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How Moderates Voted on Super Tuesday
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Using official results and exit polling data for the nine states* that held their primaries yesterday, the distribution of self-identified ideologically moderate voters among the top three GOP candidates:

Moderates made up one-in-five (19.7%) voters across these nine states.

Compare this to candidate shares of total votes received among the four still in the race and Ben Carson going back to Iowa, where Trump’s lead, while comfortable, isn’t dominant:

Trump appeals far more to moderates than the rest of the Republican field does. He and Cruz are almost even among voters who identify as conservative. Rubio gets crushed by both Trump and Cruz among conservatives, but has almost twice the moderate support that Cruz enjoys (while Trump has nearly three times Cruz’s moderate support).

Trump has the widest ideological appeal on the Republican side. Trump, the moderate extremist! Or is it the extremist moderate? Anyway, count this as another data point lending credence to Scott Adams’ prediction of a Trump landslide in November. To the extent that the Trump-can’t-beat-Hillary claim has any merit, it’s largely attributable to the GOPe stabbing him in the back at every opportunity.

Hypothetical general election polls are unreliable at this point because they presuppose an electoral profile similar to that of recent presidential elections. Consequently, they are substantially undercounting the impending upsurge of working-class whites who will turn out if Trump is the Republican nominee (and they’ll vote overwhelmingly for him when they do).

Parenthetically, we hear of a contested convention if Trump doesn’t win 51% of the votes in the primaries and caucuses. The good news for Trumpians is that this oft-repeated assertion is incorrect. Trump can quite easily hit the 1,237 delegates needed to win with a mere plurality of total votes cast. His current 35% will probably be enough if Rubio, Cruz, and Kasich stay in for the duration. With Texas having already gone, Cruz may well have hit his high water mark. Trump, in contrast, has two delegate-rich home games coming up in Florida and New York. These states are both winner-take-all, as are all states whose votes are at least two weeks out from today:

States voting on March 15, 2016, or later will award their delegates on a winner-take-all basis, meaning candidates will likely pay more attention to them.

The party believes that the new system of awarding delegates will prevent the front-loading of primaries early in the season, and offers states an incentive to hold theirs in the spring and summer instead of trying to leapfrog each other for influence and attention.

Don’t mock Minnesota’s nice cuckservatives. They’ve given Rubio a pretense for hanging around longer and his recent rhetoric suggests he wants to stick it out to the bitter end. He should!

Finally, consider Kasich’s potentially VP position. For the last several weeks he and Trump have been hands-off one another, a drastic change from the barbs they threw back and forth in the earlier debates. Kasich has taken his can’t-we-all-just-get-along chanting to an almost absurd level–the perfect complement to the Trump-as-a-loose-cannon caricature. The GOPe could reluctantly resign itself to a Trump-Kasich ticket. The markets continue to see that as a distinct possibility. Kasich is currently an odds-on favorite for VP on the Republican side.

* Exit polling wasn’t conducted for the Alaska and Minnesota caucuses. Their contributions to the night’s total vote counts are negligible, however, together comprising just 1.6% of the ballots cast across the eleven states where voting took place on ‘super’ Tuesday.

(Republished from The Audacious Epigone by permission of author or representative)
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  1. Trump in the general is going to have trouble with one Democratic line of attack – "Trump is so extreme that Republicans went into rebellion to stop him." The only saving grace here is that this drama is playing out to such a large audience that the number of uninformed voters who'll be convinced by that line is small.

    As for the VP issue I don't know which road looks best to someone like Trump. To buy peace he might hook up with a establishment guy, and Kasich probably overlaps with many of Trump's views but this give the current power plays a line of influence into the Trump Administration. Trump may want to leave a lasting effect on the US, akin to Reaganism or, in the UK, Thatcherism, and his signature issue is immigration and so, if he's good to his word, he needs someone to stay on that theme, which means laying the groundwork for a successor and a VP is ideally suited to becoming the successor. He doesn't get a political marriage type of benefit from choosing Kobach but he likely gets a legacy effect for Trumpism.

    Kasich as VP moving on to be President is sure to result in rollbacks of Trump's policies.

    Kasich doesn't have a power base in the party, so if Trump is OK with picking a guy with no power base, then Kobach is a better pick or he could go deep into the Republican Governor's pool and find someone with ties to the Republican power structure.

    He shouldn't pick Christie, a NY/NJ ticket doesn't work. I really like Kobach. He hits a lot of right notes – Baptist family man, home schooling of kids, immigration fighter, good pedigree, personable, already in Trump's orbit, Midwest, young.

  2. It is insane what the GOP is doing. They are going full Alinsky on Trump, and any politician who supports Trump. I have never seen anything like it. Their presumptive nominee.

    This is an SJW mob attack, all out. It is clear that they will never allow him in under any circumstances. He will be blocked in a brokered convention if necessary.

    They have killed the party.

  3. Anonymous [AKA "Obie"] says: • Website

    My guess is that Clinton will get in, and that will be the end of America as we knew it.

  4. From The Gateway Pundit:

    BREAKING: GOP Stacks Audience for FOX News Debate – 400 Tickets to GOP Officials, 50 Left for Public (Video)

    Jim Hoft Mar 3rd, 2016 7:56 am —16 Comments

    Once again the Republican Party stacked the debate audience against front-runner Donald Trump. The Republican Party gave 400 tickets to GOP officials. Only 50 tickets were given to the public.

    Tonight Trump will be under attack from all sides–
    The Audience, The Republican Party, Cruz, Rubio, and the biased FOX Debate Moderators!
    This is unprecedented!

    Over 21,000 people signed up for a chance to attend the debate. Only 50 will get in.

  5. So incredibly stupid. You think conservatives have no fight in them and then they save their worst for their own side.

    They richly deserve a boot on the face forever. Now where do I go from here?

  6. A.E.

    Two articles to chew upon related to this post —

    More Women Voted Republican Than Democratic on Super Tuesday

    By Ashe Schow (@AsheSchow) • 3/3/16 2:55 PM


    'Not even my wife knows': secret Donald Trump voters speak out

    We asked Guardian readers who are voting for Trump why they support him. From firm conservatives to fed-up liberals, their answers were revealing

    Short Form: This isn't about Trump.

    Trump is merely a weapon, a vehicle, for their anger with the "Protected Class."

    People are so utterly p**sed that they are voting for Trump with their eyes wide open as to what he might bring. As long as it hurts those that they are angry, everything else is "acceptable collateral damage."

  7. TangoMan,

    Is Sessions too old? He is more restrictionist than even Trump, and yet he serves as a kinda sorta bridge to the GOPe. The party doesn't like him, but he isn't a persona non grata, either. He'd probably guarantee some of the iffier Southern states like North Carolina and Georgia.

    Kobach is a sharp with on his feet, though he doesn't have a ton of charisma (he's roughly analogous to Cruz). He hosts a weekly talkshow in the KC metro area and I saw him debate the late Richard Nadler on immigration almost a decade ago and my impression will confirm everything you hope it will. He's taken a lot of heat for passing voter ID laws in Kansas (and helping craft them in other states). I'd be thrilled if that's who he went with, but I'm skeptical of a relatively unknown choice from an already reliably red state.

    Agree regarding Trump and Christie. Trump's already strong in the east. He needs someone from the less rooted west (west of the Mississippi, not necessarily west coast or mountain time zone). Christie seems like an obvious AG pick.

  8. Dan,

    Short of fraud or assassination, it's going to be hard to stop Trump electorally. Looking at the primary calendar, unless something changes Trump is in great shape. Everything after March 15 is winner take all, and some of those days will be Trump sweeps with hundreds of delegates at stake.

    It appears that the GOPe it beginning to abandon Rubio and move towards Kasich. That's terrific, too.

    Someone parody the Clash for the GOPe, "I fought the Trump and the Trump won".

  9. Sessions is too old. He's more useful in the Senate. The power of network is key here. If Sessions is influential in a Trump Administration then this increases the power of Sessions in the Senate, because in a deal making environment a good word from Sessions helps a Senator with Trump.

    Kobach should do a service for his Don, develop charisma by learning what Trump can teach him. Trump could slingshot him to national prominence and in return Kobach advances ALL aspects of Trumpism, not just immigration. This, I believe, would be a far more effective slingshot than the Palin pick because there's more substance to Kobach and he wouldn't be as easily defined as incompetent. Palin's vision is more aligned with Trumps, I have no idea about Kobach's vision other than on immigration law (which is a good start).

    Kobach is like the anti-Trump in terms of lifestyle – home schools his kids, good solid Republican career, satisfies Republicans on other issues, like voter ID, has a quieter demeanor, very religious, etc. Also, from his official photos, he looks quite handsome and women love that.

    The issue as I see it is that Trump needs to add strength to his ticket. This usually means adding some other candidates power base, but Rubio and Kasich and Cruz don't have independent power bases, like Bush did with Reagan. Cruz is an outsider, Rubio is a puppet and Trump is trying to destroy those who pull Rubio's strings, Kasich is too minor a player to have an independent power base in the party. Moving beyond the candidates, I can't see anyone with a power base based on personality. If the well is dry on this front, then the issue ratchets down to symbolism. There are likely more people around who can check a number of symbolic boxes but do they align in vision with Trump and do they want to hitch their wagon to Trump. Big gamble. Kobach has been waging a lonely fight. That speaks well of him. He's likely blocked or has a long hard slog up the ladder. If Trump has to pick on symbolism, Kobach seems like the missing piece of the puzzle to me and he would reassure a number of different power bases in the party, and he's already aligned and solid on the single most pertinent issue of the campaign.

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