I always get a combination of surprise and condescension when people in the national media and pundit corps forget that we live in a democracy. Not that democratic will isn’t easily thwarted in this country on certain issues, but that eventually, you can’t get away from the fundamentals.
So, in the Internet era, which for most people is just barely younger than the Fox News era, it shouldn’t surprise people that men like Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz lead in the GOP primary. This is the fruit of 20 years of Rupert Murdoch and his Internet imitators.
They had been buying into “we need someone who can win” until 2010. When the Tea Party wave swept the country, that was the sign that Republicans had bucked their elites. After all, it was Bush, who despite being one of the most conservative presidents ever, screwed up by not being a winner and creating, in their view, Obama’s win, Obamacare, and everything else.
The Internet is doing some of the same damage to the left, where politicians and leaders have ever more and more purity tests put to them. But for right now, the Democratic party nationwide is being very pragmatic. Most Democrats support what Bernie Sanders says but most realize he probably couldn’t have even won in 2008, let alone in 2016 when the fatigue is directed at their own incumbent.
After looking—just quickly—at delegate math, it seems unlikely that the GOP primary will be over in February. The Democratic primary could be over the first week of February if Clinton sweeps Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, and, even if she loses New Hampshire, the huge number of primaries on March 1 should effectively end the race.
The GOP race—where Carson is still in it in Iowa—has 4 or 5 candidates that have a good chance of being awarded delegates in all of the early proportional primaries.
And, again, I’m just looking quickly at this stuff, but it looks to me like getting a non-insane Republican candidate will require Marco Rubio to last at least until April to get a head-to-head against either Trump or Cruz, and even then, it might come down to a three-way race.
In other words, unless things start changing fast—and they aren’t likely to change much until after the first week of January due to the holidays—the Republicans are looking at these scenarios being the most likely: Trump, Cruz, or brokered convention in that order.
I think all three scenarios augur a 400EV blowout for Hillary.
If Cruz and Trump are first in second in all of the February primaries and the March 1 super tuesday, Rubio will more or less have to be third in all of them for there to be any chance of an establishment candidate to win. And I think in the end that only gains them 50-70EVs.