The latest polls in Wisconsin are showing Ted Cruz is likely to beat Donald Trump in tomorrow’s primary there. Many doing the math propose that a big loss in Wisconsin, which is a winner-take-most state for Republicans, could put the finish line out of reach for Trump. If Trump can’t win the 1,237 delegates necessary to outright win the Republican nomination…Ted Cruz may be able to lock up the nomination in a contested convention.
It’s no secret that the GOP Establishment openly opposes Trump being their nominee, they see him as a catastrophe in a General Election for their party, their hold on power in Congress and their domination of the Supreme Court. As Mitt Romney has announced, their goal is to deny Trump the amount of delegates he needs to win the nomination in the primary process then at the convention, anoint someone else the nominee.
Ted Cruz thinks that it will be him. He has been gaming the process of selecting delegates who support him so that after the initial convention vote when Trump would come up short on delegates, Trump’s pledged delegates would be released and able to elect Cruz. As the primaries have confirmed, Cruz is full of dirty tricks and sneaky schemes so stealing a contested convention is right up his slimy alley.
Though greatly disliked by the GOP Establishment as well, Cruz has been receiving support from them and the party as part of an anti-Trump effort…which isn’t the same as wanting Cruz to be the nominee.
So once Trump is no longer a threat, after losing the first vote at the convention, might their incentive to support Cruz suddenly disintegrate? Would Cruz consolidate support or once they’ve successfully aborted the Trump nomination (I thought they were against abortions?), might they then turn to someone else?
That GOP propaganda machine, Politico, is floating a dubious story today about the gearing up of a campaign to draft Paul Ryan into being the Republican nominee. Mitt Romney has been typically bad at presenting a poker face, he seems anxious and hopeful that the GOP would ascribe to the definition of insanity by trying the same thing in nominating him again and expecting a different result.
And what about John Kasich? Could a candidate who can’t win any state but his own, is light years behind the other candidates in delegate count and is despised by the core GOP voters, convince the party to fall in line behind him?
Trump and Cruz are surprisingly in step with each other on one campaign matter, insisting that the rules of the GOP convention stay in place from last time, which require any candidate to be voted on at the convention to have won majorities in at least 8 states in the primaries. In other words, they are singing in harmony that Kasich should not even be eligible to receive votes at the convention and should drop out now since there is no way for him to become the nominee in any case.
Kasich, who has built his campaign on denying reality (taking personal credit for everyone else’s work who’s in the vicinity of him and cloaking his religious extremism ), is denying this reality too. With Trump and Cruz opposing any change to the 8 state rule, there is zero chance for it to be changed and for Kasich to even receive a vote for the nomination but he is too deluded to accept that. However, it is good for America that he stays in the race and dilutes the voting pool, taking votes away from Cruz especially and keeping the race as tight and hostile as it is to maximize damage to whichever of them will be the ultimate winner of the nomination.
Of all the possibilities, if Trump doesn’t win the 1,237 delegates in the primaries or, accounting for the many undeclared delegates (some states have undeclared delegates and those won by Rubio and others who dropped out are instantly changed to undeclared upon the exit of candidates from the race), if Trump doesn’t add enough delegates by the date of the convention, which outcomes are the most likely and in what order?
Taking a stab at it, here are possible scenarios ranked by likelihood if Trump doesn’t have 1,237 delegates when the GOP convention starts:
- Cruz wins the nomination in a subsequent vote.
- Trump rallies together enough delegates in a subsequent vote to win the nomination.
- The GOP Elite handpick someone like Paul Ryan or even Mitt Romney, a Republican who hasn’t even competed in the primary, to be their nominee and strong arm delegates to do as they say (the resulting civil war in the GOP led by Trump and Cruz supporters would be spectacular).
- John Kasich shares footage at the convention of a pig flying and is handed the nomination.
Tomorrow’s primary in Wisconsin could be a remarkable turning point for the Republican party. It’s possible that there will be a surprise and Trump could do better than expected, keeping him on track to win the nomination in the primary. But if the results match the polling of the last week and Cruz beats Trump, denying him an amount of delegates he needs to win the nomination, the most despised Republican politician by Republicans could end up the likely nominee of their party.
Stay tuned..same batty party…same batty time.