Like the main dining hall at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Donald J. Trump has no ceiling. When there is a ceiling, it’s rather enchanted.
Four Problems With the ‘Winnowing’ Theory of Trump’s Downfall
For months, establishment Republicans have envisioned the billionaire losing support as the presidential field narrows. [snip]
The theory is that Trump, who notched his second consecutive primary victory on Saturday, is a factional candidate with a “hard ceiling” of support limited to the one-third of the party. While that has propelled him to victory in crowded field in New Hampshire and South Carolina, if other candidates quit, argue some anti-Trump conservatives, those voters will consolidate behind an alternative and soundly defeat the blustery billionaire for the nomination.
Trump, however, bristled at that argument during his victory speech Saturday night. [snip]
Trump has a point, and a close examination of Republican voter data shows that the “winnowing” theory has four serious flaws.
1. It’s unclear Trump loses a three-person race [snip]
2. Trump’s ‘hard ceiling’ is overrated [snip]
3. Trump’s support is broad-based in the party [snip]
4. ‘Second choice’ votes aren’t all anti-Trump [snip]
Our regular readers know the Trump “ceiling” theory was always a crafty attempt to demean and derail the #TrumpTrain. After Nevada, the whole world knows it. In September of last year, we expounded on our theory that candidates such as Ben Carson were a therapeutic half-way house for voters on the way to vote for Trump (“For GOP voters that hate the Republican establishment but don’t like Donald Trump’s style or are not 100% sold on The Donald, they are for now parked in the Ben Carson lot but eventually they will find themselves in the Trump camp.“). Once again, our theory trumps their theory. Trump Towers above the field and now most GOP voters understand that fact, if not yet all are willing to accept it.
It’s easy now, after Nevada, to write what we wrote months ago, a few short weeks after Trump’s announcement of his candidacy. Today, the level of acceptance that Trump will be the GOP nominee is pretty much the norm:
“We’re going to do it and it’s going to happen fast,” Donald Trump said at his victory party on Tuesday night, at the Treasure Island Hotel, in Las Vegas, after winning the Nevada caucus by a large margin. [snip]
The only state where he’s not leading in the polls is Texas, Ted Cruz’s home state, and he’s catching up there. Trump mentioned his leads in Michigan, the biggest of the states voting on March 8th; in Florida, Marco Rubio’s state (“We love Florida”), which votes on March 15th; and Ohio, John Kasich’s state (“It’s always nice to be beating the governor”), which is also voting on March 15th. “It’s going to be an amazing two months,” Trump said. “We might not even need the two months, folks, to be honest.” That is an honest statement, by Trump’s standards or anyone’s.
There were other accurate things that Trump said in his victory speech. “Tonight we had forty-five, forty six per cent.” The counting, when he spoke, was in the early stages, but he turned out to be just about right—he got 45.9 per cent—with Rubio at 23.9 per cent and Cruz at 21.4, the same order as in South Carolina. (Ben Carson got five per cent, and Kasich, the object of many moderate fantasies, about three.) Trump did even better with moderates than with those voters who said that they were very conservative, though he won both groups, according to exit polls. Trump continued, “And tomorrow you’ll be hearing, You know, if they could just take the other candidates and add ’em up, and if you could add ’em up. Because you know, the other candidates amount to fifty-five per cent.” At that, Trump’s sons, Eric and Donald, Jr., who were flanking him, shook their heads and smiled at the delusions of the commentators. (Fair enough.) “They keep forgetting, that when people drop out, we’re going to get a lot of votes,” Trump said, and he was, again, probably right. [snip]
Trump also had a point about the breadth of his victory, if one that he pushed too far. “We won the evangelicals, we won with young, we won with old, we won with highly educated, we won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated!” he said, with a theatrical shrug. He added that he had won “with the smartest people, with the most loyal people”—whether those qualities were meant to be in opposition wasn’t clear—“and you know what I really am happy about? Because I’ve been saying it for a long time, Forty-six per cent with the Hispanics, forty-six per cent, number one with Hispanics!”
Hispanics! Trump wins Hispanics against Hispanic Ted Cruz? Houston, Ted Cruz has a problem. Trump wins Hispanics against Hispanic Marco Rubio? Florida, Rubio’s got a problem. As to the rest of that article, Hillary supporters from 2008 will appreciate how that New Yorker article sneers against those who sneer at Trump from a class snobbism, even as the article cites “Trump’s bitter populism”. The snobs who mock the snobs don’t even recognize they are snobs themselves – and that is one big reason why Trump wins.
After Nevada there will be a CNN GOP debate on Thursday night. Then on Tuesday, well, it’s Super Tuesday when many states will vote. Trump is up on the polls just about everywhere. In many of the SuperTuesday states Donald Trump is already in double digit leads. Only in Texas is the poll picture not perfection for Trump.
Donald Trump does not have to win Texas nor even come in very close to the top spot. But if Trump beats Ted Cruz in Texas, Ted Cruz is cooked. The latest Texas poll indicates a salacious three way tie:
With less than a week until the Texas GOP presidential primary, Senator Ted Cruz is edging out his two chief rivals, with Cruz having 29% of the vote followed by Donald Trump at 28% and Marco Rubio at 25%, according to an Emerson College tracking poll released today. Ohio’s John Kasich is at 9%, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson comes in fifth, with 4%.
Tight as a tick on a lemon scented buttock. Trump at 28%, Cruz at 29%, and we’ve yet to see the impact of the Nevada results. If Trump comes even close in the Cruz home state, Cruz is cooked and served up in the Hogwarts dining hall.
Ted Cruz needs a blow-out victory in Texas and at least a victory somewhere else if only to survive. Marco Rubio needs a victory at some point too, somewhere, or his entire candidacy is a fantasy story found in The Tales of Beedle the Bard.
Donald Trump is performing electoral magic. Maybe, just maybe, it’s not over for America. Maybe, we can Make America Great Again.