Republicans Bicker About Nomination Status

On Sunday morning shows, just hours after results of the South Carolina primary were released, Sen. Marco Rubio described the GOP race as a three-man contest. Conversely, Sen. Ted Cruz made the point that historically, you need to win at least one out of the first three states to have a chance at the nomination.

In Cruz’s calculus, Rubio is the odd man out.

What is clear, is that Donald Trump will arrive in Nevada as the anointed GOP favorite. Trump took all 50 delegates available in South Carolina with a comfortable 32.5% of the vote, followed by Rubio with 22.5% and Cruz 22.3%. The two Senators were separated by a mere 1,000 votes.

John Dickerson of CBS, who moderated the prickly South Carolina GOP debate, had interviews with the top three Republican candidates on yesterday’s ‘Face the Nation.’

When asked if the nomination was now his to lose, Donald Trump had an un-Trump-like response: “I don’t think it’s mine. Certainly, I’m leading, there’s no question about that. But we have got a long way to go.”

The new modest Trump was regarded by former "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer as “Mr. Nice Guy,” raising the question: With a resounding lead, should we expect Trump to change his tone in an attempt to ease the large downside he has with a significant tranche of GOP voters, particularly of the white-collar breed?

Ronald Brownstein, who coincidentally joined Dickerson’s show yesterday as a panelist, wrote in The Atlantic: “The simple equation that Trump has consolidated blue-collar Republicans, while the party’s white-collar wing remains divided remains the most powerful dynamic in the race.”

Trump may have a ceiling, but it is unclear exactly how the newly available voters will be reshuffled in what is now virtually a three-man race. Rubio, to date, appears to be the most likely candidate around whom the establishment will coalesce.

Jeb Bush suspended his campaign following the results from South Carolina. The immense failure of the once-expected nominee and most cash-flushed campaign solidifies the apparent rise of an anti-establishment, populist wing of the Republican party.

The Trump, Rubio and Cruz campaigns will be in top gear with Nevada caucusing tomorrow and a significant chunk of delegates up for grabs on Super Tuesday.

Chuck Todd, of NBC and "Meet the Press, tweeted after the S.C. results: “Trump said in his victory speech that he wants to wrap this up soon. Has two early chances: beat Cruz in Tx on 3/1, beat Rubio in FL on 3/15.”

1 comment about "Republicans Bicker About Nomination Status".
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  1. Ronald Kurtz from American Affluence Research Center, February 22, 2016 at 3:25 p.m.

    It is interesting to see how the old guard of Republican marketing experts and "strategists" have failed to understand the mood of the public for so long. Bush, like Romney, was a very well qualified candidate who seems to have gotten lost and looked weak by trying to remember what his advisors told him he should say as his talking points. The result was a lack of spontaneity that is required to connote passion, confidence, and authenticity. The true personality and qualifications of both were lost in the rhetoric. The remaining Republican candidates are so tarnished by the in-fighting that even a weak opponent like Clinton or Sanders will beat them (regardless of what current polls show). And the Republican party has such a weak message and strategy that even increased usage of technology and marketing tactics will not save it. 

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