Saturday Republican elections and the race for third place
Yes, it’s kind of strange that who comes in third place matters, but it does quite a bit.
I predict that Rubio’s star is fading and that some of the people who would have voted for him are going to go somewhere else.
Rubio actually has two main bases of support. The first is from evangelical Christian types who want a candidate who is a True Believer in Christ (and they see that in Rubio because he says that women who were raped shouldn’t be allowed to have an abortion) but who also want someone more moderate than Cruz. Rubio’s other base of support are those who think he is the moderate candidate, on account of the fact that the GOP establishment pushes him as the moderate candidate, ignoring the fact that he was supported by the Tea Party once upon a time, and that he has extreme anti-abortion views, and wants to shoot down Russian planes in Syria.
I predict that some of Rubio’s evangelical support will go to Cruz, and some of his establishment/moderate-wing support will go to Kasich. In today’s elections, what we will see is that in the three Bible states, Rubio will do worse than he did on Super Tuesday, falling further behind Cruz and Trump. I predict that Rubio will not get a single finish better than third place.
If Kasich beats Rubio for third place in any state but Maine, that would indicate the complete collapse of the Rubio campaign! But I don’t think it will happen. However in Maine, Kasich will probably come in a strong second, and Rubio could even come in fourth in Maine behind Cruz. Maine is a sparsely attended event in which, previously, Ron Paul supporters turned out en masse, so anything could happen in Maine. But I think Trump will win because his supporters are the most passionate, and that passion will translate into going to the caucus. Trump did very well in Massachusetts as well as in New Hampshire. Maine is the most prole of all the New England states, and that generally means that Trump does well because he is the candidate for the proles. On the other hand, I will not be completely shocked if Kasich, or even Cruz pulls off an upset victory. Kasich could win if anti-Trumpers are passionate enough about hating Trump to come out and vote for Kasich, the only adult in the race.
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There are four states voting for Republicans today, listed in the order in which we will start getting results:
Kansas caucus: Trump led by a few points in the only poll, but the consensus is that Cruz will win because Cruz is strong in caucus states, and Kansas is like Oklahoma where Cruz vastly outperformed the polls.
Kentucky caucus: I believe that Kentucky will vote like a Deep South state because it’s full of rednecks, and therefore Trump will win.
Maine caucus: I wrote about Maine in detail above.
Louisiana primary: Deep South state which will vote Trump.