Lion of the Blogosphere

Post-primary and post-caucus analysis

I’ve been predicting for several days that Bush would drop out, and I was right again. But I have to admit that even I was a little surprised that he dropped out on the night of the election.

Two weeks ago, I thought Trump could break 40% in South Carolina, but he only won 32.5%. What went wrong? All of the bad stuff that happened to Trump during the last week, including attacking W at the SC debate, the brouhaha with the Pope, attacks by the other candidates, saying the “wrong” thing about Obamacare, I think all of this depressed Trump’s potential share of the vote.

But despite this, the tone on CNN is that Trump had a “huge” night. I think I heard Wolf Blitzer use the word “huge” several times. Why the different perception? Because for months and months, the MSM believed that Trump would magically disappear. Winning South Carolina by a substantial 10 percentage points is the very opposite of a magical disappearance. Trump has vastly exceeded what has been the expectation of the MSM for months and months, so from their perspective they are genuinely awed and amazed by Trump’s commanding first-place finish.

On the other hand, some people are noting that if Rubio had only collected all of the votes of both Kasich and Bush, he would have beaten Trump. Anti-Trumpers still believe that Trump has a “ceiling” of 35% of the vote, so as soon as enough other candidates drop out, Trump will start losing.

I have always believed that Trump’s ceiling is above 50% of the vote. I still predict that social proof and the desire to associate with a winner will cause Trump to do better in each election hereafter and eventually we will see Trump winning more than 50%.

It should also be pointed out that the longer Kasich stays in the race and splits the “establishment lane” vote with Rubio, the better it is for Trump. Kasich seems to believe that as the only governor and the only adult in the race, he will pick up Jeb’s voters and catch up to Rubio. Indeed, he may surprise us in Nevada. A lot of Rubio’s support comes from evangelicals. They like Rubio’s absolute opposition to abortion even in cases of rape. Among non-evangelicals (alas, only 28% of the SC Republican primary voters), Rubio beat Kasich by the very small margin of 22% to 19%. Nevada has a lot fewer evangelicals than SC, so we could see Kasich have surprising strength, especially with Bush out of the race.

Now, on the Democratic side, I think that if Bernie couldn’t win in Nevada it means he doesn’t have enough support (mostly because he does so poorly with blacks and to a lesser extent with Hispanics) to win in South Carolina or on Super Tuesday, and Bernie will suffer a devastating loss of momentum when he gets crushed on Super Tuesday.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 21, 2016 at 12:10 AM

Posted in Politics

32 Responses

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  1. They like Rubio’s absolute opposition to abortion even in cases of rape.

    Can you image the Hillary/Debbie Wasserman Schultz “War on Women” talk if it’s Marco “NO abortion EVEN if rape or incest” Rubio vs Hillary “Champion of women and blacks and liberals” Clinton?

    Especially with a Supreme Court position open and a 83 year old Ruth Bader Ginzberg still barely hanging on.

    Rubio would be in big trouble. Plus the fact that he is stupid and has ZERO on his resume of achievement.


    February 21, 2016 at 12:21 AM

    • The GOPe narrative that Rubio is the most electable candidate and that he is the candidate Democrats most fear is complete hogwash for all the reasons you mention in addition to the fact he is about 5’6 and lacks a commanding presence. Rubio would be a disaster candidate for the Republican party, although the silver lining with him would be that he could pull Florida.

      Sagi Is My Guru

      February 21, 2016 at 12:51 AM

      • I’m from Florida and I don’t think he could even win the state. I think one of the reasons that he decided to run for President instead of running for re-election is that he didn’t think he could win win after lying about opposing amnesty as a candidate and then jumping on board the Gang of 8.

        In any case, I suspect Florida is now firmly a blue state, thanks to the massive amount of movement of Puerto Ricans to Florida the past few years due to the island’s ongoing financial crisis.

        Mike Street Station

        February 21, 2016 at 10:39 AM

  2. Nevada has a lot fewer evangelicals than SC, so we could see Kasich have surprising strength, especially with Bush out of the race.

    We need a big Trump win in Nevada and for Kasich to scoop up Bush voters and place ahead of The Latino Roboto.

    Pushing Rubio back to 4th is the ideal.


    February 21, 2016 at 12:25 AM

  3. […] PRIMARIES: Analysis and predictions by a blogger who has mainly got it right so […]

    The Wentworth Report

    February 21, 2016 at 12:36 AM

  4. How much does the NY media HATE HATE HATE fellow New Yorker Trump!!

    NY Times, Daily News, New York, The New Yorker, some at the Post.


    February 21, 2016 at 12:50 AM

  5. The MSM wants Hillary, of course, and since they think Trump would be easier to beat, they’ve been going pretty soft on him. But we just don’t know. That kind of match-up is historically without example.

    Trump could steal “huge” numbers of black voters–the kind that would back a first-rate alpha male over a shriveled witch any day. Or, the remaining Yuppie whites who vote Republican could vote Democratic just out of distaste for Trump’s loud mouth.

    As other people have said, if Cruz quit and endorsed Trump for a VP spot, the whole thing would be finished immediately. Hillary could go home and drink tequila shots with ¡Jeb!


    February 21, 2016 at 1:09 AM

  6. Rubio is still a threat. Not so much by his numbers, but by the fact that entire establishment, media, and donors want him as their willing puppet. He is being pushed HARD by very powerful and rich people and he is too rehearsed/trained to fall as easily as Jeb. Roboto is a persistent little pest that needs to be dealt with.

    Also, I think Trump needs to reign it in a little bit at some point. I agree with basically everything he says, but I get a little worried by his splenetic nature. I want Trump to be Trump, but we can’t have a nominee or a president who is ALWAYS spitefully spouting-off. He should bring in some gravitas game into his repertoire and put people at ease regarding his character.


    February 21, 2016 at 1:34 AM

    • I think it sometimes doesn’t come across well when he attacks people on Twitter. When he verbally says stuff like that it sounds okay to me – he has a personable way of expressing displeasure – but it doesn’t translate well to text in my opinion. On the other hand, having immediate access to an audience of six million whenever he wants it is a pretty powerful tool for getting messages out, so it probably balances.


      February 21, 2016 at 8:26 AM

  7. God I’m so sick of listening to Amnesty Boy’s (I lost but) victory speeches.

    What’s killing Cruz is that his natural voters, the mad-as-hell at DC crowd is going for Trump and the Republicans who don’t care about immigration are going for Rubio.

    It’s slipping away, but I still think Cruz has one more chance but he needs to take voters from Trump. Trump’s percentage keeps dropping. 40% was his peak and people are starting to shift from mooning Obama and flipping off the GOPe to selecting a candidate. Cruz needs to hammer Trump on his strength — his supposed outsider status and claim to be the guy who can shake up Washington. Cruz needs to drop the Huckabee preacher shtick and hammer Trump for being a crony capitalist who’s always put his own interests and his friends in front of the country. He needs to say that for all of his bluster Trump will be more of the status quo. More bank bailouts, more debt-funded stimulus, more cozy deals for his friends.

    Also Rubio and Cruz should both refuse to attend any debate that includes Carson or Kasich. If Trump won’t go along with that then have a friendly, positive two man debate trashing Trump and Clinton.


    February 21, 2016 at 1:40 AM

  8. Governors tout their “executive experience,” but the reason they’re probably elected more frequently is that they don’t have to run away from a contentious national record.

    Also, it’s silly that people care so much about presidential stances on abortion or the death penalty. The Republicans who support abortion in the case of rape probably do so because it makes them sound more reasonable. So it’s OK to kill a “human being” because its father sucks? What are the policy implications of allowing abortion in cases of rape? Would the police have to investigate? I’d guess the number of false rape accusations would rise.


    February 21, 2016 at 3:08 AM

  9. Why do people always talk about “achievements”? Unless the achievement is getting rid of immigrants, I don’t want politicians to achieve anything. When people talk about bi-partisanship, accomplishment and “getting things done” it is all just code for open borders. And in Rubio’s case, the closest he came to achieving anything was passing an open borders bill.

    All the polls show Trump comfortably winning a 3 way race, so just adding Kasich and Bush’s votes to Rubio is wishful thinking by the Nate Silver’s of the world. There isn’t going to be a 2 way race for a long time because Cruz is a narcisicist who is determined to stay in this thing.

    Happy about Bernie losing. The hipster dbags get to see their dream candidate destroyed on the backs of black and brown voters is just too just.

    Otis the Sweaty

    February 21, 2016 at 3:48 AM

    • I agree with that whole comment.

      Also, since you’ve repeatedly mentioned evangelical voters in other comments. Evangelicals in SC went for Trump. It could be a harbinger of things to come throughout the South.


      February 21, 2016 at 9:23 PM

      • Evangelical voters are great. My contempt is reserved for a certain type of Evangelical voter: the type who puts abortion and Christian identity politics first and foremost. These people are utter morons who should not be allowed to vote in primaries.

        Fortunately, however, such Evangelicals are a minority outside of IA. Iowan Evangelicals are despicable vermin.

        Otis the Sweaty

        February 22, 2016 at 10:47 AM

  10. everybody please take a second to look at how the cucks at Redstate are reacting to SC

    Otis the Sweaty

    February 21, 2016 at 3:54 AM

  11. Jeb! is out. Thank you, voters of South Carolina. YOU kept us safe!

    Mark Caplan

    February 21, 2016 at 4:19 AM

  12. Strong performance by Trump, considering. Big power brokers in SC went against him, from the governor on down. Rough debate where he attacked Bush and all of neocon policy in a state that always elects Lindsey Graham as its senator, with a stacked audience where his was booed all the time. The Pope(!) trying to nuke him from space by calling him not-a-Christian ahead of a vote in a super-Christian state (has the Pope ever done that in modern memory to anyone?). The anti-abortion folks going hard against him. Huge spending against him with little spending by him.


    February 21, 2016 at 5:06 AM

    • So true. SC is a bottleneck of sorts. All the major candidates still in. Only one state everyone is competing for. All the money spent in one place. A state heavy on evangelicals. Most all guns pointed at Trump for 1.5 weeks. Trump goes squarely after the entire Bush legacy without apology. Relentless anti-Trump media coverage from Fox News and a few BS agenda polls meant to discourage Trump voters.

      And Trump still won by double digits.

      Andrew E.

      February 21, 2016 at 9:43 AM

  13. Given this is an HBD-friendly, reality based, site, seems a good place to raise a matter rarely discussed in the open but all too apparent, from my perspective, that is the amazingly poor track record of female political strategists. You may recall the herculean efforts by the media to avoid pointing out in ’08 how top heavy the ‘own goal’ Hillary campaign was with female strategists (now almost completely replaced by men). And, the same matter was also papered over when Perry in ’12 turned his ruinous campaign over to a female strategist. And now we have Jeb who let the brainless Sally Bradshaw run his campaign.


    February 21, 2016 at 5:30 AM

  14. Denigrating the remembrance flag probably did a lot of damage. He walked it back, but it was a day late.


    February 21, 2016 at 6:53 AM

  15. I have to admit, I got a kick out of Bush dropping out. I thought he might try to hang on a little longer, at least long enough to get his money back from all of those gauc bowls.

    Mike Street Station

    February 21, 2016 at 7:54 AM

  16. Isn’t it the case that Dems can vote in GOP primaries there? Probably effects Trump results.


    February 21, 2016 at 9:26 AM

  17. I disagree with Lion about Kasich’s future. I think he’s demonstrated that he doesn’t have enough overall support to be the nominee. Going forward now the focus will be on Trump. Bush voters will most likely go Rubio, as they seem to be the most anti-Trump segment of the party. If Rubio loses them it will more likely be to Cruz. I think people realize now that the questions has to be who has a chance of preventing a Trump nomination. I don’t really think that pro-choice Republicans will be scared away by Rubio’s pro-life views. Does anyone really think abortion will be made illegal if Rubio wins in November? The abortion issue tends to serve as a proxy for social conservatism and morality in general. As it stands now, I would predict that Rubio will be the nominee.


    February 21, 2016 at 9:33 AM

    • No one says that Kasich has enough support to be the nominee. But neither does Cruz. Kasich has the potential to to hold even with Rubio and Cruz.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 21, 2016 at 10:28 AM

  18. As Nevada is a caucus state, and as the biggest Republican Casino boss is Adelson. I really think anything could happen there.

    Marco could win Nevada out of nowhere with the right backing. Polls mean less in caucus states.

    But at least Marco Robio’s 3-2-1 strategy went up in flames. With most of the elected officials in the state backing him, he finished barely in 2nd place and far out of the lead. For those who are keeping score, 3-2-1 turned out to be 3-5-2.

    Rich people should stop giving Rubio money. He gas no place to go but down. His credibility problems aren’t going away, and he is totally unvetted. Nobody in the media has even asked him about foam parties or his association with the Gay porn king of Miami yet.


    February 21, 2016 at 10:10 AM

  19. At least two commentators complained about the voters focusing too much on presidential candidates’ stances on abortion and the death penalty. I generally agree, but will overthink things. There are some understandable reasons for this:

    1. The main stream media keeps bringing up this stuff. Voters still don’t know enough to ignore the MSM. Even Trump says he spends four hours a day watching the MSM.

    2. The President is both head of state and head of government. Voters really focus on the head of state part of the job, something that intellectual types keep forgetting. And they want someone who shares their vaules.

    3. The Supreme Court, though a presidential candidate could just say he wants the Supreme Court to butt out of these issues, or for the other side make sure that the ban on anti-abortion legislation remains in place, without getting into a big song and dance about it. Or take the stance that he/ she will just appoint judges based on neutral qualifications and not worry about how they rule once on the bench, which is a defensible position though no politician to my knowledge has tried to do this. I would prefer that more people realized that a reversal of Roe vs. Wade does not mean a nationwide ban on abortion, it would just allow the state legislatures to decide the issue.

    4. I’m in favor of more decisions being made at the state level, but the fact is that federalism is now mostly a joke, for a number of reasons, one of the more obvious is that state budgets have gotten too dependent on federal contributions and state and local governments will allow their feds to jerk their chains for the money. I’m not aware of anyone having made a big issue of this and come up with a specific program (not just rhetoric) to change it. Voters sort of sense that federalism has gotten to be a joke.

    5. Congress is supposed to make most of the decisions on how the federal government is run. In practice, members of Congress would prefer to focus on grabbing pork and a few pet issues and to let the executive and judicial branches to run the country. So you have presidential candidates being asked, and discussing, detailed issues as to how they will set tax policy when constitutionally this is almost purely a legislative function.


    February 21, 2016 at 2:09 PM

    • Evangelicals in fact do want a nationwide ban on abortion. No way that ever gets left to the states.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 21, 2016 at 2:58 PM

      • Yes, but they only way they are going to get it is a constitutional amendment.

        One little known oddity of American history is that the a constitutional amendment was used to introduce prohibition because the idea was not popular. The prohibitionists had tried to go state by state through referendum and failed. But they could get enough politicians lined up behind their scheme to essentially do an end run around the voters. It actually became more popular once it was put into place. But this is also a big reason why many localities in essence refused to enforce prohibition and the whole thing collapsed quickly. The pro-life forces could try something like this, but its too identified as a prole movement, which wasn’t the case with prohibition.

        That said, unless you somehow get Bob Jones trained judges on the Supreme Court, even the most right-wing justice will not ban abortion from the bench. The only way to do this would be to hold that fetuses are people and citizens in all respects and therefore fall under the laws against murder, which would mean importing not commonly held religious beliefs into the Constitution, and potentially create a huge mess with the rest of the legal code. It would actually be legitimate grounds of impeachment and removal of any judge that tried to do this, especially since such a judge would never get confirmed without hiding his or her beliefs.

        They could get Roe v. Wade reversed and then try for a ban through federal legislation, but run into principled conservatives who would object that the federal government does not have any authority to do this. The Supreme Court, even it it had just reversed Roe v. Wade, would strike down such legislation for the same reason.


        February 21, 2016 at 7:15 PM

      • In the 1910s, people thought Congress didn’t have the power to prohibit alcohol.

        Today we know better, Congress can prohibit anything it wants. As soon as Roe is overturned, the conservatives will be itching to outlaw abortion all over the country. And if they control Congress and the Presidency it would happen.

        “Principled conservatives” Ha ha, no such thing, at least not in Congress. And not when the ultimate goal of outlawing abortion is finally at hand. You are fooling yourself bigtime if you really think conservatives would want to leave that decision to the states.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 21, 2016 at 7:25 PM

  20. Where does Lion get Trump’s hypothetical 40% in SC? I follow all the polls and that number wasn’t there at any time.


    February 21, 2016 at 3:47 PM

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