Lion of the Blogosphere

Analysis of Saturday’s elections

As I correctly predicted, Cruz won the Kansas caucus, and Trump won the Kentucky caucus and the Louisiana primary.

I predicted Maine for Trump, and also predicted that Kasich would do especially well, and I got both of those predictions wrong. Cruz won and Kasich was way back in third place. But I did also write that “Maine is a sparsely attended event in which, previously, Ron Paul supporters turned out en masse, so anything could happen in Maine.”

I also predicted that “Rubio’s star is fading and that some of the people who would have voted for him are going to go somewhere else.”

That also happened tonight. And it seems that most of Rubio’s voters fled to Cruz. That may surprise some people who insisted that Rubio is a “suburban” establishment candidate and not an evangelical TrueCon candidate. But I explained that much of Rubio’s support “is from evangelical Christian types who want a candidate who is a True Believer in Christ but who also want someone more moderate than Cruz.”

Tonight’s results are pretty bad for the Rubio campaign; he came in third place far far behind Trump and Cruz, and even came in fourth place in Maine (which I did say might happen).

Tonight’s results also are bad news for the idea that there is a powerful “establishment lane” and after the other candidates in that “lane” dropped out, the one left behind would win the nomination. In all four of tonight’s elections, if you add Rubio’s and Kasich’s voters together, this combined person still comes in third place in all four states! (Caveat: the votes aren’t fully counted as I write this, and in some of those states the sum of Rubio’s and Kasich’s votes are very close to second place, so this might change by tomorrow morning.)

I also predicted that Kasich would gain some ground tonight. It’s hard to say for sure whether this happend. Kasich did hit the double digits in three of the four states. I think he gained a little ground, but not that much.

Some people may think that tonight was a bad night for Trump. Trump’s two losses tonight can be chalked up to Trump doesn’t do well in caucus states. There aren’t that many more caucus states left. Cruz is pretty close behind Trump in Louisiana, the only primary state, but Louisiana is a Bible Belt state which is where Cruz is strongest. I don’t see Cruz getting 38% of the vote in the Rust Belt or the remaining Mid-Atlantic states.

There are many unanswered questions. If Cruz stays this strong, does he steal enough delegates from Trump to deny him a majority and force a brokered convention. If that happens, does Cruz agree to be Vice President to Trump?

I still think that Kasich is actually the stronger candidate going forward than Rubio. At least Kasich could win his home state, and he will do better in blue states as we have seen in New England. If the GOPe really wants to go with some “establishment lane” candidate, they should make Rubio drop out and endorse Kasich.

What’s the chance of that happening before Florida (where polls show Rubio far behind Trump)?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 5, 2016 at 11:49 pm

Posted in Politics

20 Responses

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  1. New ARG poll has Kasich beating Trump in Michigan: Kasich 33%, Trump 31%, Cruz 15%, Rubio 11%.

    Since Trump tends to do poorly among late deciders, this is pretty bad for him. He won’t carry Ohio if Kasich is beating him in Michigan.

    Very dumb of Trump to wilt on immigration in the last debate. And I think his refusal to bone up on policy is finally catching up to him as the field narrows.


    March 6, 2016 at 12:00 am

    • It’s only one of many polls. On the other hand, I have been predicting that Kasich was going to rise, so I can feel vindicated that a poll shows that!

      • The last ARG poll had Trump beating Kasich by 18 points in Michigan: Trump 35%, Kasich 17%, Cruz 12%, Rubio 12%. Two weeks ago. As Trump would say, “Bad!”


        March 6, 2016 at 12:15 am


    Odds sites now say Trump 2/3 and Cruz 1/3.

    Do you think that these odds are reasonable?


    March 6, 2016 at 12:01 am

  3. I think this may help Trump in Florida and Ohio since potential Rubio and Kasich voters in those states may move more to Cruz since they want to vote for someone in the running. But this won’t be a lot, and Cruz will not be able to do nearly as well as Rubio or Kasich could have done in their home states if they had the momentum.

    I am concerned about tonight’s results though since Trump under performed compared to the polls. Even his wins were rather tight. I think he was damaged from the past week. Fortunately, Cruz is looking to be his main competition and I agree with Lion’s assessment of Cruz’ odds in the coming states.


    March 6, 2016 at 12:32 am

  4. “Louisiana is a Bible Belt state which is where Cruz is strongest”

    Nonsense. Look at the Trump map from the NYT or simply look at the delegate map:

    The deep South is TRUMP’s strongest area. The Rubio spin about Cruz winning the South is 9 months out of date. It’s clear that the blue-collar-Reagan-Democrat factor trumps the Cruz-acting-like-an-evangelical factor.

    What’s happening is people are FINALLY starting to view this as a two-man race. Based on the silly idea that Cruz is another Huckabee or Santorum, Rubio’s voters should be going to Kasich or even Trump. They aren’t. We’re simply seeing what we’ve known from the beginning: head-to-head Cruz beats Trump almost two to one.

    Cruz is getting all of Rubio’s losses.

    Trumps antics don’t scare HIS 35% but they are finally scaring the other 65% to rally around Cruz. Looking at the map from here on out, I think that Nevada is the exception and predict that Cruz will mop up in the rest of the midwest and in the West.

    The notion that Kasich can recreate the establishment lane 20 to 25 states into the contest is absolutely f’in insane. The only options are Trump, Cruz or a brokered convention. BTW, at the convention the delegates have NO loyalty to their candidate and are only bound to vote for him on the FIRST ballot. However, if the GOP tries to steal the nomination from the both the 1st and 2nd place delegate leader, the party will absolutely break apart.


    March 6, 2016 at 1:14 am

  5. “If that happens, does Cruz agree to be Vice President to Trump?”

    I think that Cruz should ask to Scalia’s replacement in the Supreme Court.

    1. He and Trump have had some bad blood this year. I don’t think they’ll want to be too close to each other now.

    2. VP is a ceremonial role. A Supreme Court Justice commands far more power over many decades (Cruz is young, so he could be a Justice for 30-40 years) than a VP does.

    3. The Senate might dislike Cruz, but they’d also be glad to vote him out of the Senate too.

    4. Cruz is extremely bright, even if his political and practical judgment is often off. He has the brainpower to be a Supreme Court Justice.

    5. Cruz is a hard, ideological conservative. Again, that makes him a difficult politician but a great successor to Scalia. TrueCons would be thrilled with Trump if Cruz sat on the Supreme Court.

    Cruz would be an ineffectual President but would be one hell of a Supreme Court Justice. Howard Taft was President before he became a Supreme Court Justice, so if Cruz still hankers to be President, he could be on the Supreme Court to build up his cred among conservatives, and then resign at an ideal time to run for President.


    March 6, 2016 at 1:26 am

    • I wonder about this.

      He does indeed look like he would be an excellent replacement for Scalia. There are obvious tactical disadvantages to admitting interest now, so is unsurprising, but one can imagine him reconsidering after a Trump nomination.

      But that’s assuming his connections to Goldman Sachs are innocuous. That doesn’t seem like a safe assumption to make. (Relevant background: .)

      Incidentally, if I was certain that Cruz was not corrupted by his Goldman Sachs connections, I would stop worrying much about the Republican nomination contest. Cruz’s supporters should of course be constantly reminded that the MSM will unfairly attack Cruz almost as relentlessly as they are currently attacking Trump if Cruz ends up as the nominee, forced to explain how he can win the general election when that happens, and subjected to withering criticism if they are unable to provide a good answer. Force those who claim that Cruz is the only reasonable choice to actually defend that with reason. But perhaps they can rise to the challenge. If Cruz really can win, and he actually isn’t corrupted, he might not be that bad.


      March 6, 2016 at 8:26 am

    • Republicans would definitely have to use the nuclear option to get rid of the filibuster to be able to get Cruz in. Even then, he’s likely made too many enemies in the Senate to get enough Republican votes. Given his background with Mcconnell, I doubt he’d even get a vote.


      March 6, 2016 at 9:38 am

  6. Rubio vows to win Florida after poor showing on Saturday

    Sen. Marco Rubio brushed off his dismal performance on Saturday night, vowing to win Florida and other future primary contests.
    “We’re going to win Florida, and you’ll find out on March 15 how confident we are,” Rubio said, in Spanish, to supporters in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which holds its primary on Sunday.”

    Spanish, lol. Why does Puerto Rico get to vote again? Anyway, I’d call that an implicit promise to drop out if he doesn’t win.


    March 6, 2016 at 2:48 am

  7. trump cannot win Florida.


    March 6, 2016 at 2:53 am

    • What do you mean Dawn? He’s winning in the polls right now.


      March 6, 2016 at 9:39 am

    • Well I did my part. I absentee voted for the Florida primary.

      Mike Street Station

      March 6, 2016 at 2:47 pm

  8. Kasich has less baggage than either Trump or Cruz, and likely will end up on the ticket, probably as VP

    bob sykes

    March 6, 2016 at 7:42 am

    • No charisma, no record of victory, brings nothing to the table. Trump doesn’t need him.


      March 6, 2016 at 7:21 pm

  9. Cruz has always been Trump’s most formidable opponent. He has amassed a sizeable war chest, has anti establishment cred and has steadily turned out great debate performances. Perhaps owing to his high iq, he does not make a lot of mistakes on the campaign trail and knows how to organize. I am a bit nervous about Trump’s prospects after last night.


    March 6, 2016 at 8:07 am

    • High IQ plus Cruz really knows the policy stuff. His mistake in debates has been getting into weeds of Senate policy issues with Rubio. He didn’t do that during the previous debate.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      March 6, 2016 at 9:36 am

  10. Good work predicting Kansas. Unfortunately for Cruz his surprise upsets are in smaller states like Kansas and Alaska. Large states are still going for Trump. Unless Cruz expands outside of his Evangelical niche, I agree Trump will put this away when the Rust Belt has its say.

    What’s the chance of that happening before Florida (where polls show Rubio far behind Trump)?

    Too late for Kasich. At least a quarter of Florida primary voters have voted early. Any votes going to a candidate who drops before March 15 can’t be reallocated to Kasich.

    If the GOPe wasn’t stupid they would have backed Kasich months ago. Instead they went with the Cuban Rubio who has a gay prostitution scandal that could be detonated at any second by Radar Online, Drudge or TMZ.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    March 6, 2016 at 7:24 pm

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