February 21, 2016
SC GOP and NV Dems: quick thoughts
How much of this is a multi-person primary battle and how much of it is a core that won't go much above 35 percent? We'll start to find out with Super Tuesday, but probably really won't know until the big batch of mid-March primaries after that.
Biggest loser? Ted Cruz. Can't rally evangelicals to support him over a three-time divorcee.
That said, Newt, a three-time divorcee as well, won the South Carolina GOP in 2012. Of course, that shows that evangelicals, unless one hits one hot-button issue, like gays, abortion, or now, apparently, Mooslims, are pretty shallow thinkers — and hypocrites. We know that, of course, because being in the Religious Right means you're just as likely or more to get divorced (evangelical pollster Barna agrees), just as likely or more to commit adultery, just as likely or more to watch porn, as Merika in general. For the Religious Right who talks about "sinful human nature," I counter with "sanctification," or lack thereof. "By their fruits shall ye know them." (Don't you love bible-quoting atheists?)
So, by finishing in two-and-a-half place, shaded behind Marco Polo Rubio, Cruz is the biggest loser.
Second biggest, of course, is Jeb¡ Given that his was an uphill plod already, can't call him the biggest loser.
Other notes? Cruz got in the closet (insert joke here) with America's First Black Pharaoh during the week, over Cruz's past lies about Carson. Two couldn't reach an agreement, then Carson got mad when Cruz leaked the meeting, which Carson thought was totally off the record. As NPR noted, Black Pharaoh may stay in the race a while just to shit on Cruz more. (More on that below.)
A number of GOP primaries ahead have winner take all delegate awards, but that's only for taking a majority, not a plurality. That's why the question of whether Trump's core support to date is all there is or not is important.
As for Black Pharaoh wanting to shit on Havana Ted, good luck on that. Many remaining GOP primaries, even if they're not winner-take-all, have a 15 percent cutoff on getting any delegates. Now, by costing Cruz a few percentage points in the popular vote, Carson may divert a delegate or two here and there to Rubio or whatever, but any attempting to shit on Cruz will be pinpricks.
Speaking of that 15 percent? How much of Jeb¡'s support, or "support," goes where? Kasich is going to need to grab as much as he can to try to claim that he's a better "establishment" candidate than Rubio.
Dems? Bernie lost, but not by a lot, in Nevada. Can he spin the momentum angle? Given that the MSM is already spinning against him (the NYT called it a "serious loss," which is nonsense), as part of ongoing kitchen sinks being thrown, he'll have to spin, and spin.
Pluses for Sanders? He appears to have won Hispanics by a few percentage points. Minuses? Still didn't do well with black voters. And, conventional wisdom says that South Carolina, the next stop on the Dem road, is a conservative state within the Donkey party as well as overall. If he can play the game of lowered expectations and close to within 15 percent on the popular vote there, it will help.
Still, any Clinton win will be used as an excuse by her to muscle still-wavering superdelegates.
Brains, who has more, and yet more, on yesterday's results, is probably right that, by the end of the second big round of March primaries, it will be time for some hard looks by the Sanders camp. Let's see what they do then, how much Bernie falls on his sword, and how much Hillary makes him eat it.
Of course, it's already time to keep mentioning Plan B for the "Sandernistas" who aren't yet familiar with thinking outside the two-party box. And, this is a conversation Sandernistas need to start having.