Patterico's Pontifications


GOP Today: Four States And 150 Delegates

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:14 pm

[guest post by Dana]

There are a total of 150 delegates at stake tonight in the four states of Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, and Mississippi. You can follow the numbers here at Decision Desk HQ. Fox News is reporting that early exit polls show Michigan late-deciders are breaking for Kasich (35%) and Cruz (31%).

And, wow:

Donald Trump holds a narrow, three-point lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows, but the data also reveal potential cracks in his support.

The New York businessman is the top choice of 30% of likely Republican primary voters nationally, the poll finds, followed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, at 27%.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has 22%, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has 20%, according to the poll.

Ted Cruz clearly hasn’t been just cruzin’ his way through the campaign, and his hard work shows. As for Rubio, well, I am really starting to feel sorry for him.

Interestingly, according to a survey released today, while Trump may be leading the pack, it’s not all sunshine and roses:

The bad news [for Trump] is either senator still in the Republican presidential race, Ted Cruz of Texas or Marco Rubio of Florida, would easily beat him in a head-to-head matchup.

The survey, released Tuesday as GOP voters head to polls in Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho and Hawaii, lends credence to the argument that both Cruz and Rubio have been making against one another: Trump can be defeated in a two-man race, so you should drop out.

Survey detail:

In hypothetical two-way matchups, Cruz leads Trump by 54-41 percent and Rubio leads Trump by 51-45 percent in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. While the latter lead isn’t statistically significant, both are further signs of the apparent limits to Trump’s popularity within his party. Indeed, among non-Trump supporters, seven in 10 say they’d prefer Cruz, and as many say they’d pick Rubio, in head-to-head contests.


All those saluting pledge-takers is making someone optimistic!

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UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Apparently Fox has called Mississippi for Trump and he is sweeping Michigan.

CNN: Rubio Advisers Say He Should Get Out Before Florida

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:44 am

Hawaii holds its GOP caucus today, and Idaho, Michigan, and Mississippi have their GOP primaries. These contests will be an interesting test of whether Cruz is cannibalizing Rubio’s support, and whether Trump continues to fade. Meanwhile, we have this report from CNN: Some Rubio advisers say get out before Florida:

A battle is being waged within Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaign about whether he should even remain in the Republican presidential race ahead of his home state primary on March 15, sources say.

Rubio himself is “bullish” on his odds of winning the critical primary, despite some advisers who are less hopeful and believe a loss there would damage him politically in both the short- and long-term.

Publicly, the campaign is maintaining they are still a contender in this race, touting a Sunday win in Puerto Rico’s primary that delivered Rubio 23 delegates. But privately, the campaign is having a debate about whether he should remain in the mix — even for his home state of Florida’s primary.

“He doesn’t want to get killed in his home state,” one source familiar with the discussions said, noting “a poor showing would be a risk and hurt his political future.”

Rubio partisans on Twitter were pushing back against this story — and working very hard to spread a story that Ted Cruz was putting out false robocalls claiming Rubio was out.

Does this sound familiar? CNN puts out a story suggesting a candidate might be getting out at a time that is critical for Ted Cruz. Campaigns run around accusing Cruz of dirty play for spreading the story. You can see the Rubio folks licking their chops at the prospect of repeating the story that hurt Cruz after Iowa:

Here is the baseless accusation she is retweeting:

And here she is retweeting another such accusation bearing a #TedCruzLies hashtag:

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The problem is, there is zero basis for the rumor that Cruz is behind any such calls, if they happened. His spokespeople say he’s not. And, if anything, it seems plausible that Trump partisans could be executing a false flag operation.

When a Cruz rapid response guy chided this partisan “journalist” for repeating rumors falsely accusing Cruz of this, she batted her eyes innocently and said she was just gathering information — even as she exulted in the attention she was receiving from the Cruz guy:

This is just one more reason Rubio needs to lose.

I am on record saying that Marco Rubio needs to be curb-stomped in this race. The faster the better. I searched YouTube for the clip from Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” where Cary Grant is hanging onto a cliff at Mount Rushmore by his fingertips, and Martin Landau comes up and steps on the fingers. This is what Cruz needs to do to Rubio.

But if I found the clip, Rubio fans would all say: “BUT CARY GRANT LIVED AND HE GOT THE GIRL TOO!!!1! So it’s probably best I can’t find it.

Cruz can beat Trump head to head. But first, Rubio needs to be out. He won’t leave voluntarily. He won’t make a deal.

Rubio needs to be humiliated. Rubio needs to be ground into dust. The sooner he is gone, the sooner we can consolidate sensible people around Ted Cruz.

Let’s start today.

Donald Trump Shocked That Americans Are Disturbed By The Candidate Requesting Supporters Raise Their Arms In Allegiance To Him

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:30 am

[guest post by Dana]

After requesting that assembled supporters raise their right arms and pledge to vote for him during a campaign stop in Florida several days ago, Donald Trump again asked crowds in Mississippi and North Carolina to raise their right arms while he lead them in a “pledge” of support yesterday. This morning, Trump claimed there was no similarity between this and that of the “Heil Hitler” salute. Further, while on the telephone with the TODAY show, the candidate sounded shocked to hear that people found the practice creepy. And disturbing:

“Honestly, until this phone call, I didn’t realize it was a problem,” Trump said on NBC’s “Today” show, claiming crowds are simply “having a good time” and suggesting they wanted the pledge.

“If it’s offensive, if there’s anything wrong with it, I wouldn’t do it,” Trump insisted, saying he would “look into” criticism.

“They’re raising their hand in the form of a vote, not in the form a salute,” Trump added on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” calling the controversy “crazy.”


But he said he will look into the claims and may reconsider the pledge at future events.

“I’ll certainly look into it because I don’t want to offend anybody. It’s been amazingly received, very well received,” he said.

As a reminder, this was Trump leading supporters in a pledge to vote for him while campaigning in Orlando several days ago:

“Let’s do a pledge. Who likes me in this room?” the Republican presidential candidate asked a large crowd Saturday in Orlando, Florida. “Raise your right hand: ‘I do solemnly swear that I — no matter how I feel, no matter what the conditions, if there’s hurricanes or whatever — will vote, on or before the 12th for Donald J. Trump for president.’” (Trump misstated the date of the Florida primary, which will be held on March 15.)

As the audience enthusiastically complied with his request, the candidate told them: “Don’t forget you all raised your hands. You swore. Bad things happen if you don’t live up to what you just did.”


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