Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2016 Presidential Election is Over for GOP Establishment

While GOP outsider Donald Trump continues to expand his lead, political pundits continue to float among the Establishment candidates to identify who will ultimately win the nomination. Yesterday it was Florida Senator Marco Rubio.  Today we're told that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie could do well in the first primary in New Hampshire.

From looking at the polling, I'm convinced that the notion that an Establishment GOP candidate can
Sen. Ted Cruz
win the nomination is wishful thinking.   The polls from September to today are remarkable consistent.   They show three things:  1)  The anti-Establishment sentiment in the GOP runs generally between 60%; and 70% of the total 2) the support for an anti-establishment candidate is growing; and 3) that changes to the polls simply involve a shuffling of support within the anti-establishment and establishment camps. Very few voters are crossing from one camp to another and, of those few who do, it is the anti-Establishment camp which is gaining voters. 

Defining the anti-Establishment vote as those who support Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul let's take a look at what percent of Republican voters are supportive of those candidates versus those who Establishment:

Fox News
12/17    72%
11/19    65%
11/3      67%
10/12    65%
9/22      63%

12/1    70%
10/17  62%

ABC/Washington Post
12/13   68%
11/19   69%
10/18   67%

12/17  64%
11/17  65%
10/4    59%

I continue to contend that the only candidate out there who can stop a Trump nomination is Texas Senator Ted Cruz.  A Monmouth poll released today shows the race 28-24 in favor of Trump over Cruz.  I personally don't think it's that close...at least not yet.  While Cruz is not the strongest general election candidate for the Republicans, he certainly is much better than Trump.  According to the Quinnipiac University poll, 50% of the people responded they would be embarrassed by having Trump as President.


Pete Boggs said...

Your analysis is on the money- the establishment can't tell time...

Anonymous said...

Come on Paul, it isn't even Christmas. You know very well that Iowa and NH Republicans will not firm up their decisions until later next month. National polls are worthless right now. You also have two debates before Iowa and three before NH. While I believe 2016 is the best cycle the anti-establishment has had in decades it is too early to make such declarations.

Also, putting candidates in these anti-establishment/establishment boxes is too simplistic. Jeb! is and maybe Kasich are the only "genuine" establishment candidates left. Rubio appeals to more than just the party elites, also, Cruz and Paul are elected US Senators, with endorsements from other GOP elected officials.

I also expect to see one or two bigger named candidates drop out before Iowa. That will change the dynamic. Finally, you know very well the Party controls the rules. While an insurgent candidate may get the nomination, they have to win something like 61% of all non-party tied delegates to make that happen.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your analysis, Paul. I mortify my LGBT brothers and sisters with my disgust at the destruction to the US Constitution wrought by the extreme left liberal socialist Democrats like Obama, Pelosi, Kerry, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Reid, et al.

Personally, I'd much rather see Ted Cruz in the presidential office rather than Donald Trump.

However, there is one thing I believe to be most important: Of the Republican Candidates in your article- Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul - ANY of these Republican Candidates are far superior to what we suffer with now. And what the American people suffer through now is a gaggle of cartoon characters in DC who run rough shod over the US Constitution and the traditional American values of personal freedom and self accomplishment.

Anonymous said...

YEAH, PRETTY MUCH: “The GOP plotted to restore the Bush dynasty, but instead triggered a class war.”

Jeb should have listened.

Instead, the party elite should do something far more radical: Admit that it completely failed on comprehensive immigration reform, repeatedly lied about it to the base, and apologize with contrite words and concrete action. This is not the grudging “tactical concession” offered by Frum, but a full repudiation of amnesty and anything that smacks of open borders.

I don’t think illegal immigration is the biggest issue facing the country and I live in Arizona of all places. But it has become a proxy for the chasm that divides the elite from everyone else. Until the GOP proves its honorable intentions on immigration, forget trying to persuade the base on anything else. Even with this about-face, it will take a few election cycles before Republican voters trust their party on the issue. Nevertheless, confession must precede forgiveness.

Then begins the reform of the party agenda. Contra Frum, it cannot be a list of Democratic-lite policies; DC Republicans’ slouch toward progressivism is the reason the base is so furious.

Yes. Plus:
My recommendations are far less “congenial” than Frum’s, because the elites would have to place their fellow Americans’ welfare above their own vanity, power, and quarterly dividend statements. I’m not advocating a temporary pose to trick the yahoos, but a change in heart, mind, and direction. The party bosses must admit that much of the work they do in Washington is either useless or counter-productive.

Even worse, they need to admit that, at least on a few issues, the “yahoos” were right.

Also yes." Applies in spades to the smug Indiana Republican "leaders"....losers.

Anonymous said...

https://www.youtube.com/embed/MOKi5YeNtRI Trump 25 years ago on Oprah.....makes a bit of sense.....

Indy Rob said...


Just want to express thanks for a year of political insights. happy new year.

Anonymous said...

I am personally embarrassed that our Nation features the Marxist Barak Obama as president (lower case intentional) and that his ungrateful, arrogant wife Michele co-habits the White House.

While Trump is not my favorite candidate, ANY of the Republicans like Cruz, Paul, Santorum, or Fiorina.... ANY ARE ONE THOUSAND PERCENT BETTER THAN WHAT WE HAVE NOW.

Jim DeCamp said...

You make a strong case, Paul—rather, the polls make it for you. I’ve been a Republican all my life, and my party is in trouble. But the real crisis is that the country is in peril, and the two problems are not unrelated.

Three years ago, mention of the emerging establishment–grassroots divide in the Republican Party brought denial or disdain. Today this divide is approaching chasm, yet the political class appears more interested in attacking its base and protecting its power than addressing the party’s dangerous trajectory. 

The grassroots have been lied to and betrayed. I take no joy rehearsing my party’s problems, but below are some areas where the Republican wall is crumbling. These points may help to explain the poll numbers.

1. Weakened from within.

One example. The lowest point in modern Republican party history may be the 2014 Senate Primary runoff in Mississippi. Six-term Senator Thad Cochran, with assistance from the MS State Party and the RNC, courted Democrat voters in the Republican runoff. Cochran also accused his challenger, State Senator Chris McDaniel, of racism and trying to suppress the black vote. Yes, in Mississippi. (I was on the ground supporting the McDaniel campaign during the runoff.) This reprehensible behavior revealed a troubling side of the establishment. The integrity of the party succumbed to its own greed and laziness–unaccustomed, as it was, to healthy discourse.

2. Disdain for its own base.

The grassroots delivered massive victories in 2010 and 2014, producing large majorities in the House, then the Senate, and over 1,000 seats in state legislatures and governors’ mansions. Few predicted this uprising, yet the establishment’s response was to draw the long knives. Ad hominem attacks and attempts to shut folks out of the process do not deter lovers of liberty. Yet the result has been to alienate those who recruit, multiply, and turn out the vote. The establishment is dismantling its own wall.

3. Lack of honesty.

Candidates have said one thing to get elected, then reversed themselves in Washington. With each successive betrayal, mistrust has grown. Passage of the Omnibus Bill violated many a campaign promise. From fully funding Planned Parenthood and sanctuary cities, to giving Obama what he wanted on immigration, many Republicans in the House and Senate broke faith with their constituents. The Republican party is facing an existential threat of its own making: people are saying, “Just give me someone–anyone!–who will keep his or her word!” The polls bear witness….

4. Bereft of fortitude in governing.

For years I have challenged the statement, “There’s not a time’s worth of difference between Rs and Ds in Washington.” That assertion is harder to oppose today. What has Obama wanted that Republican congressional leaders have not given him? People have had their fill of the status quo. Anti-establishment candidates (Trump, Cruz, Carson) enjoy large support from across the electorate, as the polls illustrate. People trust them, and one of them–Ted Cruz–has demonstrated the ability in Washington to stand under fire. The electorate is hungry some SOMEONE to take a principled, Constitutional stand. And when they find that someone, people will come roaring in support.

It’s not just an ideological or political battle we have here. It is people who have grown accustomed to power, and will fight–not for what is right or good or noble–but for self preservation. Both parties are complicit but, in my opinion, only one has the potential to recover.

America can make it without the Republican party; she cannot survive without a resurgence of Constitutional furvor, principled leadership, and a passion for all that made America great. That’s what separates today’s crisis from the usual election year squabbles.