WASHINGTON – Even before we know the results of the critical Super Tuesday vote, (1/4 of the Republican delegates at stake), it appears that outsider Donald Trump has enough national support to get the Republican Party nomination. A Washington Post article (On Super Tuesday Eve, Donald Trump gets his best numbers yet, February 29, 2016) summarized the latest polls:
“Trump leads at 49 percent — his highest numbers in any poll tracked by Real Clear Politics this cycle. The number suggests that the theory that he had a ceiling of support — that he could never get to 50 percent — was … flawed. With Tuesday’s numerous contests looming, Trump has the support of about half of his party, in a field with five candidates.
And that consolidation theory is revealed as a consolation theory. As we noted over the weekend, if Ohio Gov. John Kasich were to drop out and every single one of his supporters were to migrate to Sen. Marco Rubio, the senator from Florida would go from trailing by 33 to trailing by 27.”
Everybody is wrong
So, all the analysts, Washington insiders, influential commentators, and senior Republicans have been wrong –I mean really wrong. No, Trump is not a passing phenomenon, an entertaining but short-lived freak show, destined to leave the stage to the real pros, the people who supposedly master all the issues, and who can talk intelligently about their policy agendas.
And no, Trump does not have a “natural ceiling” of support that can get him up to 30% to 35% of the votes, but not beyond. And no, the non-Trump votes that went to Christie and Bush are not converging around Marco Rubio, now the “de facto” “Establishment Candidate”. (By the way, in case you missed this, Chris Christie, now out of the race, actually endorsed Trump. Talk about counter intuitive developments).
On the eve of primaries that will allocate about 1/4 of all the Republican delegates, Trump leads nationally, and in almost every state, (Texas seems to be the only exception, with Cruz number 1, and Trump number 2) in which Republicans will vote tomorrow.
Republicans firmly with Trump
Whatever you want to make of this, the Republican base is fed up with all traditional elected leaders. For better or worse, they are willing to trust Donald Trump. Unless a miracle takes place on Super Tuesday, hard to see a path to the Republican nomination for Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, let alone John Kasich and Ben Carson.