My analysis of the presidential race will continue, even though I don’t support any of the candidates. You could say that I despise some less than others though. I have occasional sympathy for Trump, and even a little for Sanders, just for giving such headaches to the establishment.
Before discussing the South Carolina Republican primary, I just want to say a couple of things about Nevada, where caucuses were held for the Democrats. Hillary Clinton won, although not by a big margin.
Even though Bernie Sanders has strong support from young people and the grassroots, he is not coming away with victories in the caucus states. Of course, these states are a bit more prone to rigging, as we saw with all of the strange happenings in Iowa with coin flips and everything else. When there is room for shenanigans, it will favor the establishment candidate.
We don’t really have a good measure yet in the Democratic race because Iowa and Nevada both had caucuses and New Hampshire has open primaries, which would tend to favor Sanders.
I have said that I think Sanders is the third biggest threat to Hillary Clinton right now. The second biggest threat is an indictment by the FBI for her secret emails that aren’t as secret anymore. Her biggest threat is an economic recession.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump won easily with about one-third of the voters going for him. It looks like Marco Rubio will just barely edge out Ted Cruz, but just by a fraction of a percent. They are both just over 22%. Perhaps Rubio is recovering from his New Hampshire debate.
Jeb Bush is finally dropping out of the race. No matter how bad Donald Trump ends up being, I will forever be thankful to him for stomping on Jeb Bush like a little cockroach.
At this point, we can basically write off Kasich and Carson as well.
So it is left between Trump, Rubio, and Cruz. I can’t help but think that Cruz was damaged in South Carolina though. It is evangelical country. If Cruz can’t win there, or at least make a strong second place showing, then I can’t imagine him doing well anywhere else, except maybe Texas.
It is interesting that the three candidates still in the hunt are not governors. Two are senators and one is a businessman. Although the 2008 matchup was two senators (Obama and McCain), it is not that common.
At this point, I think we should expect Trump to be more guarded in his comments, but that may seem hard to believe. Even if all of the Bush votes had gone to Rubio, he still wouldn’t have had enough to beat Trump.
Rubio would have to get most of the other supporters to coalesce around him quickly. That would mean Kasich and Carson supporters would have to go to Rubio as well, which is far from certain, especially with Carson.
Trump’s best scenario is that Cruz and Rubio both stay in the race for the long haul to split votes. He should hope that Carson and Kasich stay in as well. He wants the anti-Trump vote to be split up for as long as possible.
A Trump vs. Clinton matchup is looking more likely. It is hard to believe that the bigger pro war candidate will be coming from the Democratic side.