Nationally, Donald J. Trump is a rising rocket man as Reuter’s tracking poll pegs him at over 41% and not a single opponent breaks the 20% threshold we discuss in our main article. A victory tonight in Nevada will help Trump enormously and might be a deadly precursor to that 20% limbo line in many states.
Tomorrow we can compare and contrast the Dem results in Nevada with the GOP results from tonight. Trump should win Nevada easily but corruption in Harry Reid’s state is not unknown or infrequent. Lots of opportunities for a stolen election in Nevada ladies and gents.
Still, caveats aside, if Trump wins Nevada… Trump towers.
On September 8, 2015, before anyone else, while others mocked Donald J. Trump, we suspected Trump might have the GOP nomination locked up:
The hostile takeover will be complete.
Are we premature? Is it too early to declare the very real, very authentic Donald J. Trump the winner before one vote has been cast? The latest polls convince us that it is not too early but rather too late to stop Trump. [snip]
We do so because the political establishment in general and the GOP establishment in particular held one, er, trump card to play against Donald J. Trump. What was that, um, trump card? It was electability. It was always about electability.
The establishment attacks against Donald J. Trump failed. The “Trump is no conservative” attack failed. The “Trump is unpopular” attack failed. The “Trump can’t win without Hispanic support” attack failed. The “Trump can’t win without women” attack failed. The “Trump is not a serious candidate” attack failed. The “Trump won’t run” attack failed. The “Trump won’t disclose his finances” attack failed. The “Trump will blow himself up” attack failed. The “Trump can’t win the war against Fox News” attack failed. The “Trump won’t sign a loyalty oath we designed to block him” attack failed. The “Trump has no positions” attack failed. The “Trump positions are ridiculous” attack failed. The “Trump raped his wife” attack failed. The “Trump has no organization” attack failed. The “Trump won’t spend money” attack failed. The “Trump is a billionaire” attack failed. The “Trump is too rich to understand non-rich people” attack failed. The “Trump wants to raise taxes” attack failed. The “Trump is a clown” attack failed. The “Trump supporters are clowns” attack failed. The “Trump insulted McCain” attack failed. The “Trump insulted veterans” attack failed. The “Trump is mean” attack failed. The “Trump has a bad tone” attack failed. The “Trump is not nice” attack failed. The “Trump won’t stay in the race” attack failed. The “Trump supporters are not registered to vote” attack failed. The “Trump is a racist” attempt failed. The “Trump will weaken” attacks failed.
Every establishment attack against Donald J. Trump failed. But the “electability” argument remained and it had the strongest bite from the establishment snakes.
The “electability” argument was “yeah, but he can’t win.”
In less than a month, Trump will be the undisputed GOP nominee.
Consider the immediate future. This Tuesday Nevada votes in caucus mode; next Tuesday a near dozen states vote. Will Trump win?
Before we look at the polls, let’s quickly remember the three top GOP rules that rule the race. As we explained last year, all these rules were designed to fix the race for Jeb Bush and now all these rules pave the way for Trump.
Recall that Jeb Bush was supposed to clear the field with his hundred million dollar haul for his SuperPac. Along with the Bush name and Bush organization the calendar was set to fix the primaries for another Bush.
First, the early states that Bush had a chance to lose remained states in which the delegates were proportionately allocated. Bush could lose Iowa and New Hampshire, but like other GOP establishment candidates he would be rescued by South Carolina.
Then after South Carolina, with all the momentum pushing him onward, Jeb could quickly win in Nevada which was to vote three days after South Carolina. Jeb could then go into the Super Tuesday elections with a head of steam and win at least some of the states and continue to proportionately gather delegates.
Finally, the coup de grace would be Florida which Jeb Bush was sure to win. Florida was made a winner take all state and the nomination would be secure for Jeb.
Instead of the runway set for Jeb Bush ascension, it is Trump’s Jet poised for take off.
Now, return to the rules in the wake of the Bush collapse. First rule, after the Bush collapse, to divide the delegate votes in the early states. In Iowa and New Hampshire, Trump grabbed a big proportion of the delegates. In South Carolina, Trump got all the delegates. All the millions of dollars Cruz and Rubio spent, all the hours Cruz and Rubio worked, all the organizational effort expended.. Trump takes it all at wholesale prices while Cruz and Rubio get nothing for their crap shoot.
Second rule in light of Jeb Bush’s collapse. The winner take all rules that will begin to dominate the races on March 15 and thereafter benefit Trump now. If Trump wins with a single solitary vote, Trump gets it all, not Bush.
Third rule. The minimum vote requirement to get delegates. In many states candidates will need to get at least 20 percent of the votes in order to be eligible to get any delegates. The winner will get the undistributed votes. This is a big rule for everyone to keep their eye on.
Super-rule 40. This is a big one. The biggest. We’ve talked about Rule 40 before. Rule 40 was meant to fix the election for Jeb Bush:
Officially, it’s Rule 40 in the RNC handbook and it states that any candidate for president “shall demonstrate the support of a majority of the delegates from each of eight (8) or more states” before their name is presented for nomination at the national convention.
A majority of eight state delegations just to have a name put into nomination. South Carolina gives Trump one of those states. A clear majority. Cruz cannot claim a majority of the delegates for Iowa. Trump is the only one that has a victory to qualify one state delegation under Rule 40. It’s the rules baby. The 2008 primaries were stolen from Hillary Clinton by the Rules and By-laws Committee as her delegates were stolen from her and given to Barack Obama and Barack Obama was also given delegates from an election (Michigan) in which Obama was not even a candidate as he had taken his name off the ballot. It’s the rules baby.
Now, with the strategic landscape of the Rules, let’s look at the tactical landscape of the polls. Who wins next? Can Trump win Nevada and the Super-Tuesday states? Yes:
Donald Trump leads polls in 10 of next 14 voting states
Donald Trump is leading in 10 of the 14 states set to vote in Republican primaries or caucuses over the next two weeks.
Recent polls show that Trump is ahead in Nevada, Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Virginia, Oklahoma, Minnesota and Louisiana.
According to Real Clear Politics, his biggest lead is in Massachusetts, where he is 35 points ahead of Marco Rubio.
Trump’s lowest margin of victory is predicted to come in Minnesota, where he leads Rubio by 6 points.
In Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s home state, Trump trails him by 6.7 percent, meaning he could still grab a chunk of the state’s 172 delegates.
Trump is currently ahead with a total of 61 delegates, 50 more than Cruz. The eventual nominee will need 1,236 out of 2,472.
Trump also trails in Arkansas, Colorado and Kentucky.
The candidates are now revving up their campaigns for Super Tuesday, March 1, when voters go to the polls in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming.
In the states Trump leads, the polls are often of recent vintage. In the states Trump is slightly behind, the polls are usually old and certainly do not take into account Trump’s tremendous victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina. (Latest poll from Massachusetts has Trump at 50%, latest poll from Nevada has Trump at 45%.)
Like a cold war era samizdat copy of a banned Solzhenitsyn novel, this excellent McClatchy article sums up the current state of GOP play:
Trump poised to step on the GOP accelerator
GOP delegate selection process favors front-runners
Nevada caucus up next; Trump favored
He leads in 8 of the next states
CHARLESTON, S.C. Things sure look good for Donald Trump.
The Republican presidential race expanded across the country Sunday, and polls show the real estate mogul ahead in eight of the dozen states voting in the next nine days.
Trump has now won primaries in two very different states, center-right New Hampshire and evangelical-dominated South Carolina. And the Republican Party system of choosing a presidential nominee favors candidates who continue to win early primaries and caucuses.
“He seems to have about a third of the Republican electorate under his spell, and it’s a durable, non-ideological coalition,” said Kyle Kondik, managing editor at Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball Sunday. [snip]
Rubio lived in Las Vegas as a child, was a church member, and Sunday picked up the endorsement of Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada. But a CNN/ORC poll last week showed Trump with a huge lead, with more support than Rubio and Cruz combined.
Trump had 45%, Rubio 19% and Cruz 17% in the Feb. 10-15 CNN/ORC Nevada GOP caucus poll.
Ruby-O leads in zero states. Ruby-O campaigned with most of the South Carolina GOP establishment but lost. Now, Trump at 45% in Nevada before the impact of his South Carolina hit. Who do you think will win Nevada?
On March 1, the primaries and caucuses in 11 states include seven states in the south or near the south none of which are likely to go Ruby-o. The Ruby-o fans love their Ruby-o but he’s just a dreamer unlikely to immigrate to the White House.
We don’t see any state where Ruby-o wins a majority of the delegates. None. Neither does Ruby-o himself. Which means Ruby-o won’t even get his name in nomination at the GOP convention. Now that we’ve ruined a great song, let’s go on with the McClatchy analysis of the next primary elections:
Cruz has a more daunting test.
South Carolina should have ignited his crusade for a more God-fearing America. Everything was in place, including a big momentum-filled downtown Charleston rally Friday with Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, conservative talk show host Sean Hannity and a surprise endorsement from Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C.
Instead, Cruz not only finished third, but exit polls showed he trailed Trump among evangelicals. [snip]
The challenge for Trump’s rivals is that his appeal transcends traditional political boundaries. The future of Trump’s candidacy was apparent last week when he stopped in wealthy Kiawah Island, a southeastern South Carolina residential and resort community. The audience was a well-educated, politically sophisticated group full of teachers, lawyers, nurses, doctors and retired government workers.
They tended to be over 55 and had worked in bureaucracies all their lives. They appreciated Trump’s ability to cut through the rhetoric.
“I’m tired of all the political correctness,” said Isabel Romero, a former Army finance official. “He appeals to your heart and he appeals to the middle class.”
Today’s crisis at the Cruz camp, a communications director firing for yet another dirty tricks incident, does not help Cruz – and it’s hours before Nevada votes. As to the McClatchy analysis and Trump, there’s lots more appreciation of Trump from the well educated residents of the island. But here is the heart and soul of our argument why now Trump Towers about all the rest:
Trump is also going to find a delegate selection process to his liking. The Republican race now is less about who finishes second or third than who can win the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus deliberately crafted a process designed to produce a nominee quickly. By March 15, about 60 percent of Republican delegates will have been chosen.
Rules favor winners. In some states, candidates must get at least 20 percent of the vote to win delegates. In theory, if someone won 35 percent, and no one else got 20 percent, that candidate would win all the state’s delegates.
On March 15, the system changes again to promote an early nominee. States then can award all their delegates to the winner, period, no matter what the margin. That means someone could squeak through in Florida, which has a March 15 primary, and get all its 99 delegates.
Trump Towers now above the rest of the field.