Monday, March 21, 2016

The Battle for the GOP Nomination: Paths to Victory or Defeat in November

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Mike Scruggs

As of Monday, March 21, Donald Trump has 678 delegates, needing 559 more for the 1,237 needed to have a majority at the GOP Convention and win the Republican nomination for President. Ted Cruz has 415 delegates, and John Kasich has 143. Only 14 state primaries or caucuses with 761 delegates are left to be won. According to various state polls, Trump is leading in 10; Cruz, is leading in 2; Kasich is leading in none so far; and there are no recent polls in 2 more (Washington with 40 delegates and Montana with 27).  

By the time this is published on Wednesday and Thursday, Arizona (58 delegates) will have had its winner-take-all primary, and Utah (40 delegates) will have had its caucus. Trump is leading in Arizona with 31 percent, followed by Cruz with 19 and Kasich with 10 percent. A whopping 40 percent of Arizona voters are undecided. In fact, a high percentage of undecided voters, 20 percent or more, is characteristic of 13 of the 14 remaining states, the only exception being the Utah caucus. As of yesterday, it looked like Cruz, had at least 52 percent, which would give him all 40 Utah delegates. Both Glenn Beck and Mitt Romney are helping Cruz caucus the majority Mormon delegation. The Utah caucus will have online voting, implemented by a company with close connections to billionaire anti-American George Soros.

Rasmussen released a national poll on March 18 showing Trump preferred by 43 percent of voters, Cruz with 28 percent, and Kasich coming up strongly behind him with 21 percent. Another 8 percent were either undecided or for another candidate.

Kasich came out of the debates unscathed by the brutal exchanges that involved Trump, Cruz, and Rubio.  In fact, he came out of the debates with little scrutiny of his positions on issues. Thus he appears to many voters as mature and congenial, and so far as they know, moderate. This is pulling undecided voters to him, and he seems to be making inroads into Cruz’s vote. He is now being heavily funded by the big donor establishment.

Despite his congenial brand of politics, on issues like illegal immigration, massive importation of permanent legal foreign workers and guest-workers, and Muslim refugee re-settlement, there is little difference between Kasich and Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. NumbersUSA gives him a D grade on immigration, while Clinton has a D- and Sanders has an F-.Yet Kasich’s clueless liberal, but congenial, rhetoric on illegal immigration exceeds even that of Sanders in its departure from reality. In June, he told the Columbus Dispatch that he is all in for amnesty because illegals are good people “made in the image of the Lord.”  Kasich would also give them a path to citizenship.   In a February debate, Kasich told the TV audience that enforcing the nation’s current immigration laws …“is not…the kind of values we believe in.”   He likened deporting illegal aliens to the Japanese internment camps of World War II. None of the moderators followed up on his statements.

In a New Hampshire town-hall meeting in August, an attendee asked Kasich about the burden illegal immigrants place on the nation. Kasich dismissed the idea that they were anything but a blessing, saying illegal immigrants “are some of the hardest-working, God-fearing, family oriented people you ever want to meet.” A 2015 report using Census Bureau information, however, blew this often repeated myth apart, finding that 87 percent of illegal immigrant households with children are on welfare. The liberal Migration Policy Institute also revealed that 820,000 illegal immigrants still in the U.S. had been arrested, tried, and convicted of crimes. But facts don’t faze Kasich, and he certainly does not go looking for them. On immigration issues, he is in a steady state of happy-clappy compassion for everybody but American workers and taxpayers.

However, what drives the Republican establishment in advocating amnesty and greater immigration levels is not compassion. It is nearly a half-trillion dollars per year in profits from cheap legal and illegal labor. This profit is largely at the expense of American wage-earners. In addition, the taxpayers are picking up approximately $115 billion per year in welfare, healthcare, and community services to illegal immigrant households.

Kasich is unattractive to voters concerned about immigration, Islam, trade policy, or political correctness, but his congeniality is a huge advantage for capturing undecided voters without much knowledge or interest in issues. Late deciders could break more heavily to Kasich than Trump or Cruz

New York seems to be a plum waiting for Trump’s picking on April 19. It is winner-take-all with 95 delegates, if the leader has 50 percent of the vote. A just released poll has Trump at 64 percent, Cruz at 12 percent, and Kasich with 10. The West Virginia primary, with 34 delegates awarded by Congressional district, falls on May 24, with Trump at 40 percent in the polls, followed by Cruz at 20 percent and Kasich at 6 percent, but with 34 percent undecided. Trump is ahead at 38 percent in the June 7 New Jersey primary and should have some help from Governor Chris Christie. Cruz and Kasich lag badly at 10 and 8 percent respectively, but the number of undecided is large.

California’s primary is June 7 and will be a battle for a whopping 172 delegates. Trump leads in the latest poll with 38 percent and Cruz and Kasich trailing at 22 and 20 percent respectively. Nearly 20 percent are undecided. California is winner-take-all by Congressional District. There is one really big problem in California. California just made it legal for illegal immigrants to vote, even though this is completely illegal for any federal election. California also has a budget deficit of over $170 billion. There are at least 3 million illegal immigrants in California and maybe as many as 6 million. Should the RNC accept California primary results, if illegals vote?

Should the Federal Election Commission or Federal courts recognize California results in a general election? Who might challenge the California primary results?  California is becoming a serious fiscal and political albatross to the nation.

Trump’s 11 point lead is vulnerable in Wisconsin, and even more so his mere 3 point lead in Colorado. Trump can probably hold his 9 point lead in Maryland. He has a 7 point lead in Pennsylvania, but there are many undecided voters. He has a 15 point lead over Kasich in Connecticut. Cruz has a narrow one point lead over Trump in New Mexico, the last primary to close on June 7.

Kasich’s candidacy will likely hurt Trump and more so Cruz and make a Republican suicide convention more possible.

The primary turnouts thus far have been at record highs, being 50 percent to 100 percent higher than 2008. This is largely because Trump has dared bring to light issues that the Republican establishment has tried to suppress. Illegal Immigration, excessive legal immigration, and weak trade deals benefit special interests but have had a painful impact on jobs, wages, and living standards for at least the last 15 years on most Americans. The voters impacted are also angry about the cultural deterioration that accompanied this, and the political correctness climate imposed upon them to perpetuate it. Those most heavily impacted were the middle and working class voters who turned out huge majorities for Nixon and Reagan, but have been ignored and shunned by the smug neo-Whigs who now dominate the Republican Party establishment. Millions of middle and working class conservatives had stopped voting until Trump championed their cause. 

The bottom line now is that any Republican that cannot motivate the Trump voter additions to the Republican Party will do no better than Romney did in 2012, if not worse. Victory is only possible for candidates who embrace Trump’s immigration, trade, and national security goals and evidence a strong will to meet them.  Moreover, they must recognize the legitimacy of their cultural concerns and be ready to defend them in both word and deed. 

Donald Trump, of course, does Donald Trump the best. Cruz could only win by acquiring and retaining a substantial portion of Trump supporters. A Kasich, Paul Ryan, or some other establishment nomination would be the political equivalent of the sinking of the RMS Titanic.



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    1. Thanks.