If this happens, the party establishment will either be forced to select Trump (which most experts don’t think would happen) or risk an all-out riot within the party.
Can you imagine if Trump has a sizable lead in both delegates and states won heading into the convention – only to have the GOP select Marco Rubio?
Not only would that probably put an end to the Republican party, it would almost certainly lead to Trump running as an independent. And even if he chose not to run as an independent, I would almost guarantee the largest write-in vote in political history, with many Trump supporters refusing to support Rubio in the general election. Not only would it essentially hand Democrats the White House, but it could lead to a massive shift in power in Congress as many Trump supporters simply boycott supporting the GOP altogether.
Then there’s always the possibility that somehow Cruz or Rubio overtakes Trump, prompting the real estate billionaire to run as an independent anyway fueled by the fact he was able to win quite a few states.
While the Republican party won’t outright say it, Super Tuesday went about as badly for them as it possibly could have. Donald Trump dominated, Ted Cruz “finished second,” and Marco Rubio was a disaster.
Needless to say, if you’re a sane or rational Republican – it might be time to realize that you no longer have a party.
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