By Bill Keck
The night before the Michigan primary, polls have Trump getting as much as 42% of the vote, depending on the poll. Most of the polls have Cruz far behind in second place, but one poll has a strong showing for Kasich in second.
However, if you watch CNN, you would think that Cruz is leading in Michigan. This is because the mainstream media tries to spin the data on Trump as negatively as possible. They point to Cruz’s surge over the weekend, where he took Maine unexpectedly. Kansas was probably always going to go to Cruz.
Nevertheless, they point to the Cruz victories as proof that Trump support is waning, and Cruz is ascending. Conveniently, they fail to mention that these were closed caucuses, not open to democrats who want to cross over. Caucuses are complicated and this format has not favored Trump. In open primaries, Trump does better because he attracts many democrats and independents to the process and they vote for him.
So in a more restrictive environment, Cruz picked up some momentum. I doubt he will sustain it. There’s nothing in the Michigan polling to suggest Cruz has traction there, and once Trump takes Michigan, and hopefully Idaho as well, he will have regained the initiative.
At that point, he will be pretty much unstoppable in Florida, a winner take-all state, which is voting next week. Ohio votes on the same day, and Kasich, the Governor of the State, is pushing hard for a win there, so we’ll have to see how it goes.
Trump is ahead at the moment in Ohio, however, a loss of momentum tomorrow would not help, and that’s something that could push it towards Kasich.
One more obstacle for Trump this week is the CNN debate. Yes, another debate, where we will see Rubio attacking from the left and Cruz attacking from the right and Kasich pretending to be above it all. The moderators will do their best to sabotage Trump and the audience will be packed with supporters of everyone except Trump.
We’ve seen this so often that we are already tired of it. There’s no upside for Trump in this debate, but he can’t really afford to skip it either. So we’re stuck with another week of mudslinging and low-grade politics.
If Trump were to win Michigan, Idaho, Ohio, and Florida, it’s pretty much game over. Cruz’s momentum will be gone and Rubio will have made a career out of losing at that point. Kasich has promised to hang it up if he doesn’t win Ohio and that makes a lot of sense. Even at this point, there isn’t much justification for his candidacy.
If Trump wins less convincingly, or it’s somehow more or less evenly split with Cruz, then we get a fuzzier picture. In the long run, Trump will most likely get the most delegates, since at this point, most of the south has already voted and Cruz is not going to do well in New York, California and Pennsylvania.
If Trump wins the majority of delegates, but fails to get the 1247 delegates necessary to clinch the nomination, we could have a contested convention. This is the scenario that much of the media is pushing, as well as establishment attack dog Mitt Romney. They’re in love with this idea of brokering the convention and putting their choice up, instead of that of the peoples.
Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus has done his best to squash these rumors, but the media has got ahold of this narrative and they keep pushing it. They keep asking, is this the end of the Republican Party?
No, it’s a tough nominating process. And even though there are people talking about who they will not vote for under any circumstances, only a hypocrite of the worst order would stand idly by and let Hillary get elected president. I have enough faith in the American people to believe that is not going to happen.
The more convincing the wins by Trump tomorrow, the quicker the internal bickering will be over. It’s going to an interesting 24 hours…