Thursday, April 07, 2016


Political Mayhem Thursday: If Not Trump, Then Who?

With the results of the Wisconsin primary in hand, it appears there are three possible outcomes in the Republican race for President (listed here in the order of likelihood):

1) Donald Trump receives the most delegates but does not attain enough (1237) to win the nomination outright. 

2)  Donald Trump receives the most delegates but does attain the 1237 threshold and wins the nomination outright.

3)  Ted Cruz wins the most delegates, but not enough to win the nomination outright.

In the first scenario, few expect that the convention would pick Trump. In the second scenario, they would have to pick Trump. In the third scenario, they might or might not choose Cruz.

Given that two of the three outcomes not only result in no winner on the first ballot, but probably would not result in Trump or Cruz being chosen at all (since both are highly unpopular with party leaders), who would they choose?

Here are some leading options:

Paul Ryan
Mitt Romney
John Kasich

 What do you think?  

Or some one else! Paul Ryan and John Kasich are both among the most competent and likely competent presidents among Repub leaders today. Not that either would be a good president, just better than the rest of the rat pack. There is some talk in Texas that Rick Perry might be an alternative, or another present or former Repub governor or senator. But no one stands out from the crowd, and frankly, Perry would be a disaster as president, worse than W. There are a lot of potential dark horses out there. I think a certain New Yorker (who thought about a third party run) might get there if there is a move toward the middle in an effort to win against Clinton.
An interesting perspective on this and why a third person (not Trump and not Cruz) is unlikely to win the nomination:

Rick Perry! Really? I would think that has about as much chance as Chris Christie.
I should give up prognosticating. But I'd bet against Kasich or Ryan.

Looks to me like Trump will not get to 1237. And the thinking is he needs a LOT more to lock this down. The Rules Committee will make it hard on him.

The people who get elected as delegates, the actual human beings, are generally a pretty conservative lot. My guess, and its only a guess, is that Cruz could charm them with red meat right wing anti-abortion, pro Jesus, anti- foreigner, carpet bombing rhetoric and win on a second ballot or third ballot.

However, Cruz has sharp elbows and getting the magic number would be tough. If he can't do so by the 3rd or 4th ballot, then things could get interesting. The real action will be in the rules committee. If a candidate MUST be nominated before balloting starts, that's a limiting factor.
IPLG-- what do you mean when you talk about a requirement that a candidate be nominated before balloting starts… what other alternative is there?
Right now the GOP convention rules say one must have one nine states during the primary. So, although Kasich has hung around, he has won nothing and isn't qualified under the "current" rules. No doubt they will change the rules during the convention to obtain the outcome they desire.

1. I agree with the newly minted and ubiquitous conventional wisdom that if Trump does not get to 1237 on the first ballot, he is done. He doesn't have to be at 1237 on June 8. He can use all his skills as a negotiator and deal maker to recruit delegates between the end of the primaries and Cleveland (extended stays at Mar-a-Largo included). But, if the first ballot closes, and Trump is not the nominee, Trump is over.

2. Cruz gets a shot. Rule 40B will still be in play at that point. Cruz gets a shot at putting together a second-ballot, third-ballot nomination.

3. If Cruz cannot put that coalition together, then we get the free-for-all that I believe ends up with a Paul Ryan-Ted Cruz ticket (Ryan for prez; Cruz for veep).

4. #NeverKasich

5. At this point, I would take Cruz and Ryan as likely nominees and give the field even money.
Candidates do not have to be nominated to get votes. In fact, they do not have to be nominated to win the party's nomination!!!! But to have people speechifying for them, they have to meet the standard to be nominated. So a dark horse could win the nomination for the November ballot without having his/her name put in nomination before the balloting. The purpose of the rule is to keep down the length of the process by limiting the speechifying, not to limit the chance to win the party nomination.

And I was not endorsing Perry except as the worst idea of a possible candidate I could imagine other than Trump or Cruz.
When it is over there will be no winners. It will be an ugly and undemocratic process followed by a ton of money thrown at the GOP image. Hillary Clinton will be blamed. Preventing her election will justify their actions. The public is gullible and will probably go along. Oh well!
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