The Path For Cruz And Rubio, And Another Debate *Open Thread*


That would be the path for either or both of them to knock Trump out of the top spot. It is possible, and there are ways to do it.

But before we get to that, there is a different take on just how well Trump performed on Super Tuesday. The pundits at many networks were practically dancing in the streets over Trump’s Super Tuesday success.

But just how successful was Trump? Not as much as is being depicted by the media, or even by Trump’s opponent, Gov. Kasich, who thought Trump would sweep all 12 states. He did not (though I heard a CNN reporter this morning say Trump “swept Super Tuesday with seven states,” or words to that effect. Apparently, she is unclear on what “swept,” or “sweep,” means. Wow.). Yes, Trump did win seven states, but many of them were closer battles than expected, and when it comes to the delegate count, he didn’t do NEAR as well as anticipated when you look at the math.

The Federalist has more on this very issue:


But that’s not what happened. Trump won a majority of the states up for grabs — 7 of 11 — but the delegate total tells a different story. Cruz crushed him in Texas (Cruz won every single congressional district and the statewide popular vote) and also ended the evening with unexpected wins in Oklahoma and Alaska. Rubio notched his first win in Minnesota and nearly eked out a surprise victory in Virginia. Kasich nearly toppled Trump in Vermont, losing by only 1,400 votes.

Although the numbers are not yet set in stone, it appears certain that Trump failed to win a majority of delegates on Tuesday night. The bombastic New York real estate tycoon will likely end up with roughly 42 percent of the available delegates (around 250 delegates), while Rubio and Cruz combined won with 53 percent (roughly 320 delegates), a clear majority of the 595 Super Tuesday delegates at stake.

Here’s a rough breakdown of where we are in the delegate race (w/ the caveat that ST delegates aren’t set in stone).


You read that correctly: Cruz and Rubio, not Trump, walked away with a majority of Super Tuesday delegates.

That is a big deal. It’s a big deal because Super Tuesday erased Trump’s delegate majority. He headed into the evening with 65 percent of the delegates awarded thus far and walked out with 47 percent. It’s a big deal because it shows that the barrage of attacks on Trump from Rubio and Cruz did some significant damage despite the fact that the attacks were only launched a few days ago.

That IS a big deal, and you sure don’t hear many in the media spell it out like this at all. Nope, they just keep pushing the inevitability of the Trump nomination. That despite the growing number of prominent Republicans who declared they will NOT vote for Trump. Republicans are becoming so concerned about Trump that Gov. Mitt Romney is giving a speech later on this morning decrying the choice of Trump, and calling him a “phony” (I concur with Romney’s assessment).

Yes, many people are concerned and with good reason. But there IS a pathway for Cruz and Rubio to knock Trump off that pedestal. Back to The Federalist:


First, they must continue to rack up delegates in the ten proportional contests that will be held on March 5 (KS, KY, LA, ME), March 6 (Puerto Rico), March 8 (HI, ID, MI, MS), and March 12 (DC). In those ten races, 347 delegates will be at stake. Cruz and Rubio need to focus on denying Trump delegate majorities in those states and perhaps picking off an outright win here and there. Because all of these states allocate their delegates proportionally (as opposed to winner-take-all, where the winner gets everything regardless of whether he or she wins a majority of the actual votes), demands that this or that major candidate drop out will likely fall on deaf ears.

The next big milestone in the Republican primary is March 15. That’s when the first winner-take-all states appear on the calendar. Five states (FL, IL, MO, NC, OH) and 358 delegates will be in play on March 15 (although March 15 will garner most of the media attention, the March 5-12 contests provide almost the same amount of delegates). With the exception of North Carolina, each of those March 15 states gives all of its delegates to the winner, even if the winner is well under 50 percent and wins by a mere vote. So what’s the anti-Trump play here?

Rubio must win Florida. That’s it. That should be the focus of his entire strategy. Nuke Trump from orbit and salt the ground where he once stood. If Rubio can prevent Trump from winning Florida’s 99 delegates, conservatives may well be able to deny Trump the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the nomination on the first ballot at the Republican convention. If Rubio loses Florida, he’s done. His partisans will certainly assert otherwise, but if he is unable to secure victory in his home state, it’s over. And if Rubio believes heading into March 15 that he will lose Florida, then he should very seriously consider dropping out and throwing his support behind Cruz.

Cruz’s March 15 strategy is also fairly simple: overperform. As of today, he’ll trail Trump by only 100 delegates or so. He’s closer to catching Trump than Rubio is to catching Cruz. He will likely focus on surprises in Missouri and North Carolina under the assumption that Trump will focus his attention on Florida and Illinois. If he’s feeling particularly bold, he might even make a play for Illinois. […] (Click here to read the rest.)

It is possible, and considering the Super Pacs on both sides are now (FINALLY) going after Trump, especially in Florida, I have to hope the hold Trump has on some folks will finally be broken.

Tonight’s debate on Fox might help to do that, too, especially if Cruz and Rubio target Trump alone, and not each other. It starts at 9:00 pm (EST) with Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, and Chris Wallace moderating. I hope Rubio comes out swinging like he did last week, and that Cruz continues to show his grasp of complex issues that are WAY over Trump’s head.

Hey, I can hope, can’t I?

That’s it for me. This is an Open Thread. What’s on your minds today?




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23 Responses to “The Path For Cruz And Rubio, And Another Debate *Open Thread*”

  1. kenoshamarge Says:

    Ben Carson drops out of next debate, sees “no path forward”

    But not officially “suspending” campaign.

    WTH? What kind of game is Carson playing? Going to wait for someone to suggest he’s dropping out and call them a liar? Because we all know it’s all Ted Cruz’s fault that Carson didn’t win in Iowa.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I know, right? He won’t be in the debate, but he won’t officially “suspend” his campaign, either.

      And yeah, blaming Cruz for that loss in Iowa is ridiculous. I know some people are projecting he will endure Trump because he is mad at Cruz for that, but would he really endorse someone who essentially called him a CHILD MOLESTER?? If he does, he will absolutely not be the man he pretended to be…

    • mcnorman Says:

      I read something that really made me sad. He is no politician and he refused to behave like one. Apparently, he was offered schooling in the ways of politics and he declined. I liked Carson. I don’t think he has the experience in international business but that is what a cabinet is for. It is time for him to walk away.

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        Rumor is that he’s going to endorse Trump. You know the man that hinted he was a child molester and insane. Go figure.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          Marge, that was my immediate reaction abt Carson. If he endorses Trump after the nasty, despicable things Trump said abt him, it will speak VOLUMES abt Carson. It will also remove any respect I had for the man…

  2. kenoshamarge Says:

    I don’t think the Trumpkins are capable of seeing the damage they are doing. They seem to think that at the end of the day we will all get in line and vote “against” Hillary. They can’t see, or understand that many of us see little of no difference between the two.

    They don’t see, or understand that many of the anti-Trump cartoons I post are drawn by conservative cartoonists. They don’t seem to understand that many of the anti-Trump column I post are written by staunch conservative writers. They simply spout off about “establishment” types and go back to genuflecting at the feet of a mountebank.

    When the smoke clears I think the damage will be considerable. Some are touting the large numbers that the GOP is racking up compared to the Dems. Well there are only two choices for the Dems and most don’t believe that Bernie has a chance so that’s one thing. Another might be that back in 2008 when the Obots told us they didn’t need us we left. And many of us did not and will not come back.

    It seems to me that the GOP may be getting set up by the Trumpkins for the same type of backlash. Granted the Dem establishment did their best to get Obama elected and the GOP seems determined to anger the voters by doing the opposite against Trump. They need to shut up and let the voters vote. And pundits like Bill Kristol only make the Trumpkins argument for them.

    Sorry for the rant. I thought maybe ,some how, if I wrote my thoughts I would, could, make some sense of it all. Didn’t work.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      No apologies necessary, Marge! You can rant away any time!

      Well, there is no doubt Dems are crossing over to vote in the Republican Primaries. I mentioned in a comment at yesterday’s post that 60,000 crossed over in VA. If even most of those went for Trump, that cost Rubio the win. And twenty thousand crossed over in MA. So, yeah – Dems are definitely affecting the outcome in these Primaries, including in SC. It is astonishing.

      As for your point abt these Trumpkins not getting it, with the number of Republicans speaking out abt Trump and their refusal to vote for him (Ben Stein is another one – he claimed yesterday that Trump was “dangerously misinformed…” Here’s the link:

      As much as they are ga-ga for him, they seem to miss that TWO-THIRDS of us dislike him, and many of us DETEST him. My vote will NEVER go to him, no matter how much Trumpkins try to brow beat me or Gingrich tries to scold people like me. They can bite me – my vote belongs to ME, not them…

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        Absolutely Rev! When you get that ballot in your hand there is only one opinion that matters, yours.

  3. kenoshamarge Says:

  4. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    I just watched Gov. Romney’s remarks abt the next Republican nominee, and how it cannot be Trump. WOW.

    One of my first thoughts was, “I wish this man had been our President.” He would have been head and shoulders above Obama, with his sober deliberation of issues, his thoughtful consideration, his temperament, and more. We really blew it not getting him elected.

    And while I know the Trumpbots will lose their minds over what he had to say abt Trump, he is right. On every note, he is right.

    Heck, even people who consider Trump to be friends, like the Hefner family, say he is full of “s**t.” And that he only care s abt himself. No kidding. I think that is glaringly obvious (here’s the link:

    I am glad that Romney had the guts to come speak out against Trump. More Republicans should have done that MUCH sooner. I know he will take a lot of heat for this, but I, for one, thank him…

  5. mcnorman Says:

    Texas is a take all for the winner. There is no crushing here. Ted won so he got them all. As for Mitt and his speech, I see a lot of this coming out in the near future. Romney lost, and his thoughts on the matter mean little to the Trumpsters. The Dems are having a blast with the GOP civil war. Rubio is a goner imho. When you lose Fox, you are in deep poo.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Heck, I didn’t realize Fox was even COVERING Rubio since they have been All About Trump. That said, Suzy remarked that is telling – not in a good way – that they said they would stop covering him positively out of pique. They are SUPPOSED TO REPORT THE NEWS. Uh, yeah…

      Oh, I know the Trumpsters won’t get it and will attack Romney relentlessly, as will Trump, furthering Romney’s point, but for those of us who think a candidate should have more stuff than a Twitter account and a colorful vocabulary, Romney’s comments meant something…

      • mcnorman Says:

        That’s my point precisely. They are in this no differently from the others like msnbc, cnn, etc. It’s an admission that they play to screw with the public. Gross.

  6. kenoshamarge Says:

    From A. B. Stoddard

    Some question whether there is a GOP establishment. But behold its members, crawling out into the daylight, pledging #NeverTrump.

    They came out in full force to stop the daughter of a two-term GOP vice president from running against a sitting senator in a Wyoming primary in 2014. Liz Cheney was pounded on publicly and privately, but stopping a controversial reality star hasn’t been a priority for the Republican Party — until now that it’s too late.

  7. kenoshamarge Says:

  8. kenoshamarge Says:

    What’s a Conservative to Do?

    By Andrew Klaven

    Donald Trump has no discernible principles or plans other than his own advancement. He is a proto-fascist strong man, selling the American people on himself. What his rise in the G.O.P. has done is threaten to separate conservatives of principle — politicians like Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan, commentators like Rush Limbaugh, Jonah Goldberg and Mark Levin — from a powerful populist force within the one political party that has been till now conservatives’ flawed but necessary vehicle.

    I mention both Cruz and Ryan in the same sentence on purpose. I know that Cruzians despise Ryan as an untrustworthy RINO, and that Ryanists disdain Cruz as a selfish and dishonest radical. But the fact is if Trump has done conservatives no other service, he has revealed that these good men have more in common than either camp has been willing to admit. The differences between them amount to something like a family quarrel. The differences between conservatives and Trump — that’s the stuff of civil war.

    Confession: I love Andrew Klaven! I did before but this puts him at the top of my hit parade!

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      EXCELLENT piece, Marge. Thank you so much for this. Klaven sure has a way, doesn’t he? And he is right in this regard. Thank you!

  9. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Suzy asked me a few minutes ago if I was going to “make” her watch the Debate tonight. Poor thing! I asked if she would prefer I dvr it and watch it tomorrow. Her response? “Yes, please…” Ahaha. Poor Suze…

  10. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    A friend just had this up on Facebook. As he noted, the paybacks have started beginning with Jeff Sessions:

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