March 9, 2016

"It's hard to exaggerate what a debacle Tuesday night was for Rubio."

"It was fine to come in third in Iowa's caucuses, when he saw a late surge and was running against 11 other people. It is not fine to come in third in Idaho in a field of four candidates. It is not fine to win 16 percent of the vote there, when you need 20 percent in order to qualify for any delegates. It is not fine at all to come in fourth -- dead last in the current field -- in both Mississippi and Michigan, qualifying for delegates in neither.... So now Rubio's campaign is spending the day doing two things. One, it is brashly predicting that it will win Florida. Second, it is insisting that it will still exist by the time of that vote next Tuesday."

From "Marco Rubio’s campaign is basically over" by Philip Bump in WaPo.

I'm looking at the new Florida polls. It seems obvious to me that if Rubio is interested in stopping Trump, he should get out before Florida and allow as many of his votes as possible to go to Cruz. He should endorse Cruz now. It's the one thing he can do, and since it is so clear, if he fails to do it, he's responsible for Trump's getting the nomination. Now, maybe he thinks Trump is better than Cruz. If so, stay in. That's how I'm going to read it.

71 comments:

Mark said...

I felt that this might be a possibility, until Trump started trolling Rubio and suggesting that he drop out last week.

Given how much Trump gets under Rubio's skin, I think that Rubio now will refuse to leave until he loses decisively in Florida and risks turning himself into a mockery by continuing.

Meade said...

Cruz and Rubio BOTH need to get out and back a Kasich/Fiorina ticket. NOW.

Otherwise, we can all start practicing saying "Madame President Hillary".

Come on, Ted and Marco, hold hands, hold your noses, and jump into the President Kasich pool.

Meade said...

And Trump needs to join Cruz and Rubio in backing Kasich. For the good of the Party, the Country, World History.

Ann Althouse said...

Meade is on his Kasich kick.

Meade said...

One of my two favorite step sons — not the wise one, the other wise one — picked Kasich back last summer. I scoffed.

I was wrong to scoff.

Meade said...

I get no kick from Kasich. But out of all the available candidates remaining, he'd make the best president.

So I'll vote for him. I'll do it for the children.

Nonapod said...

There's a rumor he's gonna suspend his campaign soon.

Birkel said...

Welcome to the party, people who actually respect separation of powers and federalism.

Birkel said...

With the anti-coveted Meade endorsement, Kasich is finished.

The anti-bellwether strikes again.

khesanh0802 said...

Meade is into his denial kick. Soon he will be depressed (march 15) then perhaps he will make it to acceptance. Hillary is going to be battered and bruised by Trump. She will look as hopeless as she really is debating him. Meade, you need to recognize that the reason Trump is ahead is because more people are voting for him! Kasich is behind (way behind,btw) because almost no one is voting for him and yet you think HE can beat Hillary. Get a grip, as they say.

Gahrie said...

It seems obvious to me that if Rubio is interested in stopping Trump, he should get out before Florida and allow as many of his votes as possible to go to Cruz. He should endorse Cruz now

One of those rare times in which I completely agree with our hostess.

Of course I've been saying it for months....

David said...

"All the other Republicans need to drop out and endorse Rubio so he can beat Trump." -Althouse, before

Perhaps excuse Rubio for not jumping to take your advice.

Bay Area Guy said...

Althouse is right.

The problem is these #NevervoteforTrump knuckleheads sat on the sidelines way too long, and failed to support and consolidate around a viable candidate (Cruz, Rubio, Kasich). Trump skillfully exploited this splintering and indecision.

Rubio should get out, endorse Cruz, and not say a damn thing about Trump!

Birkel said...

I moved to Cruz the minute Scott Walker left the race.
Leviathan must be stopped.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

I have yet to hear an argument that refutes the obvious recent historical fact that a "moderate" Republican (Romney, McCain) cannot beat a "minority" Democrat (Obama, H. Clinton).
47% in the bag for the D, >200 electoral votes to start.
I voted for Ted Cruz, happily.
He's a true conservative. Maybe a jerk, as "everyone" in Washington says. I don't know- I've never met him. I don't even care if he's a jerk. I believe that I understand how he will act in a given situation, and I am confident that I will be happy with his actions.
With Trump, who knows? I'll probably like some of what he does, dislike a lot.
I can't imagine being happy with more than 10% of what Hillary or Bernie would do. It's way less than that for the current President.

Meade said...

"With the anti-coveted Meade endorsement, Kasich is finished."

Tell RCP.

A vote for Trump is a vote for Hillary.
A vote for Cruz is nearly a vote for Hillary.
A vote for Rubio is approaching a vote for Hillary.

But a vote for Kasich is vote to Make America Good Enough Again.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...It seems obvious to me that if Rubio is interested in stopping Trump, he should get out before Florida and allow as many of his votes as possible to go to Cruz. He should endorse Cruz now

No, Professor; Rubio needs to quit now and endorse Kasich, thus pushing most of whatever support Rubio may have had to Cruz. It won't happen, of course--Ruibo'll stay in through FL if only to see how it works out for him.

Brando said...

I'm surprised he hasn't dropped out already--he was toast after Super Tuesday when he could only win MN after Jeb and Christie dropped out. He'll be out before next Tuesday, but should drop out today and back Cruz.

readering said...

35 percent of the Florida vote has already been cast, before Cruz went all in. If Rubio gets out now Trump will win. The only hope to defeat Trump in Florida at this point is for Cruz to tell his supporters to vote Rubio. If Cruz doesn't do that it means he wants Trump to win the nomination.

Birkel said...

"Nearly" is doing some serious lifting in that poll, Meade.
As an older man, be careful not to strain your back with all that.
Use your legs and get a partner.

eric said...

Finally you've given up on the get out and endorse Rubio plan.

Yes, it's time for Rubio to drop out and endorse Cruz. Same for Kasich.

Birkel said...

readering:

Cruz is winning over 70% of the voters from candidates dropping out. Cruz wants Rubio to lose Florida so he can beat Trump in later races and finish first overall in delegates.

cubanbob said...

I doubt that Rubio will quit before the FL primary. He is too invested and can't be seen as not trying all out to placate his supporters and donors. He's a talented guy and will be back but its worse for him to be seen as a quiter this time than an honorably loser.

eric said...

Blogger Meade said...
"With the anti-coveted Meade endorsement, Kasich is finished."

Tell RCP.

A vote for Trump is a vote for Hillary.
A vote for Cruz is nearly a vote for Hillary.
A vote for Rubio is approaching a vote for Hillary.

But a vote for Kasich is vote to Make America Good Enough Again.


RCP averages are great. I don't even bother with actual voting results anymore.

For example, thanks to RCP, I know Hillary beat Bernie last night in Michigan by 21 points.

Fabi said...

In March of 1980 Jimmy Carter was leading Ronald Reagan 58 - 33 in the head-to-head polls. Anyone remember how that election turned out? Relying on polls in March to predict the outcome in November is simply ridiculous.

mccullough said...

Kasich is a pretty good governor. A compassionate conservative like W. His "sensible regulation" is Trump level gibberish. Low wage service jobs as far as the eye can see. A middle class made up of government workers. And more war.

Slightly better than a Dem doesn't work on Trump's supporters. They are done with the GOP.

Amexpat said...

Kasich is my top choice of all the candidates left in either party. I thought he might have had a shot of turning things around if surprised and won in Michigan. But now, the best we can hope for is a brokered convention.

TCom said...

Meade relying on polls for an election 8 months away when polls 2 days out are proving wildly wrong.

Relying on polls in a year where the God of Polling Nate Silver has been utterly discredited.

Funny stuff.

damikesc said...

I know Rubio supporters who get upset when you mention that. "Your guy cannot win. My guy can. If your guy is only going to sit there and drain votes to oppose this other guy who isn't exactly desired, then your guy is a dick"

Rubio should run for Governor, get a few years being in charge, and show what he can do.

Ken B said...

Rubio panicked. Panic makes you stupid, and Rubio got very stupid. What's hsi biggest liability? he's young and inexperienced. What did he do? Double down on frat-boy jokes. Highlight his weaknesses. It was oddly impressive seeing how perfectly he knew how to destroy his candidacy.

He needs to get out now to salvage his chances for 2024. He's already toasted his chances for 2020.

Michael K said...

Hilarious.

Advice that Chuck (and Meade) won't take.

"But if you want to stop Trump, don't attack him; appeal to the people who support him. Offer sensible solutions to problems he has identified, rather than his half-baked, unrealistic rhetoric."


Ooooooh Nooooo ! That would be cheating !

Charlie Currie said...

I remember when everyone was suppose to get out and support Little Marco...good times, good times.

Michael K said...

"Rubio should run for Governor, get a few years being in charge, and show what he can do."

Yes, that was what Hannity was saying a few minutes ago. Even Hannity gets it.

But he won't. The Big Boys have told him what to do.

Big Mike said...

@Meade, Cruz at least won his state's primary and the primary of the next state north. Let me know when Kasich wins Ohio -- and he's already lost the next state north.

YoungHegelian said...

I don't blame Rubio for wanting to run for Prez or staying in to the bitter end. When it's your life on the line, & you're surrounded by an adoring fan club (i.e. your campaign staff), it's tough to stay objective.

What still amazes me is how badly the Party elders misread the whole political field this year. I don't mean missing the rise of Trump. Everyone misses "black swan" events. That's why they're called "black swans". But, The Push for Bush in the face of absolutely no noticeable groundswell of support from the party faithful, & now the turn to Cruz as a standard bearer, just seems so divorced from reality.

One thing this election has taught me is how much this sort of upstream incompetence at the high party level was a large causal factor in both McCain & Romney losing (e.g. Romney's ORCA attempt at computer-aiding voter targeting).

jr565 said...

readering wrote:
35 percent of the Florida vote has already been cast, before Cruz went all in. If Rubio gets out now Trump will win. The only hope to defeat Trump in Florida at this point is for Cruz to tell his supporters to vote Rubio. If Cruz doesn't do that it means he wants Trump to win the nomination.

I think that is actually correct. Cruz has NO chance winning Florida. Rubio has a chance. Cruz therefore needs to let Rubio win in Florida so that Trump doesn't. Rubio might want to drop out AFTER winning Florida, (if he does) especially if his numbers continue to tank. if 35% hadnt' already been cast I might say he should drop out now. But thats already occurred. I hightly doubt that 33% of those voters went for Cruz. So, accept that Cruz. and dont fight the math on this.

jr565 said...

damikesc wrote:
Rubio should run for Governor, get a few years being in charge, and show what he can do.

or he could parlay his delegates into a VP spot. I'm assuming that this might go to a contested convention at this point. And, even though Cruz did well in the last few states, it remains to be seen if he will do as well as Rubio or Trump in the less red state states.

A cruz - Rubio ticket might be the best of both worlds. Rubio brings in the people scared off by Cruz (not to mention establishment) cruz gets to bring in the hard core repubs and evangelicals. Rubio being soft on gang of 8 would actulaly work in their favor. See, they're not as bad as it appears. Rubio actually worked with democrats. Plus they are two hispanics. ANd Rubio is telegenic compared to Cruz who comes across like a used car salesman.

It requires a contested election

Big Mike said...

As I commented on another thread, Floridians I've spoken to are really angry with Rubio. Did he run for the presidency because he didn't think he could be reelected to the Senate? He only has until June 24th to file for reelection to his seat. If he doesn't do it, he could be out of politics entirely.

Saint Croix said...

Rubio can win in New York! Can Cruz?

I think Cruz should drop out, with the promise that he will have the Supreme Court nomination.

I think Kasich should drop out, and take the veep slot.

And I think Rubio should take the fight to Trump, one-on-one.

He is far better in blue/purple states than Cruz.

Rubio can also say that if it's a brokered convention, that he will send his delegates to Cruz.

Do not rely on Cruz--he will fail. It's up to Marco. Cruz needs to stop being egotistical and start being strategic.

Terry said...

"HI. Marco Rubio? This is Donald Trump, author of the huge best seller "The Art of the Deal." What will it take to make you stay in the race? There some great properties -- really fantastic properties -- becoming available in Cuba.
Have your people call my people."

MikeDC said...

I'm think Meade is right on about Kasich. The way I see it, Trump is going to max out at 40% of the delegates.

Without a majority, everything is up for grabs during the convention.

* Cruz took his home state, so he's going to stay in. But I think his social conservativeness creeps out too many middle-of-the-road conservatives.

* Rubio needs to get out because he's not even going to win his home state.

* Kasich might win his home state though, and if Rubio gets behind him, he will for sure, and he'll swallow up the other mainstream conservatives going forward because he's the last guy left standing.

So going into the convention, this is the only way you beat Trump and nominate a sensible candidate. You have Trump, Cruz, and Kasich and while Trump has a plurality, he doesn't have the majority you need to get the nomination.

Cruz, I think, would ultimately fall in line and support Kasich simply because Cruz is smart enough to understand that his position and support are based on being a member of the Republican party (as opposed to Trump, who's a self-funded wild-card). If Cruz supports Trump, he basically kills his party, which I don't think he'll do. If Cruz supports Kasich, he gets to be... Vice President?

I don't think the power structure is conducive to the opposite though. Cruz can't go and demand Kasich and the establishment's support and threaten to support Trump. I mean, he can, but where does that threat get him? It'd make him beholden to Trump and even more at odds with the GOPe. Which doesn't look like a good long-run proposition.

mccullough said...

Rubio and Kasich are staying in because the internal polls show that Trump will easily beat Cruz one on one. They aren't trying to win. They are trying to keep Trump from getting a majority of delegates.

hombre said...

Rubio is a young guy with a political career in front of him. He will endorse no one but the ultimate nominee.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Saint Croix,

I like Rubio too, but it's too late in the day.

26 states have voted, Marco has won 2

The popular GOP primary vote:

Trump 4.3 Mill
Cruz 3.6 Mill
Rubio 2.4 Mill

The only reason for Rubio to stay in would be to syphon votes from Cruz - which helps Trump.

If he gets out, and throws his support to Cruz, well, Cruz may be able to catch Trump.

Terry said...

"But a vote for Kasich is vote to Make America Good Enough Again."
Oh yeah? Well, good enough used to be good enough, but good enough is no longer good enough. Good enough now has to be great. Or the level above great, super-great, or even higher, super-duper-great. There is only one candidate who can make America super-duper-great, and his last name doesn't begin with a K, it begins with D.
I think Trump will have a fully functional Lunar colony going on the day he is inaugurated. With night clubs and moon babes. If that's not super-duper-great, what is? What the Hell do you want from him? What does he have to do to seal the deal and get your vote?

Lance said...

Great, so now Rubio, Bush, and I presume Kasich, Carson, Christie, Fiorina, et. al. are all responsible for Trump. And I suppose when Cruz loses he'll be responsible as well.

Trump's success has nothing to do with what his opponents have or have not done, and everything to do with the people supporting Trump. They want a quick fix to all their problems, and since the Republican establishment has proven that they can't provide that quick fix, they're looking to Trump. As if he has any more ability to magically fix unemployment, globalization, foreign entanglements, etc. than anyone else has.

eric said...

Fox News is reporting Rubio to drop out of the race.

Rubio camp is denying it.

jr565 said...

Here's commentary from National Review on Cruz;

Cruz wouldn’t be so far ahead of Rubio and Kasich without taking on the political class, but it’s increasingly clear that he can’t get past Trump without that same political class – including its donors, leaders, and — critically — voters. Thus, the Cruz Catch-22. For him, victory depends on men and women who are willing to swallow their pride, set aside personal drama, and put their country first.


Having Rubio as his running mate would in fact unite the party. They have to steal it from Trump to do so, but they get the Cruz conservatives and they get the establishment conservaties (and Rubio, except for his votes on immigration is pretty conservative)

jr565 said...

Multiple polls showing that Trump will get absolutely shellacked by Hillary:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/challenges-trump-clinton-favorability-attributes-poll/story?id=37500382

he's toast in the general election. Absolute toast. with butter on top.

Fabi said...

I guess jr565 missed my comment at 2:18. Or chose to ignore it. Lulz

traditionalguy said...

Kasich does have a good personality and he needs a job . And he was once a good errand boy for Speaker Gingrich in the House 20 years ago. There you go.

Now, everybody is happy. Nobody else gets a job anymore except working on a Government make work, but so what.

sinz52 said...

Normally, a candidate will drop out with hopes of running in some other race or finding some other job (like talk-show host).

But Rubio knows that he's so hated by the GOP base for his attempt at immigration reform that Rubio couldn't get their support for ANY other race. They won't support him for Senator. They won't support him for Governor.

Not only is Rubio's hope for the Presidency dashed, but his hope for any future in the GOP. He's finished in politics. The GOP base will see to it.

They won't forgive him no matter how many times he disclaims his work on immigration reform. They've made that very clear.

sinz52 said...

Lance: "They want a quick fix to all their problems"

I've told the Trump supporters, "You want your 1950s Ozzie and Harriet America back, but you can't have it." They freak out when I tell them that.

mccullough said...

Maybe Trump supporters want everyone to have to struggle as a result of US policies, not just them and blacks.

cubanbob said...

Blogger sinz52 said...
Lance: "They want a quick fix to all their problems"

I've told the Trump supporters, "You want your 1950s Ozzie and Harriet America back, but you can't have it." They freak out when I tell them that.

3/9/16, 4:56 PM

The way the country is going electing a Democrat takes us back to the 1930's. Brother can you spare a dime?

cubanbob said...

mccullough said...
Maybe Trump supporters want everyone to have to struggle as a result of US policies, not just them and blacks.

3/9/16, 5:21 PM

Share The Wealth! Catchy!

mccullough said...

I think it's more destroy the wealth of others.

Real American said...

well, Cruz is a big meanie, so....

Balfegor said...

Re: Lance:

They want a quick fix to all their problems, and since the Republican establishment has proven that they can't provide that quick fix, they're looking to Trump.

I think it's more that rather than trying for a fix at all (quick or otherwise), there is a perception that the Republican establishment has decided to push in the opposite direction, exacerbating problems rather than fixing them. Other than in the case of immigration, I don't really agree, but the principal appeal of Trump isn't about issues and policies: it's that he's saying he is going to fight for you, and won't just push to make things worse for you because he likes those rich nawabs and zamindars and especially the foreign colonists and coolies better than you dirty, disobedient ryots.

mccullough said...

All those who've benefitted greatly from trade can't understand why those who've been burdened greatly by trade are angry and frustrated and scared. This is known as being out of touch. These same people were surprised Mitt Romey didn't win

Birkel said...

Protectionism will make us all poor, so we have that going for us.

The rate of change might be uncomfortable for too many, but the changes that have happened were inevitable. And the changes that are to happen will arrive all at once if the can is kicked much further.

You heard it here last.

holdfast said...

Kaisich somehow combines a bland boringness with a hint of an underlying nastiness. That's a very appealing combo. I can see why Meade has a mancrush.

Drago said...

sinz52: "I've told the Trump supporters, "You want your 1950s Ozzie and Harriet America back, but you can't have it." They freak out when I tell them that."

Lot's of people get uncomfortable or worse when a crazy person spouting nonsense gets too close. Those people probably move into a protective cordon around their children as well in that situation.

Drago said...

My favorite Kasich line was when he basically threw himself onto the ground and simply begged the SJW's to not go around picking fights with helpless small business owners.

And everyone knows that waving a white flag in front of the SJW's instead of standing up for individual liberty is surely the most effective pathway to a "live and let live" outcome.

Tom said...

I think Rubio should drop out and endorse Kasich. He should also pledge his delegates to Kasich. That would give Kasich about 240 delegates, assuming he wins Ohio. That doesn't quite catch Cruz or Trump, but it definitely makes it competitive. Further, it splits the race three ways and likely sends it to a convention. Personally, I think Kasich is the only one who's run a campaign that can beat Clinton. Even the democrats don't want Clinton and I think Kasich is moderate enough to appeal to blue collar democrats and the GOP. Plus, her record is no where near his for success and accomplishments.

john marzan said...

prof. ann: "Now, maybe he thinks Trump is better than Cruz. If so, stay in. That's how I'm going to read it."

wrong, if he stays in the race, is because he wants a brokered convention and he doesnt want either cruz or trump to get the nomination.

mccullough said...

Kasich is a compassionate conservative neocon with a sense of fiscal responsibility. Since he's not willing to make any serious spending cuts, he will have to sign major tax increases. He'll be a combination of Bill Clinton and W.

Birkel said...

Exactly, Tom. Just like Presidents Dole, McCain and Romney. We need to pursue the Democrat-Lite strategy.

Birkel said...

The federal government cannot be compassionate. To think it can is to announce oneself an abject moron.

And there mccullough goes, ignoring the tax revenue lesson I laid out for his dumb ass yesterday. And on the only true Scotsman marches...

damikesc said...

A cruz - Rubio ticket might be the best of both worlds. Rubio brings in the people scared off by Cruz (not to mention establishment) cruz gets to bring in the hard core repubs and evangelicals. Rubio being soft on gang of 8 would actulaly work in their favor. See, they're not as bad as it appears. Rubio actually worked with democrats. Plus they are two hispanics. ANd Rubio is telegenic compared to Cruz who comes across like a used car salesman.

While I personally like the idea, I'm still not convinced that the VP is an office that one can really build a career from. Rubio is a promising talent. I'd love to see him as VP. But I believe that governor is better for him to shore up his weaknesses. Show that he isn't "All Amnesty, All the Time". Show that he can make tough decisions when he needs to.

Show that he is not a lightweight like Obama.

Rubio can win in New York! Can Cruz?

I don't get where this belief comes from. He was supposed to do great in NH and utterly bombed there.

Endorse Cruz, have Kasich do the same, and it might be close. Beating Trump in NY, where he been an icon for decades, is going to be rough for anybody.

But Rubio is definitely not winning NY.

He is far better in blue/purple states than Cruz.

That's also not backed up by any semblance of evidence.

Multiple polls showing that Trump will get absolutely shellacked by Hillary:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/challenges-trump-clinton-favorability-attributes-poll/story?id=37500382

he's toast in the general election. Absolute toast. with butter on top.


I don't buy those polls a ton. Hillary was polled to shellack Bernie in MI.

Personally, I think Kasich is the only one who's run a campaign that can beat Clinton. Even the democrats don't want Clinton and I think Kasich is moderate enough to appeal to blue collar democrats and the GOP

That "appeal to moderates" strategy has been amazingly unsuccessful. Romney killed Obama amongst independents. I'll note that we're not discussing the re-election of President Romney.

wrong, if he stays in the race, is because he wants a brokered convention and he doesnt want either cruz or trump to get the nomination.

Unless the Party wishes to re-write their nomination rules at this Convention --- which would only guarantee a loss in the general --- it won't be their choice. You have to won the most votes in 8 states to qualify to be nominated by current rules. Trump is there. Cruz is off by one, but will get there. Nobody else is close and there is considerable reason to believe Kasich will win zero states.

darrenoia said...

Kasich is a fantasy. The guy has no personality and will not beat Hillary. The only reason he polls well is because nobody knows anything about him. The conservative wing of the GOP won't get out to vote for him, and he won't win over any traditional Democrat voters. Kasich is the Kerry/Dukakis/Dole/McCain of this year — career politician whose blandness has somehow gotten him fairly far and will never take him all the way.