According to Harry Reid, the current minority leader in the Senate, the Republicans have created their own Frankenstein Monster with Donald Trump and don’t know how to get rid of him. Currently they are spending many millions in negative ads attacking him and they don’t seem to be making many dents in his popularity.
To the leaders of the Republican Party in Washington and most, if not all, of the 50 states Donald Trump is totally unacceptable as their standard bearer in the 2016 Presidential Election. Tom DeLay the former speaker of the House of Representatives, when questioned by Chris Mathews, could not conceive of any circumstances that would make Donald Trump acceptable as the leader of the Republican Party. To many Republicans he is not even a real conservative and he wants to take over the Republican Party. To all these anti-Trump Republicans he seems to be getting worse all the time.
Originally Donald Trump was considered a joke when he entered the 2016 Presidential Race. After he won a couple of primaries they considered him a phenomena that would soon wear out and be rejected by the public. After Super Tuesday on March 1st, the elite Republicans were in shock; by then Trump was leading all the Republican candidates with 325 delegates and people were jumping aboard his “band wagon.” After the March 15th Super Tuesday he had won four out of five primaries and was well on his way to the late July Party Nominating Convention. There seems to be a distinct possibility that Trump could achieve the 1,237 delegates needed to become the Republican candidate if he wins that number of delegates on the first ballot for the 2016 Presidential Election.
According to the Republican Rules he can be nominated as the 2016 Presidential candidate only if he has 1,237 delegates supporting him during the first ballot. After that vote all the delegates he has won are no longer bound to him. They can vote any way they see fit. The choice of a candidate actually falls to the Nominating Convention and they will continue voting until someone achieves the 1,237 votes.
Statistically, in order to win the nomination Donald Trump needs 51% of all the nominating Conventions coming after March 1, 2016, Super Tuesday. 51% will give him all the delegate votes for each of the states involved. If he can get that majority he will have 1,237 delegates or more voting for him. If he doesn’t achieve the nomination on the first vote then, there is no chance he will be chosen.
Historically in a few prior conventions the delegates’ vote has been cast up to a hundred or more times before a candidate was chosen. Usually in these conventions a “dark horse” is chosen, a compromise candidate that everyone can reluctantly agree upon. It would seem the both Mitt Romney and John Kasich are hoping to become the “dark horse;” that is the final compromise candidate chosen.
After Trump won seven states on the first Super Tuesday Romney, in a dignified afternoon speech made in a statesman-like-fashion, stated that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are both unfit to become President of the United States. He appeared as an elder statesman speaking for his Party. In a later interview Romney said that he didn’t want the position of President of the United States; but he modified that statement slightly the next day and indicated obliquely that he had a staff ready to jump in. He apparently is waiting to be asked or told that he is the only man fit for the job so he can reluctantly sacrifice himself for his country.
Of course Donald Trump later ridiculed him as a failed has been. I am reminded of Conan Doyle’s character in his Sherlock Homes stories; “The game is afoot, Watson;” and so it is, within the Republican Party, Trump v. the Republican leaders or elite.
Entering the Republican race since Super Tuesday, March 1st for the first time has been conservative “dark money” groups that are going after two GOP hopefuls, primarily Donald Trump and to a lesser degree, Ted Cruz. These are non-profit groups whose donors can remain anonymous. Originally these groups targeted Democrats with negative advertising. As of March 2nd they targeted Trump, denouncing him as a fraud. In one ad a trio of individuals are making statements which in effect say, “America, don’t make the same mistake we did with Donald Trump.” They then each separately say that they were scammed by the Trump University real estate course out of thousands of dollars.
Trump commented upon these ads the next day, after winning two out of four states on Super Saturday, saying that nobody has ever been hit by so many negative ads by his own political party. Ted Cruz won the other two states. Neither had 51% of the vote so the delegates in each state were split between the four delegates running at that time.
As of March 13th Donald Trump has 460 delegates, Ted Cruz had 359, Marco Rubio had 153, and John Kasich had 54. On Tuesday, March 15th a number of states held primaries and a total of fifty percent of the states will then have held their primary elections. The candidates are a long way from the required 1,237 delegates needed on the first vote in order to be nominated as the Republican candidate.
On negative advertising against Trump, the American Future Fund, had initially spent 1½ million dollars on ads attacking mostly Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. As of March 5th, it’s estimated that they have spent 5 million dollars. It was suspected that they might have been supporting Marco Rubio; but he was then a distant third and did not have enough support to become the Republican candidate. It is also possible that they want to throw the choice of a candidate to the full July Convention.
The use of the term “dark money” which the newspapers have adopted is reminiscent of the Star War movies from which it comes. The implication being that “dark” is evil because it stays hidden. Consequently implying that these “dark funds,” unknown funds, are evil funds, which they may very well be.
There is an interesting note or irony here. The American Future Fund is a tax free organization that is supposed to support the education of the American public. They are tax free because they provide a public service. The people who contribute to the group, and whose names are secret, can and do deduct their contributions from their income taxes. But only the IRS knows who they are, if they pay attention to the tax deductions.
Incidentally Senator John McCain also verbally attacked Trump in a news interview saying that he is uniformed and dangerous. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former governor of California, endorsed John Kasich and will appear with him at a rally.
Romney stated at the University of Utah that, “If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished. His domestic policies would lead to recession. His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe. He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president.”
One argument that has come out is that by throwing the choice of the candidate to the convention a weak choice can be made, who will take orders from the elite leaders of the GOP. Is this true? I have no idea. But I do know that none of the three major potential candidates stand out in any way as dynamic leaders; they are poor material. Trump exaggerates everything and is a blatant prefabricator who doesn’t seem to really understand our form of government or how it really works. He was for torturing prisoners before he discovered it was illegal and was against it. As Commander and Chief of the Military he seems to think he can give orders, tell people what to do, and they’ll automatically carry them out, as long as they are legal orders. He seems to think he’ll straighten out the world in a short period of time and get rid of the terrorists overnight, especially of ISIS.
Ted Cruz doesn’t seem quite honest with some of the tricks he and his staff have pulled. And Marko Rubio, who withdrew after March 15th seemed sly; a man who has been working to become President since he was elected to the Senate and ignoring the job he was sent to do.
And what I find fascinating is the fact that the entire GOP is ignoring the fact that made Trump, a billionaire, popular with the poorest and largest groups within the Republican Party. They see Trump as a threat that could seriously hurt the Party but they are oblivious to the reason for Trump’s popularity. And the probability is that they will get their way with the Convention, Trump will not be nominated on the first vote and consequently will stand no chance of winning the nomination.
On Super Tuesday, March 1st, Trump won seven out of eleven states but he did not get all the delegates in each of the states he won. He needs 1,237 delegates to win. He then had just under four hundred. In his victory speech he sounded as though he was ready to take command of the Republican Party. I imagine that upset a goodly number of Republicans.
On Super Saturday, March 5th, Trump split his victory with Cruz. Both won two states. At that point Trump had 388 delegates and Cruz had 305 delegates.
What I find particularly interesting is that Trump said publically earlier that he would support any candidate chosen by the Republican Party at the Nominating Convention on July 18th to the 25th. I suspect that meant that if he was treated fairly but if he feels he was not treated fairly what will he do?
It seems that Donald Trump has a problem with people protesting at his rallies, and noisily interrupting him. In the past he has ordered them vigorously removed by security and some of his white-supremacy followers have exercised their right to aggressively push and abusively denounce these people to their faces particularly if they are Black. This has turned off or cooled off some of his supporters. By Monday, March 7th he seems to be getting more protestors at his rallies. Will he continue to be aggressive or will he be more tolerant?
Generally speaking Donald Trump seems to be aggressive and vindictive toward anyone who crosses him in any way. A good percentage of the leadership of the Republican Party does not, under any circumstances, want him to be their candidate for the presidency in 2016. Many, if not most of them do not even consider him a true Republican or even a conservative. Directly after Super Tuesday, March 1st, Republican non-profit packs began spending upward of 5 million dollars in attack ads and commercials to demonize him. He even complained about it. After the nominating votes and caucuses on Tuesday, March 8th Trump stated that 48 million has been spent by fellow Republicans on attack ads.
On March 15th the second Super Tuesday occurred, five states held their primary elections on the same day: Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio.
On the Republican side Trump won four of the five states. Governor John Kasich won Ohio; his home state, Trump won the other four. With the exception of Florida which was a winner take all race Trump did not get all the delegates in the other three states he won. He increased his number of delegates to 655, still a good way from 1,237 needed. In order to win on the first ballot it is estimated that Donald Trump will have to win 60% of all future primaries and caucuses. Can he do that?
Another effect of the Second Super Tuesday is that Marco Rubio lost the election in his home state, Florida. This has caused him to drop out of the race, leaving only three potential candidates: Trump, Cruz, and Kasich.
On the Democratic side Hillary Clinton won all five states bringing her total to 1,565 delegates. She needs 2,383 to win the nomination and become the Democratic candidate for the Presidency of the United States. This number does not include the super delegates that are appointed by the Political Party and that make up about 20% of the over-all delegates. They do not owe allegiance to any candidate for their first vote.
Hillary Clinton won large majorities in Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio and got all the Democratic delegates in those states. In Illinois and Missouri she had slight majorities and there the delegates will be split with Bernie Sanders. But with a total of 1,565 delegates she is close to being the Democratic candidate.
Shortly after the Republican Party Presidential Debates began Trump and the other presidential candidates swore publically to support whoever ended up being chosen in July. He was initially reluctant to agree but finally did.
The impression I got at the time was that Trump would stick to his word if they, the Republicans, played fair with him. He is currently the leading candidate and the Party leadership is trying to torpedo him. It seems that they want to throw the final choice to the leadership at the Nominating Convention in July. They want a “dark horse” candidate. The leadership objects to both top candidates, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. They find both of them unacceptable.
Donald Trump has a tendency to get even with anyone who attacks him in any way. He denounced Mitt Romney as a “has been,” after Romney made a derogatory speech about him. Will he run as a third party candidate if the Republicans drop him? The probability is that he will have the most delegates of any of the remaining three potential presidential candidates but he will not have the required 1,237 required to be nominated on the first ballot.
If for no other reason than just spite would he run as a third party candidate or might he think or believe that he could take enough voters with him to win. It’s an interesting question!
In the 1912 Nominating Republican Convention the then President, William Howard Taft, refused to allow the convention to nominate Theodore Roosevelt instead of himself. Roosevelt, who had chosen and backed Taft in 1908, was dissatisfied with the way he had run the country for the last four years and wanted the presidency for a third term in order to straighten it out.
When he couldn’t get the nomination he broke with the Republican Party and organized his own third party to run him for the presidency. This was the Bull Moose Party. Roosevelt, at an earlier time, had stated that he felt as strong as a Bull Moose and the name had stuck.
While all the popular votes gotten by both Roosevelt and Taft exceeded fifty percent of the vote neither was high enough to beat the Democratic candidate, Woodrow Wilson. He won the election with less than 50 percent of the vote.
The question with Trump is whether he is really rich enough to stage a third party candidacy. He tends to exaggerate most things. Does he really have ten billion dollars or more? If he does, is he willing to spend around a billion dollars on his third party candidacy?
If he’s exaggerating the size of his fortune then he probably could not afford to run as a third party candidate. We’ll have to wait and see.
A Third Party candidacy means 50 separate state plus territory elections throughout the United States which have to be separately organized within each individual state and territory. He will need an organization in each state and territory to register, get the required signatures, and pay whatever fees are required. And this is just to get his name on all the ballots. Then the organization will have to get him elected in every one of the states. Normally this is done by the Party organization. But Trump will have to have one in each state and territory. It can be a very expensive process. Can Trump really afford it in order to get even? And if he does it he is practically guaranteeing that the Democratic candidate, who will probably be Hillary Clinton, will win the election. But Donald Trump will have gotten even with the Republican leadership for not treating him fairly.
Somehow all this bogs the mind and shows how broken or dysfunctional the Republicans have become. I recently read an autobiography of Barry Goldwater, who can be considered as the father or originator of the modern Republican Party. In his last chapter, which he calls “The Future”, writing in the mid to late 1980s, he warns against what is happening now in the Republican Party. If Goldwater were alive today he would call his party dysfunctional and out of sync with the needs of the United States. He might even question if it is truly conservative.