Naked Politics Blogger
Last night, Donald Trump didn’t just win in Nevada – he romped, prevailing over second place finisher Marco Rubio by a 2-1 margin. That result is fresh after a big win in South Carolina, fuelled by evangelical voters that should have gone to someone like Ted Cruz, and after a win in independent-minded New Hampshire. Along the way, Trump has claimed the scalp of the dynastic Jeb Bush, and has made a mockery of the GOP “establishment,” the traditional party brokers that are usually at the heart of how the GOP picks their nominees for president.
The establishment can’t seem to grasp that they, amongst the grassroots Republican voters who actually turn out to vote in primaries or caucus, they are ferociously unpopular. That’s very bad news for Rubio, who has emerged as the preferred candidate of party insiders. To illustrate how out of touch the establishment really is, it was floated in the last week that failed 2012 GOP candidate Mitt Romney was preparing to endorse Rubio, which many mainstream pundits and insiders saw as a coup for the Rubio campaign.
In fact, it makes sense to argue that a Romney endorsement of Rubio would be a net negative for the Senator. Romney represents the establishment and everything Trump voters are passionately rebelling against. The second Trump calls Romney a loser, which he surely would in the event he endorses, Romney becomes a drag on the Rubio campaign.
Further, it has been revealed in the aftermath of Trump’s Nevada win that traditional billionaire donors, including the left’s ultimate bogeymen, the Koch Brothers, are likely to keep their wallets shut when it comes to attacking Trump. Instead, they’ll spend in an effort to save the GOP majority in the U.S. Senate, something that will be incredibly difficult to do given the number of seats in the senate and the fact that they estimate that Trump will be their presidential candidate. Mark Kirk in Illinois, Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, the seat Rubio is vacating in Florida, maybe even John McCain in Arizona – these are seats ripe for the taking for the Democratic Party in a bid to restore their majority in the Senate, particularly with Trump as GOP nominee.
Delegate math, a lack of billionaire bucks, and an electorate that is fiercely anti-establishment and almost pro-chaos – this is what will prevent anyone from challenging Trump at this point. For the last few contests, the race for second and third place actually seemed to matter – but with Trump now winning contests so overwhelmingly, racking up the delegates needed to secure the nomination, Marco Rubio declaring second place to be a victory comes off as shameless, naïve, and embarrassing.
The Republican Party is in serious, serious trouble, because most believe Trump is beyond unelectable in a general election. GOP primary voters seem content to follow the Joker Doctrine, though, burning the party that they argue forgot about them.
For a Republican Party hoping to knock off Donald Trump, it’s all over but the crying. Donald Trump will almost definitely be in Cleveland at the Republican National Convention as the nominee. A nightmare scenario, it is now nearly a foregone conclusion, and an utter failure of a once proud political organisation.