By Andrew Bolt ~
The hope of the Republican establishment is that all other candidates drop out to make Marco Rubio the sole rival to the triumphant Donald Trump.
Nothing else will stop Trump, they rightly reason. But will even this work?
Doubt it. Does adding the Cruz and Rubio support so far seem to you the big-bang answer?
And would supporters of the outsider Cruz – should he drop out – rally around the more mainstream Rubio, or the brash Trump instead?
Besides, time is fast running out. Andrew Prokop says the packed schedule of primaries over the next three weeks could settle the contest before either Cruz or Rubio quit:
The speed of the upcoming contests is terrible for GOP elites, because their new favorite theory about how to stop Trump banks on time. They want the field of candidates to winnow, leaving just Rubio, who they think can defeat Trump one on one. But the longer the field remains divided, the bigger the lead Trump is likely to rack up in the next thee weeks, when so many delegates are allotted. Indeed, this head-to-head matchup might not actually happen until more than half the delegates are gone.
The worst-case scenario for the party is if Trump’s winning streak culminates with him beating Rubio in the senator’s home state of Florida on March 15. And it’s not all that implausible — Trump has led every poll of the state this year by double digits. Not only would this be a devastating humiliation for Rubio, it would be a massive delegate haul for Trump, since Florida is a winner-take-all state…
But even if Rubio does win Florida, Trump could amass such a delegate lead that it’s all but impossible for any one of his rivals to catch up. In that case, elites may well basically abandon hope of getting Rubio the delegate majority — and instead focus on ensuring that Trump doesn’t get the majority of delegates he needs, so his nomination could be blocked through a contested convention. But denying the nomination to the clear choice of a plurality of the party’s voters could be a PR disaster akin to the infamous Democratic convention of 1968.
Now, there’s no reason to take for granted that Rubio would even beat Trump in a one-on-one matchup. For instance, Rubio could well wilt under Trump’s inevitable negative attacks, or Trump could pick up a good share of supporters from other candidates who might drop out (like Cruz).
Rather than being afraid that Donald will lose, many establishment folks, I suspect, are afraid he will win. It will not be business as usual and most human beings seek business as usual, especially successful ones…
So if I were a member of the Establishment, whatever that is, I would quit bellyaching, embrace Donald and make him my friend. He’s ready and willing. If you bother to check that ultimate news source the Daily Mail, you’d see that already he is hobnobbing with such Republican stalwarts as Rudy Giuliani, Arthur Laffer and Steve Moore. Unless I missed it, I didn’t notice the article mentioning David Axelrod or James Carville.
And listen to what Trump is actually saying. He’s for lower taxes and a strong defense and he’s not really against free trade. He just wants a better deal. Who wouldn’t and who wouldn’t assume he’d get a better one than the Obama crowd? Or the Bush crowd for that matter, on just about anything. He’s also pro-life, despite soreheads like Erick Erickson screaming that Trump supports Planned Parenthood when he has said explicitly he does not support what they do on abortion, only on other women’s health issues. Does Erickson oppose pap smears for cervical cancer?
Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.