Thursday, January 14, 2016

Desperation time for the Republican debaters tonight

With Rand Paul eliminated, it's going to be "bomb them all, all the time" this evening.

Fox Business Networks’ decision to drop Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul from the main stage at Thursday night’s Republican debate, as well as Paul’s decision not to participate in the undercard event, has eliminated the sole dissenting voice from what could be called the “bomb the shit of them” consensus in the Republican field.

Yeah, too bad about that whole non-aggressionist thing.  It doesn't even play all that well in the Democratic primary.

On to the main event, where Ted Cruz may have some tight-collar moments over the high-dollar loans he forgot to report from 2012.

Republican Primary Lineup December 2015

It's the home stretch in the presidential campaign before people actually start voting in less than three weeks — and that raises the stakes for Thursday night's Republican presidential debate in Charleston, S.C. (After this debate, there will be just one more before the Iowa caucuses.) 
In the past, Trump and Cruz have pulled their punches in these debates. After questioning Cruz's temperament last month, Trump famously said, "He's just fine. Don't worry about it," at a debate in Las Vegas. That was enough for Cruz, who has cleverly, if not transparently, waited for Trump to implode while not offending him, aiming to inherit Trump's supporters. The detente may be over. Or, who knows, maybe the alliance continues.

Politico lights some fuses.

... Republicans are bracing themselves for a circular firing squad as the 2016 GOP candidates gather (in Charleston, SC) for Thursday's debate. 
A cluster of contenders in a fierce competition to command the mainstream GOP lane are almost certain to collide, campaign aides and strategists say. Most of the heat is expected to be directed at Marco Rubio, who, with time running out until the first votes are cast, is anxious to position himself as the establishment front-runner. 

They break it down man y mano, but let's just look at the also-rans err, "mainstream" (sic) candidate four-car pileup.

Establishment candidates have so far been stymied in their efforts to slow down the Trump-Cruz train — in no small part because they’ve been busy fighting amongst themselves. 
That dynamic is almost certain to play out again on Thursday night. With Bush, Christie, Rubio, and John Kasich all competing aggressively in New Hampshire — and all within striking distance of one another — there’s simply little incentive for them to play nice.

“That group of people that are bunched up need to separate themselves,” Wiley said.

That's what I will be watching and Tweeting, because IMO the early stage has already been set: Cruz wins Iowa, Trump wins New Hampshire, and whoever comes in third behind them in each state becomes the story.  South Carolina is the proving ground for Trump and Cruz, with two others left standing out of Rubio and someone else.

The Nevada caucuses are the wild card; the Dems go before the Rs and a week before SC, while the Rs meet three days after the Palmetto State votes.  Historically the Silver State lines up with the favorite (in 2012, Romney and Clinton) and latest polling reveals Clinton and Trump with big leads (although Cruz and Rubio are surging).  Nevada, in short, may not tell us much.

March 1 -- Super Tuesday -- hosts Alabama, Alaska (caucus, R), American Samoa (caucus, D), Arkansas, Colorado (caucus, both parties), Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota (caucus, both), North Dakota (caucus, R), Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming (caucus, R).

We should know who each party's standard-bearers for November are by that evening.


Gadfly said...

On the Dem side, Nevada may just tell us, even as a caucus state not a primary, how much HIspanics are listening to Sanders.

Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

First, don't know if he showed up, but you ignored former Gov. Gilmore. (The other ex-Governor with 0.005%, George Patacki, DID drop out, but technically Gilmore is still 'in it to win it.')
Second, you, inadvertently, had Hillary running in 2012.

PDiddie said...

Prup: I did indeed and will continue to ignore Gilmore. He's not worthy of conversation on the most Republican blogs in the country, to say nothing of this one.

Second: Where? I cannot seem to find my mistake. I will strike and correct if you can point me closer to it.

Gadfly: That is a very good point which I overlooked. It seems worthy of its own post, in fact.

I have blogged more than once that Clinton's path to WH victory is a Latino-surnamed running mate and, further, that the associated lengthy coattails they produce is her greatest strength as a nominee.

Sanders may gaining ground with African Americns but evidence is scant that he's making inroads with Latinos, and Nevada will certainly reveal whether he is or isn't.