All errors should be reported to

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Cruz versus Trump

Rush Limbaugh said Cruz is hoping Trump wins Florida and Ohio today so that Kasich and Rubio drop out. (UPDATE: That happened.)

Cruz wants a two-man race. How would that work?

From Rush:
If Trump wins Florida, he and his allies in the media are gonna be trying to make the case that it's all over but the shouting.  If Trump wins both -- which is what Cruz wants, by the way.  This is the key.  Cruz needs Trump to win both to get rid of Kasich. 
That solidifies all of the anti-Trump support around Cruz and sets up a two-man race.  The Cruz people really believe that they can win a plurality of delegates in a two-man race if Kasich gets out.  But Kasich has to lose Ohio.  And that means Trump has to win it because there's no way Cruz is going to.  See, the biggest thing the Cruz people have to fight is the perception that it's over, which will be the reporting starting late Tuesday night and all day into Wednesday.  So this is gonna be a big week for them to get through, because it will not be over.
But everybody on the Trump side and a lot of other media will be trying to say that it is.  So it's interesting the way things are shaping up here, and with both Trump and Cruz rescheduling events to go into Ohio, they both have the same interests there: Kasich losing.
Fine, Cruz versus Trump. Let's do the math.

The campaign map has gone through the territory most favorable to the Cruz campaign, according to FiveThirtyEight Politics. At this point, to get to 1,237, Cruz should be at 540 (needing 697). Trump should be at 443 (needing 794). So if Trump were 97 delegates behind today, they would be tied.

But Trump is ahead by 101, after capturing 72% of the vote in the Northern Marianas Islands vote today, and its 9 delegates.

Put another way, Trump is at 104% of his goal, Cruz at 69%. And Cruz would have a lot of more territory to make up in a short time.

According to Rush (perhaps echoing Cruz's people), in order for Cruz to win, he has to add another 165 delegates to Trump's total.

That would stretching Trump's lead to 266 delegates over Cruz.

If Trump takes Florida, the lead is still 200 delegates -- without counting votes in Illinois, Missouri, and North Carolina.

He could end the day 500 votes shy of 1,237 -- needing less than half the remaining delegates to win.

I think Rush is peddling soap painted gold here. His plan makes no damned sense.

On top of that, according to FiveThirtyEight Politics, Cruz -- like Trump -- is counting on winning Florida and Ohio to get to 1,237.

It is obvious, Cruz knows he cannot win outright, but must join the Republican Establishment in stopping Trump -- even to the point where they are cheering on Bill Ayers.

As for the media being in bed with Trump, Rush should watch Fox News All-Stars occasionally.

But the bottom line is Cruz and Rush are hoping to keep Trump below 1,237 by any means necessary. That is their privilege. I don't think they can.


  1. You didn't tell us there was going to be math in the new book you are writing!

  2. Rush' job, like the rest of the entertainment media (is there any other kind?), is to promote the "horse race"--if that goes away, they have a lot less to talk about and a lot less money they can make selling ads.

    (And yes, I *am* suggesting Rush is a shill and a weather vane as much as any degenerate politician.)

  3. As we speak, Trump has a plurality of the delegates won, not a majority. Should Rubio and Kasich withdraw and release their delegates, there's no telling where they'll go. By the same token, should the two candidates withdraw, it's quite uncertain how their supporters would sort out. The polled support for Trump and Cruz has not changed much in the last two months or so. Seven candidates have closed up shop. Their modes support on balance was distributed to Rubio, Kasich, and the undecided column, with none netting to Cruz or Trump.

    1. That's untrue. You could see the beginning of the realignment in the last primary. MO had Trump and Cruz around 41. 568 says that about 80% of Rubio votes go to Cruz, which would have given Cruz MO and NC, and maybe in a tighter race he might have pulled in IL also.

  4. Cruz: "I know what I'm doing!"

    Trump: "If it worked once, it oughta work again, right?"

  5. Haven't heard Rush in a while, so know not what he's saying. Well, except for Hillary and Bernie Delenda Est!

  6. Exactly right, Don. Trump could have lost a two man race if that were the race a month ago, but his advantage has grown to the point that a two man race after tonight makes it more likely that he wins the nomination outright- a nomination he can be denied only via a breaking of the first vote rule at the convention, and Clinton will win in a landslide if that is what the Republican Party does.

    I have spent the last couple of days making exactly this point- if non-Trump Republicans want someone else nominated with even a half-way legitimate method, they need at least Kasich in addition to Cruz in the race to prevent Trump from getting over the majority number.