How does Trump lose?

Okay, nobody is giving Cruz much of a chance now.  And I think that’s mostly right, as he’s proving to be barely any more the Evangelical favorite that Huckabee and Santorum were.  Andrew Prokop with the latest polling data that is, honestly, pretty devastating for Rubio.  There’s still the March 1 Super Tuesday primaries before Florida votes on March 15, but if the results are anywhere near this, it’s sure hard to see Rubio emerging with much of any chance.  Prokop:

A lot can go wrong for Republican elites in the next few weeks of the primary. But the absolute worst-case scenario for them is if Donald Trump racks up a winning streak that culminates with him beating Marco Rubio in Florida.

Well, that’s exactly what’s on track to happen, according to a newly released poll by Quinnipiac — and it’s not even close.

This result would be utterly devastating both to Rubio’s campaign and to the Republican Party’s chances of stopping Trump. Not only would Rubio be symbolically humiliated by losing his home state, but Trump would pick up a massive delegate haul, since Florida allots all its 99 delegates to whoever comes in first place.

Overall, it’s very difficult to see how Rubio can win the nomination if he loses Florida. And it’s very difficult to see how Cruz wins if Trump beats him in the South (as Super Tuesday polls currently predict). So even though Trump likely won’t technically have clinched a majority by the time Florida votes on March 15, a Trump win there would likely mean that’s the day the nomination is all but settled.

Yep.  Honestly, if it was almost anybody but Donald Trump, we’d almost be saying, “yep, he’s almost got this thing locked up.”  I think the fact that it is Trump is the only thing keeping conventional wisdom from confirming otherwise.  As for me, no, not locked up.  Yet, based on current results and polling evidence, it’s hard to see the path where Trump doesn’t do this.  Any ordinary candidate we could even imagine them saying something totally crazy and being punished by voters.  But we know from experience that Trump is near bullet-proof in that regard.  Honestly, at this point, I think a rational analysis has to suggest Trump is a heavy, heavy favorite.  Yet, somehow, I still have a hard time believing that.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

3 Responses to How does Trump lose?

  1. ohwilleke says:

    Scott Adams has some good blog posts on Trump whom he predicted would win the nomination back in August.

  2. R, Jenrette been says:

    Trump’s victory as the nominee couldn’t happen to a more deserving party. I just hope the rest of us aren’t swept away along with it.

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