South Carolina: Bush and Carson Territory
You heard it here first. And before you laugh see that I pretty much nailed New Hampshire in the post and comments Christie is Done. But Wow! What a Parting Shot! where I only made two real mistakes. I overestimated Carson’s numbers and slightly underestimated Bush’s. So this is a corrective of sorts.
Carson never had a chance in New Hampshire. And so didn’t try. His hope was always to hit South Carolina with the God Botherer lane cleared out. And he has got that, Huckabee and Santorum are gone and of the main contenders only Cruz is competing for Evangelicals as such. I mean a lot of Fundies might like Trump but nobody with a lick of sense believes he is really Saved. Or even thinking he needs to be Saved. Whereas Carson is a full fledged member of the tribe. I may think him a Whack-a-Doodle but don’t underestimate his appeal to the Born Again. Sleeping Gentle Ben has a clear track into a top four result that propels him right into the South dominated March contests.
Which brings us to Bush. If it hadn’t of been for the Christie-Rubio murder-suicide I would have put paid to his candidacy. And even I thought Rubio would limp into fourth in New Hampshire. But Bush did pull down fourth and all he needs to do to get at least a fourth in South Carolina is to finish ahead of Rubio and Kasich. And Kasich has a lot of ground game to make up.
So here is my order of finish in South Carolina: Trump, Bush, Cruz, Carson. With Rubio and Kasich battling for fifth but both clinging on until March 15th when both Florida and Ohio vote.
Obviously I may have this wrong. A perfectly plausible order is Trump, Cruz, Kasich, Rubio, Carson, Bush. I just see structural advantages for Carson and Bush that are not reflected in their surface campaigning. Which frankly has sucked. Your Views not only MAY Vary but almost cetainly WILL Vary. So treat this as an Open Elections Thread
Why pick Bush ahead of Cruz? And for that matter Kasich?
As noted Kasich has too much ground to make up. I still consider him the most dangerous threat in November if he can thread the needle. But man the eye of that needle is pretty damn small.
But Cruz? The man is literally a punch line of a popular joke in D.C.:
“Why do people take an instant dislike to Ted Cruz?”
“It saves time”
Though to be fair his Dad likes him. Always did. Literally saw him on top of his allegorical mountain. But who else? With Trump going all out on Cruzian Birtherism I think it quite likely that military retiree/Main Street South Carolinians make a safety bet on Bush and the Evangelicals on Gentle Ben even as the Nativist/NASCAR crowd enthusiastically goes for Trump.
But it is not like I got pollsters on the ground.
Take the actual vs potential order of finish:
Iowa: Cruz, Trump, Rubio
New Hampshire: Trump, Kasich, Cruz
Now these finishes in South Carolina
Trump, Cruz, Rubio. Bush out, done, you got to get a top three somewhere.
Trump, Cruz, Bush. Rubio shooting for VP based on an upset win over Bush in Florida.
Trump, Cruz, Kasich. John catches fire, Establishment rallies around puts paid to Bush and Rubio. Kasich threads the needle and goes on to battle the victor of the Trump-Cruz Death Cage Match.
Trump, Cruz, Carson. GOP Establishment soils drawers. Caught between age old question “Shit? Or get off the Pot?” and makes wrong choice.
But here is where it gets weird. Consider these and fill in your own blanks. Because none are inconceivable.
Cruz, Trump, Carson
Trump, Bush, Cruz
Bush, Trump, Cruz
Cruz, Trump, Rubio
Trump, Kasich, Cruz
Trump, Kasich, Carson
Don’t see any reason to rule any of those out a priori. And at that I am underselling Rubio. But right now only Bush and Carson haven’t scored the top three finish they need to carry on. Or in Carson’s case a strong four. And I am suggesting that South Carolina is the place and this week the time they have to score. In both senses of ‘have’.
Jeff Bezos Amazon Shopper features a piece that may give Cruz a boost: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/you-didnt-hear-this-from-me-but-why-south-carolina-primary-politics-are-so-dirty/2016/02/11/09fa4a28-d0c7-11e5-b2bc-988409ee911b_story.html
Apparently his campaign is following the Bush vs. McCain playbook (ugly smeary push polls).
Instant dislike = Saves time
10 scenarios which break down this way:
Trump: 7 Firsts, 3 Seconds. Because numbers don’t lie.
Cruz: 2 Firsts, 4 Seconds, 3 Thirds. Out of the money only once.
Bush: 1 First, 1 Second, 1 Third. The reason we know he is alive is because he is “vertical and sucking air” as my friend Jake used to say. And Jake is now dead.
Kasich: 2 Seconds, 1 Third. Time not on his side.
Carson: 3 Thirds. God Botherer Lane.
Rubio: 2 Thirds. Because lightning is unpredictable.
But all it takes is one top three in one of the first three contests to get you a ticket to Super Tuesday and March 15th Favorite Son.
I provided this link in comments to another post because it’s (still!) one of the best things I’ve read about this campaign all year.
“This time, the neoliberals have failed to coalesce around a single candidate and are fighting among themselves. Rubio finished 3rd in Iowa, but 5th in New Hampshire. Kasich finished 2nd in New Hampshire, but 8th in Iowa. Bush finished 3rd in New Hampshire, but 6th in Iowa. The winners of these states were Cruz in Iowa and Trump in New Hampshire, both nationalists. Because Rubio, Kasich, and Bush were each top three finishers in at least one of these states, all three will stay in. The establishment will remain unable to unite, and this will finally let a nationalist take the republican nomination. If you’re a neoliberal republican, you want to lock Rubio, Kasich, and Bush up in a room together until two of them agree to drop out. If you can’t do this between now and Super Tuesday, your ideology is going to lose control of the Republican Party for decades.”
This seems exactly right to me. The only hope the neolibs have is that “Only one of you are leaving this room as a candidate” meeting. I don’t think it’s going to happen. So it’s basically Trump vs. Cruz.
I can’t imagine any scenario in which Trump and Cruz aren’t top 2 finishers. Despite a lot of hand wringing over this scenario I’m pretty sanguine about it. The end of neoliberalism is worth tolerating ugly nationalist candidates (as long as they don’t take the oath in 2017 ).
“I can’t imagine any scenario in which Trump and Cruz aren’t top 2 finishers.”
Well I can and did. Out of ten scenarios I have Bush as a first and a second and Kasich as two seconds. Because there is an Establishment Lane and South Carolina is not Mississippi.
But yeah I have Trump/Cruz in 6 out of 10. So our disagreement is on the margin.
What could bump Trump or Cruz out of the top two? Simple and right in line with South Carolina’s history of dirty electoral play:
Trump? Not a real Christian.
Cruz? Not a real (Natural Born) American
You need to be an American Christian American (sic) to finish in the top two. Doubts on either drop you to third or worse.
Well now that the push pollers are (apparently) generating revenue it’s probably wide open.
And I probably should have clarified – I believe Trump Vs. Cruz for the nomination overall, not in SC. You’re right it’s kind of a crazy state wrt electoral politics.
Needles can be threaded.
There are outcomes starting in South Carolina that sideline Cruz as a final two in favor of Bush or Kasich. And a tiny needle head that sets Trump up for a fall/fail and sets up something like Bush/Kasich vs Cruz.
And one outcome would be a scenario 11 that even I wouldn’t put a penny one: Bush, Trump, Carson, Cruz. But it is not like this one is entirely insulated against lightning. Which of course is the reason for the post title.
Cruz very deliberately and openly avoided the Trump-Cruz Death Cage Match for as long as possible. And probably was successful, I don’t know that Promoter Donald can whip up the volume on this prior to the date. But it might well be a buckle your seatbelt week here.
I really do not know anything about the South Carolina GOP but based on what I have heard and what has happened so far, I think it will be Cruz, Bush, Trump, Rubio, Kasich, Carson. If Rubio does not finish fourth or better I think he is done. Similarly if Bush does not finish in the top 4 I think he is done. Kasich will hold on until Ohio in mid March I think, but if Bush or Rubio catch fire that will be the end for Kasich. If not he could keep trying to thread the needle. I think Cruz eliminates Carson from the equation although one has to wonder why anyone put him into the equation in the first place. Trump gets big numbers at the rallies but New Hampshire notwithstanding, I need more convincing that he can get the votes on election day. Everyone who knows Cruz hates him, but with the GOP base, he turns that into a feature not a bug. I think Trump’s birthism only plays well with black presidents, not white evangelical conservative senators. At the end of the day, I do not think an obnoxious billionaire can get the job done. I am putting some faith in Jeb! based on the family name which may be a bug in a lot of places but is a feature in South Carolina.
Webb – What’s your take on the Dem side? HRC up 25% (?) in polls. Can the Bern narrow that lead?
He already is. http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/warning-signs-hillary-clinton-south-carolina?utm_content=buffer467ba&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
What’s that smell? Is it a burning firewall?
I would also note that young people are notoriously difficult to poll. They don’t always have landlines and usually won’t answer cell phone numbers they don’t recognize.
Since they are still the core of Sanders support it will be easy for Madame Secretary’s army of consultants to miss them.
Here’s another piece that explains the dynamics of Hillary vs. Bernie in the south. http://www.blackagendareport.com/node/4945
If Bernie manages to just pull off a segment of minority voters he can hand her another defeat. He already has most of the disaffected white voters.
Krasting Nevada is polling 50/50. If he pulls that off then under 30 Latinos and Blacks might well start feeling the Bern. Because for them as for young women Hilary’s social, racial and gender justice days all start putting her in their high school, middle school or even civics textbook days.
The fact that Hilary was a valued lieutenant to Marian Adelman in the Childrens’ Defense Fund in the 80s may not cut much brush for a 30 year old who first saw light in 1985.
I grew up as a space buff who dreamed of the day the First Man Walked on the Moon. As we speak a person born on the day the Last Man Walked on the Moon is 43. I never dreamed of a day when Moon Walks would be ancient history.
There are a lot of voters who earliest memories of Hilary Clinton were of when she was Chuck Shumer’s Junior Senator from Wall Street. and for whom the deep well of sympathy from the attacks from the VRWC in the mid 90s (perfectly real as they were in retrospect) have all the resonance of the Whiskey Rebellion.
Six months ago Bern was 60 polling points down in New Hampshire. And more nationally. That 25 point lead is more like an old fashioned Poloroid in the bright sun: fading fast. (And yes I remember when the instant camera was new and exciting – take a picture and peel!!!!)
I am an aging New Deal Leftie moving right into the “Get Off my LAWN” years. And yet more and more the kids on my lawn are planting Feel the Bern lawn signs.
Which has kind of moved “Get Off my LAWN!” to “Well okay. But mind the flower beds please”.
I was quite a long way into “Never see the day” but even this Grinch is beginning to Feel a little Bern because of the belief of little Cindy Lou Who.
Maybe the Kids are Alright.
Bruce(s) I have been saying for years that our production of highly indebted college graduates with pitiful job prospects are a revolution in the making. We’re talking about highly educated well informed people who have too much time on their hands and not a lot to lose.
Bruce, I could be right there with you but I have to assume that at your age you have seen other youth fueled candidates flame out. Admittedly the GOP is in disarray but I suspect that somehow it will get its act together by November. If that is the case all those young people as well as large percentage of African American and Latino voters better turn out or there will be more of those “Don’t blame me I’m from Massachusetts ” bumper stickers. On the other hand I think if Bernie is the candidate he has a better chance of turning some House seats than Hillary. Hillary is not calling for revolution
uh oh: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/john-lewis-clarifies-comments-bernie-sanders
Looks like Rep. Lewis has heard from some constituents heh.
SC has not had much to recommend itself since that Ft Sumter thing.
Before that it had Calhoun who tilted with Webster.
That quote about being too “big to be an insane asylum” sticks.
Disclaimer, I knew a few people from Citadel, and those not well.
“Obviously I may have this wrong. A perfectly plausible order is Trump, Cruz, Kasich, Rubio, Carson, Bush.”
And new polling shows a lot closer match with this Scenario B
Trump, Kasich, Rubio, Cruz, Bush, and unstated Carson.
And totally at odds with the one in the main post. In fact with the exception of Trump almost reversed. And all this before tonight’s debate.
Calling South Carolina at this point is a mugs game. Because I am paying close attention every fricking day. And might as well be throwing darts blindfold over my shoulder.
But having fun.
I’m just relieved that they’ve finally hired a true professional to moderate the remaining Republican debates :