That Was an Un-Super Tuesday: Can the GOP Stop Trump?
Super Tuesday kind of sucked. Actually, I take that back, it really sucked. On the Republican side, America’s future Supreme Leader Donald Trump walked away with wins in seven states, and 234 new delegates, and many from both sides of the aisle are beginning to worry that his nomination has become all but inevitable.
I guess no one should be that surprised. After all, he’s been racking up big totals in the primary thus far–although in some cases his share of the actual vote has been a bit less than polling would indicate. But, he’s still had a pretty damn good run so far–all said and done about 1/3 of the Republicans who have casted their votes up until this point have voted for the Donald.
So, no one is quite sure what will happen next. It seems likely that Ted Cruz, who had an okay night and took home wins in his home state of Texas, as well as Oklahoma and Alaska, probably won’t drop out. And Marco Rubio, who has just begun to have some of the establishment coalesce behind him, won Minnesota last night, and doesn’t seem to be dropping either.
But, it still seems that many elites are desperate to stop Trump, and there’s a few different trains of thought emerging. One is that either Rubio or Cruz should drop out, allowing the party to unify around one anti-Trump force. For example former contender Lindsey Graham, who has somehow managed to be kind of the voice of reason at points during this totally-bonkers election cycle, pointed out that rallying around Cruz may be the only choice. Graham said on CBS:
I made a joke about Ted, but we may be in a position to have to rally around Ted Cruz as the only way to stop Donald Trump, and I’m not so sure that would work. I can’t believe I would say yes, but yes.
Then there’s another school of thought, which actually advocates that both Rubio and Cruz stay in the race and try to take as many votes away from Trump as possible. Cruz or Rubio supporters would have to choose a new candidate if either dropped, and surely some could pick Trump. So, keeping the votes closer to a three-way split may keep Trump from meeting the threshold he needs, and gives the GOP more wiggle room at the convention. As Slate’s Jim Newell explains the theory:
Rubio would not have defeated Trump in Texas, so it was useful for Cruz to stay in and take a majority of those delegates for himself. Rubio won’t be able to defeat Trump in Ohio, so Kasich can handle that task. A split field makes it impossible for one candidate to gain a majority over Trump. But it helps to stop Trump himself from getting a majority.
Newell does acknowledge that this theory probably won’t work, especially given that there are more winner-takes-all primaries post-Super Tuesday, but it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been a serious consideration for the GOP.
So…Trump won Super Tuesday. Most people are horrified, and rightfully so. But as this future-trainwreck hurtles toward the convention, someone has to do something. Unfortunately, at this point, it’s easy to wonder if anyone can.