Tag Archives: Nomination

Trump: The Cultural Costs of the New Normal

Donald Trump (R-NY) is working his way toward the Republican presidential nomination. His opponents may still derail him, of course, but his sustained performance–he has been the front-runner since August–suggests there is a sizable portion of the Republican electorate that sees Trump as not only tolerable, but preferable. Exit polls reveal several possible explanations. Voters see Trump as someone who can “shake things up” and he “tells it like it is.” Implicit in his promise to “Make America Great Again”… Continue Reading ››

Trump Wins SC, Now Clear Front-runner

Donald Trump decisively won (33%) the South Carolina Republican presidential primary on Saturday, seizing the standard as the G.O.P.’s front-runner. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, as I write, are battling for second and third (with 22% each), while Jeb Bush (8%), John Kasich (8%) and Ben Carson (7%) rounded out the field. Given the results, Jeb Bush suspended his campaign. The pressure will mount on Carson and Kasich to do the same. Carson remains indignant at the thought, while Kasich… Continue Reading ››

New Hampshire and the Debate Hypothesis

By any reasonable measure, Marco Rubio struggled, mightily, during parts of the G.O.P. debate on Saturday night. Chris Christie savaged the Florida Senator for his inexperience and his reliance on canned talking points. Rubio responded, to a degree, with canned talking points, thereby demonstrating Christie’s basic critique that Rubio is an empty suit, similar to Barack Obama in 2008.* The conventional wisdom is that Rubio’s performance arrested his Iowa momentum and will blunt his support in the New Hampshire primary.… Continue Reading ››

Iowa Results: Why They Matter and Why They Don’t

Iowa, a slice of the heartland, has spoken, but not in a single, predictable voice. Iowa’s exalted place as America’s first presidential nomination contest is more an accident of history than a badge of merit. But, every four years we gather, at the bottom of the mountain and await our tablets, carved upon by our corn-fed deities. Sometimes those tablets can be safely dashed, but they can also be vitally sacred. What have we just seen? Ted Cruz won the… Continue Reading ››

Expect a Raucous Caucus in Iowa

The Des Moines Register released its final poll on Saturday. For Republicans, Donald Trump still leads (28%) the horserace, with Ted Cruz close behind (23%). Marco Rubio has moved up to third (15%). The pollster, J. Ann Selzer has some caveats. She argues that while Trump leads, Cruz seems more consistently aligned with the electorate. Her poll, by her own admission, may be underestimating evangelical turnout. If Evangelicals vote in rates similar to 2012, the race will be tight. If… Continue Reading ››

And Then There Were Seventeen? The GOP Contest Twists Toward Fall

Seventeen Republicans have thrown their tam o’ shanters into the presidential ring and as we just passed Labor Day, the race is still in flux. Expect it to stay that way at least until January, and even then, there will be movement and surprises.   The figure above is a rough sketch of average polling numbers among Republicans during the 2012 cycle. The data come from polling averages as collected by RealClearPolitics. I selected a few months just for the… Continue Reading ››