After Super Tuesday the Little Trump Train is still chugging… Oh, what is a party to do?

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Now that Super Tuesday is history, one has to wonder about the future. The Donald Trump train looks a little less like a juggernaut than it did yesterday… but just a little. Of the 11 states contested, Trump won 7, Cruz won 3 and Rubio won Minnesota. Seven out of eleven sounds pretty staggering, but when you look at the delegates it’s a little less so. Overall, after 30% of the contests (including Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada) the math looks thus:

  • Trump has 285 delegates and earned 34.54% of the votes cast. Those 285 delegates however represent 50.35% of the delegates pledged.
  • Cruz has 161 delegates and earned 24.17% of the votes cast. Those 171 votes represent 28.45% of the delegates pledged.
  • Rubio has 87 delegates and earned 22.27% of the votes cast. Those 87 delegates represent 15.37% of the delegates pledged.

So Trump’s 35% of the votes has translated into victories in 77% of the contests and earned him 50% of the delegates so far. For better or worse, that’s what one calls punching above your weight.

But the juggernaut may not be so robust going forward. Indeed, in order to secure the nomination Trump will have to do exactly as well going forward as he has done thus far. That might get harder. If you watched Thursday’s debate you saw something utterly different than you have seen previously. You saw Rubio and Cruz take out the knives and attack Trump in a way he had not been targeted before. But it wasn’t just style, it was substance as well. Going forward we will likely see not only more of that during the debates – unless Trump hides – but commercials that in many cases use Donald Trump’s words to expose him as the liberal that he is.

Of course, for what appears to be a base of about 30% of the GOP, none of that will matter. And if Democrats in other blue states jump parties to vote for him, (as at least 20,000 did in Massachusetts, giving him his highest percentage yet 49%) that could put him over the top. But for Trump going forward, everything has to go his way if he wants to win the nomination. For the other guys they just have to keep Trump from getting a majority of delegates before the convention. Or… if Rubio, Kasich and Carson drop out, Cruz could very well win the nomination outright. But that doesn’t seem to be happening now.

If it goes that far, a convention fight would likely result in someone other than Trump emerging as the GOP nominee… with Rubio being the likely winner, although at that point the field would be wide open. Of course the prospect of backroom deals and inordinate establishment influence is exactly what a majority of GOP voters are fighting against (Trump + Cruz voters) but I’ve learned never to underestimate the ineptitude and stupidity of GOP leadership.

A convention outcome with anyone but Trump will likely lead to Trump running 3rd party… which in turn might well throw the election to the House… and another opportunity for the GOP leadership to screw the American people and put one of their Democrat light darlings in the White House.

Like a Trump presidency, that would lead to the end of the Republican Party. Conservatives would decamp and start their own party… or more likely parties. At that point they would become spoilers in the American political scene, not winning, but keeping the GOP from winning. Like a zombie, the GOP would likely limp along for a while until conservative opposition coalesced around a unifying party that could put together a viable slate of candidates. Of course the country they know might be gone by the time they get around to doing so as the Democrats would be running the place…

The bottom line is, unless this thing plays itself out just right, the Trump phenomenon may very well be the end of the GOP. Odds are at this point that the nomination will either go for Trump or head to the convention, and who comes out the other side of that will likely determine the outcome in November. The GOP will have three choices at the convention:

  • 1) Give the nomination to Trump and watch a sufficient number of disaffected voters sit out or go third party to give the election to the Democrats.
  • 2) Give the nomination to one of their establishment darlings and see Trump bolt and run 3rd party, resulting in a Democrat victory or a House vote.
  • 3) Give the nomination to Cruz and potentially see victory. The difference between Cruz and any other potential non Trump nominee is that Cruz is a small government guy, a real reformer and the GOP establishment hates him, and thus, many who threw in with Trump could be convinced to return to the fold in a way that they might not if a squish is on the ticket, particularly on immigration.

Whatever the outcome, this election has everything that is the worst in American politics. From smoke filled rooms with power brokers and moneymen to populist charlatans to a sizable portion of the electorate knowing few facts and caring even less, one can’t but help but wonder what the rest of this decade will look like. It also has something we’ve not had in a while… a candidate who promises to reduce the power and influence of government while at the same time championing liberty and individual freedom.  It would be nice to see what a Cruz White House would look like…

The product of a military family, growing up in Naples, Italy and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and being stationed in Germany for two years while in the Army, Vince spent half of his first quarter century seeing the US from outside of its own borders. That perspective, along with a French wife and two decades as a struggling entrepreneur have only fueled an appreciation for freedom and the fundamental greatness of the gifts our forefathers left us.

10 Responses to “After Super Tuesday the Little Trump Train is still chugging… Oh, what is a party to do?”

  1. 1

    Elizabeth DeFranco

    You have succinctly & brilliantly summarized all possible scenarios regarding this election cycle–which is why I await each new result with trepidation & fear for the future of this (formerly great) nation!

  2. 3

    Nanny G

    All the primaries, so far, have been proportional in how delegates are awarded.
    The early primaries were designed this way to destroy a ”movement” candidate.
    Someone like the old-days’ ”favorite son,” candidate.
    And, indeed, a lot of ”favorite son” type candidates are gone.

    Now, look at the fine print which I will highlight for you:
    Vermont 7:00pm (Eastern) Need 20% vote for any delegates √ TRUMP WINNER
    Virginia 7:00pm (Eastern) Need 5% vote for any delegates √ TRUMP WINNER
    Georgia 7:00pm (Eastern) Must get 20% for any delegates √ TRUMP WINNER
    *Alabama: 8:00pm (Eastern) Need 20% vote for delegates √ TRUMP WINNER
    *Massachusetts: 8:00pm (Eastern) 5% vote for any delegates √ TRUMP WINNER
    *Oklahoma: 8:00pm (Eastern) Need 15% vote for any delegates √ CRUZ WINNER
    *Tennessee: 8:00pm (Eastern) 20% vote for any delegates √ TRUMP WINNER
    *Arkansas: 8:30pm (Eastern) Must get 15% vote for delegates √ TRUMP WINNER
    *Texas: 9:00pm (Eastern) Need 20% vote for any delegates √ CRUZ WINNER
    *Minnesota: 9:00pm (Eastern) Must get 10% vote for delegates √ RUBIO WINNER
    *Alaska: 12:00 midnight (EST) Must get 13% vote for delegates √ CRUZ WINNER

    But those floors to get even one delegate didn’t hurt Donald Trump even once.
    They hurt Marco Rubio!
    In fact, in SC, these floors meant that Donald Trump took ALL of the delegates while winning about 1/2 of the vote!

    Now there are a few more proportional primaries like these.

    All the way up to March 15th when the ”winner-take-all” begins.
    Whoever gets the most votes, even Trump’s 39% or so, as long as he comes in 1st, gets ALL of the states’ delegates after March 15th.

    That’s why the current scramble to winnow the field.
    A divided electorate hurts the Rubio/Cruz chances.
    It doesn’t hurt the Trump chances.

    But, on the other side….
    Hillary feels the need to keep Bernie in the competition.
    Because, the fear is, his voters would cross over to vote Trump rather than stay and endorse Hillary!
    Now, I don’t see why this is so, but the Dem thinking is that it is.

  3. 4

    Tony Plank

    There is one significant omission from this analysis: The GOP has already given up on 2016 (option #1 in the OP)…they will just let Trump get nominated and lose planning on regrouping in 2020.

    But take heart, we can survive any of these outcomes. Even a Trump presidency.

    The funny thing is that The Donald and The Bern both have constituencies that are subjectively voting for change. But nothing could be further from the truth…without a Congress with incentive to follow executive leadership, nothing will ever change. I am happy for you if voting for the outsiders make you feel good because at least you will get more out of this election than I will: you will feel good for a few days.

    Those of us who are grounded in reality will just break out our jumbo Rolaids, order in pizza, and binge stream Netflix to take our mind off of how pathetic this shit show we call a democratic process in fact is.

  4. 5


    What is exceptionally galling about the establishment GOP antics with regard to Trump – and you all know he is not my choice – is all the bluster about getting Trump to sign the loyalty pledge to support the winner of the nomination, juxtaposed with their threats not to support him if he wins the nomination.

    The hypocrisy is beyond belief. They are actually saying that if he wins, they prefer the dem win the election rather than Trump.

  5. 7

    another vet

    @Pete: The GOP establishment is in the process of imploding. The last winner they put forth was in 1988 and he won because he road the coattails of a very popular non-establishment President. Everyone they have put forth since then has lost. If the party splits in two, Trump (and I’m no fan of his) is not to blame. It’s the establishment. They have an alternative who could probably beat Trump in a one on one (Cruz) but they don’t want to back him because he doesn’t kiss their ass either and is too conservative. Instead, they are trying to draft Romney (who failed to unseat a failed President) to challenge him at a brokered convention. Not too supportive of Cruz, Rubio, or Kasich.

    If the GOP splits in two, it will because the establishment didn’t want to give up their power. They brought this mess upon themselves through political cowardice (did they pass a budget for this FY or are they like Reid?). Perhaps in the end we will end up with three parties- one for big government liberals, socialists, and Marxists (Democrats); one for big government social conservatives (Republicans), and one populist party for everyone else.

  6. 8

    71 Grad

    The ignorance or lack of education exhibited by some the the posters here is astonishing. I cannot place my finger on the portion of the document ( U.S. Constitution) that requires, or even suggests, that the Congress “follow executive leadership.” At this time I ask, ” What executive leadership?” The last time we had a Congress that followed ‘executive leadership’, we got Obama Care and Dodd-Frank. Fortunately in 2010 the electorate was smart enough to say ” Are you kidding?” and voted for a divided Congress. I fear that the voters are not even as bright as they were in 2010 and the future of the country may be following executive leadership. One quick example regarding Dodd-Frank. I used to know my Banker, and he knew me. In at least two instances where I wanted a loan that he could not provide because of local bank policies, he referred me to another financial institution, that helped me get the loan I needed. Now when you go to the bank they haul out the guidelines mandated by the Gov’t and some marginally accurate credit rating to determine if there is room for you in their portfolio. I no longer deal with any bank. And ObamaCare is worse.

  7. 9

    71 Grad

    Sorry about that last posting not seeming to have much to do with the article.
    But someone thinking that the Congress is supposed to follow what ever the executive wants is the point in this election cycle. I do not want a Trump, or anyone else, telling Congress what to do. I want a President who ask’s congress for the things he thinks we need and a Congress that debates wether is is good for us, and if we can afford it or not, before telling the Executive yes or no! It is how the system is supposed to work, people.

  8. 10

    Elizabeth DeFranco

    @71 Grad: I consider myself to be a Constitutional Conservative rather than a Republican & as such I would wish to see America governed by the principles, tenets & beliefs upon which our nation was premised. America needs to see a smaller, less intrusive government at all levels, with decisions being made as close to the local venue as possible & moving into the future with far fewer federal departments & agencies than we now have! We can achieve these admirable goals only by jettisoning ALL ‘progressive’ & Leftists policies immediately & putting the entire federal government on an immediate freeze just as Reagan did upon taking office!

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