“Now is the time to get behind Rubio as the anti-Trump!” Too late. “Can Ted Cruz pull an upset?” No. “Maybe John Kasich could pull a rabbit out of his hat–” No, he can’t.
Unless Donald Trump actually shoots somebody, he’s going to be the Republican nominee. And even then, his poll numbers will probably go up. The media is basing all of their anti-Trump arguments on what they want to happen more than the reality of what is happening. They can’t see what is painfully right in front of their face, and I’m kicking myself for going along with their bubble-headed thinking. I’ve been saying “Rubio will be the nominee” for six months because I listened to their spin instead of knowing in my gut that the GOP base that is for Donald’s wall hates immigrants too much to go for a guy named Rubio that sponsored an amnesty bill.
I listened to all the arguments they made waaay back when—“Donald is just like all the novelty candidates in 2012 from Herman Cain to Gingrich that had their moment and then disappeared”—oblivious to the polls that Trump had been ahead for months on end. [Also the 2012 was the inverse of this one with one establishment candidate (Romney) against everyone else, this year it was Donald against five people the establishment could have voted for.] And some people are still listening to their excuses now…
–“Trump’s hit his ceiling and it’s 35 percent.” Then why did he win 45 percent in Nevada? Why was that win even bigger than in South Carolina and New Hampshire which were also double digit wins? Why is he up in every poll that’s been taken recently, and things are only going up with each win?
–“Rubio will win once he’s the last establishment candidate running.” This is an insanely flawed and non-sensical argument and I have called it out all week long and criticized the media for their myopic refusal to understand identity politics or dismiss them as something that happens only on the Democratic side. Jeb Bush dropped out Saturday, Rubio picked up most of his Nevada campaign and endorsements, and it still made no difference, he beat Ted Cruz by two points, and Donald Trump beat them both by 20. When Kasich drops out, Rubio may experience a 2 or 3 percent bump, but he’ll still be losing to Trump by double digits in every single state. And the idea that he even attracts the same vote as Kasich is wishful thinking at best.
–“There just needs to be a lone anti-Donald candidate.” That is THE problem with the Republican field: egos have prevented there from being just one anti-Trump candidate, and there won’t be until it’s too late. Jeb Bush dropped out when it was too late, and after he’d hammered Marco for months. Christie kamikazed Rubio before abruptly leaving the race. And John Kasich is still there for some reason. The “establishment” candidates kept acting like they were running a parallel race that didn’t include Donald Trump, and there real race was with each other. Even if it were just Cruz, Rubio, and Trump, it’s Cruz that’s holding Rubio back, not the old white governors (see, “identity politics”). Cruz would have to drop out tomorrow for Rubio to pick up enough votes to beat Trump, and it’s not even clear that would happen…
–“People really like Rubio.” Except that they don’t. It’s been obvious for a while that he’s more popular with the party than the voters. Rubio is not ahead in a single state out of the 13 that votes March 1st, and has never been ahead in a national poll. If he doesn’t win at least one Super Tuesday primary, then the Republicans will have had 17 contests where their presumed “front runner” hasn’t won a single state. He would have to win damn-near every state after that to topple Trump, and even that far-fetched hypothetical seems unlikely since Rubio is not even going to win his home state of Florida, at least according to every poll they’ve done this year. Trump is investing major resources in Texas, Ohio, and Florida, forcing his opponents to scramble back to their home states just to defend their backyards. Even if they can, that means they aren’t out there winning other states.
–“The Republican Party will soon interfere and stop Trump.” Faux News tried to topple him in the first debate. Jeb Bush tried to stop Trump, and walked away with a limp. He’s pushed Walker and Graham out of the race prematurely, and made Ted Cruz’s name synonomous with “Canadian dog shit.” He has had feuds with The Pope, Karl Rove, the Koch Brothers, and pretty much anyone who worked for George W. Bush. They have been trying to stop him for months, and they have failed. [Trump will likely say something about Rubio being the consensus pick for “yesterday’s losers” Bob Dole, McCain, and Romney.] Unlike Bernie Sanders, Trump’s populism is something his party’s voters actually want, and to more forcefully try to topple that would mean the GOP is essentially conceding the 2016 race with a candidate Trump’s voters won’t show up to vote for if they feel like the Party “robbed” Trump.
–“It’s not over yet!” Technically true…but it’s about to be.